Monday, March 30, 2009

A vist from Robbie Sweetheart (my grandson!)

Here's Robbie (3-1/2), our handsome grandson, fondly called "Robbie Sweetheart"'s a long story~but in a previous blog..... Robbie, his momma (daughter Amanda), his daddy (son-in-law Jim), and his sister (Kayleigh, 21 months) came for a visit this weekend and we had a great time. Robbie was entranced with the egg operation, as was his daddy....I like these guys, they think like we do!! So Robbie had to come down and "help" and let me tell you, this little guy is great help! Pappy (my husband Wes) showed Robbie how to put the eggs on the rack 1 time and he got it right....for a comparison, Wes had to show me 2 times! :) LOL.... Here's Robbie waiting for the egg to come down the conveyor belt....
And Robbie has got the egg!! He announced excitedly, Pappy! I got an EGG! which Pappy, of course, had to stop and admire Robbie's egg! :) LOL....Pappy is at the table next to can see him if you look really closely behind the BIG egg rack in the background....
And the eggie goes into the egg rack. Robbie eventually ran out of eggs...oh no!! He started cheering the hens on at that point, chanting, "More eggs! More eggs! More eggs!" in his sweet little voice....Pappy and I were laughing so hard we could hardly work ourselves...what a fun time it was!!
Here's Robbie after the eggs stopped coming down the conveyor belt with hand on hip and tapping his fingers....every once in a while he would bend way down and peek down the conveyor belt to see if there were any more eggies coming....every time he saw a new egg, he would squeal with delight..... "Grandma Sweetheart, I got another egg, it's almost here!" LOL..... Working in the egg room will never be the same again....we will be telling Robbie Sweetheart stories every time we walk through the doors!
Kayleigh went down to the egg room with her daddy (son-in-law, Jim)...but didn't last too long...she thought it was one cool place to be...and she really loved throwing all of those balls (eggs!)...OOPS! Actually, she didn't get to throw any of the eggs, she just really, really wanted to...but she got to go and hang out in the house with her mama instead! :)
What a wonderful weekend....we hope to repeat it again really soon!!
Until we chat again,

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

EGGS ...oh, and new flooring!!

Did I mention the egg business is a fun thing to do??? I'm so glad we put these poultry houses up, this is the most fun I've had working in a really, really long time. I want to do it full time.....but not yet, Wes has to get the rest of the farm going and generating good income first....wait, wait, wait...I hate waiting! I want to be the official egg lady! LOL....

Here's your upfront view of this very cool egg business....READY?

These are eggs heading to the hatchery.....beautiful....lots of them...this is only 1/2 of the cart by the way, there's another side!!

The egg rolling down and then off the conveyor belt....

Grading the eggs...this one is a medium/large....then into the yellow egg tray...

These are all cull eggs...the big ones are double yolks (which sometimes make their way up into my refrigerator!)....and the little ones are too small to grade, so they are boxed....

Boxes of cull eggs....lots of them the first week. We had to be up to 15% of production before we kept eggs at all....we're there now, though!!

This is the storage racks I got for the egg room at Sam's! They're just perfect for holding all of the tools and supplies we use in the egg room.....and in the houses, actually.

Stay tuned...I'm going to be quilting soon, I'm having MAJOR withdrawal!!
We just got some new flooring for our house, though, wanna see it, too?? Okay, but only if you PROMISE not to look too closely at my house...I have furniture stuffed everywhere. We had to clean out the great room in order to put the new flooring in (which isn't wood, it's called Earthscapes....a really thick, heavy vinyl flooring).....I'm getting it all back in place....slowly!
Isn't that a GREAT place for the quilting frame?'s blocking the walkway that goes between the fireplace and the kitchen (there's a hallway behind it, it's blocking that, too!).....the quilting frame normally "lives" in the great room, so out it had to come....I've found an even better location in the great room, now, though, it will be a lot more accessible, so I might even use the darling frame!! :)
Well, I'd better get back to putting things away...either that or sleeping, I might need to do that sometime tonight, too.....LOL...
Until we chat again,

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The chickens have ARRIVED!!!!!

