Friday, September 9, 2011

Steven Tyler Feathers = Raise Some Chickens

Updates from previous blogs:

So if you don't know by now, Beck had surgery on her left thumb last Friday because her Crock Pot knife incident ended up being that she slit her tendon in her thumb and had to have surgery to put it back together. The doctor told her "yeah its no big deal, I just did the surgery to a 14 year old this morning." Beck then thought "yeah it's no big deal to you." She is in a cast and can't use her left hand for four weeks. She is learning that it is a lot harder to do many of the things she is accustomed to like, changing LJ's diaper and putting him in the car seat. This leaves me with a lot more work to do then normal, but the bright side is we are learning that her left hand is a really important part of our lives. It was interesting taking care of her after the surgery as she was placed on Vicodin for a few days and when I heard her tell me, "You're the best husband in the whole world" I knew the drugs were talking. Beck went into HR and had a meeting with her boss and the result was she went on disability for 4 weeks and then has to enter hand physical therapy per her doctors instruction. She now is trying to overcome the fear of using the knife and I think we need to enroll her in a cooking class or watch You Tube Videos on how to use a knife properly. The moral of the story is knives are dangerous, so use caution the next time you pick one up please.

Other updates: I have sold my grapes to a local company and we are very excited about that. (Beck told me I could call them "my grapes" when there is work to do in the vineyard, but they are "our grapes" when the check comes in :-) It should be a fun blog to post when we harvest the grapes the first week in October. We also found a company that provides Internet to rural areas like ours. I still can't believe how hard it is to get the Internet in the country. The last update is we are still trying to find a renter for our house we moved from. We keep praying and relying on God that He will come through like he always does.

Now time for Steven Tyler Feathers = Raise Some Chickens

When I was at the State Fair in the chicken farm section I overheard a lady talking about how Steven Tyler has been a major influence on the chicken feather shortage. Yes, there is a crisis among fly fisherman that there are not enough feathers for the fly fisherman to make their fly ties and therefore the price of feathers has gone up dramatically. This is because the train wreck successful rock star Steven Tyler decided to put a couple feathers in his hair on American Idol. This instantly became the new fad or "cool thing" to put in your hair. Last Thursday night I was walking through the farmers market and a hair salon was selling feathers. I went in to take a look at the price and they were selling for $10 each or $25 for 3 feathers. I thought to myself are "you kidding me, chicken feathers?" I began to do some research on the chicken feathers that are in demand and found out that they lay brown eggs. I love to eat brown eggs and began to research how I could make this my first farm animal project.

I went to the Internet and found out the few breeds that create these feathers that are in demand. The Internet is an amazing thing - with just a few clicks I can order fertilized hatching eggs and they show up two days later to my mail box.


10 of them came from Alabama and 18 came from Pennsylvania. I bought the incubator from the local feed store and now I am in the chicken business.


I first opened the boxes and unwrapped the eggs, then I took them to the sink to wash them to get any grime or possible diseases off the eggs.


 Chicken eggs in the incubator have to be turned 3 times a day, so I put an X on one side and an O on the other. That way I can keep track of whether or not they have been turned. If they don't get turned, then the embryo sticks to the shell and the chick dies. I remember in 2nd grade Mrs. Merdel had an incubator and the chick ended up dying, so she took us outside and we watched her dissect the egg on the bench. I am hoping this does not happen to my 28 eggs!


Then I opened up the incubator and put some water in the bottom to get the humidity up. Placed the X side up and called it a night.


The chicks take 21 days to hatch and so the count down begins.

-JP