YaHoo! The birds have landed.....and in BIG numbers...

There's my hunk-of-a-cowboy husband out there moving the birds up in the house....the ladies are less than cooperative, they're thinking this is a nice area to hang out.....

Looky, we found food!! Two very independent chickens find the feeders in record time!!

In these "sexy" boots is my cowboy husband waiting to help unload the's quite the amazing process.....

No, this is not my husband...this is the truck driver, who was more than a little bit amused at our EXCITEMENT with chickie arrivals..... who was directing "traffic" while the other truck driver drove the forklift in with each load of birds.....see all the birds, they're everywhere, they're everywhere!!

All Aboard....or should I say all OFF board? LOL...unloading the birds

This process went on....and on....and on....until the houses are full to the brim!!
Shesh! I'm exhausted....I might need to go quilt!! :)
Until we chat again,

Next phase....waiting for chickens...impatiently!

Roper and Rodeo Sweetheart are waiting impatiently, too...."helping" farmer "DAD" put the numbers on the feeders, preparing for the chicken arrival..... I think the Aussie "kids" might just be trying to herd "dad" somewhere else? LOL....gotta love this pic!

This would be my cowboy husband putting up the numbers on the the feed truck drivers know which feeder needs more food for our little know, the chickens!

I backed up a bit to get a better shot...farmer husband at work...with his trust truck at his side....where are those dogs??

Isn't this cool!! I have absolutely NO idea what this is...looks like a tank of sorts, huh!!?? Actually, I have been educated now (I went and asked Wes, my darling, intelligent husband!)'s a water tank.... These chickens drink a lot of water!!!

Here's the entrace to the egg room, which is smack dab in the middle of the building....the building is 840 feet x 40 feet, so yep, its a big'un! :)
Still waiting on chickens....pending arrival......actually they're late now.....
Until we chat again (which will be in another minute or two, I have to catch up!!).....

FINISHED chicken houses....

Those are actually the egg tables up in the air above the head of my husband...who is hard at work! NO, he's not a munchkin...the table is up really high in the air....the reason for that is because the belts are all hooked up to the nests, which are high up in the air until it's time for the girls to get down to business and lay some eggs!!
This cool looking thing is the computer system that will get us up in the middle of the night if the environment isn't perfect for our little devils...I mean angels...the chickens! Seriously, this is one extremely well organized system....the birds lay better under certain environmental conditions, and this computer is set up to tell us (via a telephone call to our home number, cell numbers, etc.) if the conditions are not optimal. Eggs=money, we're all for excellent laying conditions!

And...this is the house all ready for the chickens....those red things in the air are actually rooster feeders. The hens (girls) arrive first....and 1 week later, we get the roosters. The hens will start laying eggs in a few weeks after that. Once the roosters have arrived, down come the rooster feeders to keep the guys happy and hearty!!

This is one impressive chicken house...and it ought to be for what it costs! OUCH! At the end of the house are tunnel fans and a big garage door opener to get in and out of the house with forklifts for delivery of chickens....and tractors after the chickens are done and we need to clean out the place. Yes, for you yankee gals, that is RED DIRT!! :) was new to me, too, growing up in northern Illinois where the dirt is's not black here!! :)

And this is another closeup pic of the nice clean bedding on the floor of the chicken can see the nests high up in the air right now. The nests will be brought down for laying time in a few weeks, and will go right on the white flooring you can see....pretty cool, huh!

That's one long chicken house...and it's less than 1/2 of it!! SERIOUSLY!!

Here's a nice shot from the attempts to show just how long this is....840 feet x 40 feet....

And from a can see almost 1/2 of the chicken house with the feeders in place....

This is the generator shed with the diesel tank next to it....along with the entrace to the chicken house....welcome to farmland U.S.A.!

The houses are done.....and soon the birds will be arriving......(okay, they're already here, but I have to build up the'll have to wait for the next blog!! Which is coming right up....
Until we chat again (in a few minutes!)....