Chop Wood Carry Water Plant Seeds is a blog about Self-Sufficient Homesteading. How can we live by creating a sustainable bio-diverse world, instead of by consuming and destroying the only one we have? What kind of teaching have you got if you exclude nature?

Monday, June 30, 2014

Cock Fight

Cocks fight when they first meet
As you know I have acquired a new cock for my Dansih Landrace Hens and had to remove the Hamburger cock by separating the large chicken coop into two partitions. Today they have faced one another for the very first time and of course they were not happy to see each other ;) They are separated with a wire fence with small holes so they dont hurt each other. I thought they will be jumping at each other but they did only display for a while and then calmed down :) I hope it stays like this otherwise I will have to build a totally separate coop for the Hamburger Hens.
The hens seem to be very content with the new cock :) He is also very gentle with the small chicks.
The "Old Danish Leghorn" hens are a very calm race and very beautiful :)
One of the ducks started laying on the eggs :) maybe we will get a few ducklings in a month :))

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Supporting local small-scale farmer

My wife and I decided to fill our freezer with beef. One local friend found us a small-scale farmer who keeps free-range cows so we made a deal and yesterday we got the meat :) The feeling of getting meat this way is profound! I felt glad and was filled with appreciation for that animal. I can only imagine that for example Native Americans would feel the same after killing the Buffalo and cutting it into pieces for the tribe to feed on.
Such meat has no E-numbers
When you buy food in a supermarket you dont get any feeling at all except the monetary perception of how much does it cost. One takes it, pays for it and goes home to eat it not knowing where it came from, how it was killed, what it was fed with, how it lived, how long it was transported ... We actually saw the fields with cows this one comes from and it was only 6 km away from our farm.
Supermarket meat packed, treated with E-numbers and color enhancers, transported
long distances, over priced, etc ... 

New farm member - Old Danish Leghorn Cockerel

I have 6 Old Danish Leghorn chicken but had no male for them. Now, thanks to facebook, I have found a lady who had one extra male, whom I've got for free :) I love local folk! The hens seem very calm around him and since he is 3 years old he sure knows how to give them space and make them feel secure around him. I was at first worried that he might attack the 2 young chicks since they are not his but he doesn't seem to have issues with them. I wish him all the best on our farm and may he have many offspring of this Old Dansih Leghorn race :) His previous owner told me that it takes 14 days for the hens to use up all the sperm from the previous Cock. So I will wait at least 15 days before starting to collect their eggs for the incubator.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Candling eggs Day 7

It has been 7 days since I started incubating these 14 eggs and today I candled the eggs. 8 eggs are fertilised and are growing well and 6 eggs are not fertilized at all so I removed them. Out of the 8 fertile eggs all are alive. I can tell that because there are many veins visible like a net. I cold not see any blood ring which would mean a "quitter"
Non-fertilized egg is totally see through, no blood veins
Fertilized eggs have many blood veins 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Incubation has begun

I have started with incubating 14 eggs yesterday. This is my first try and its more of a test to get to know the incubator and see how the hatching goes. The humidity is at 49% and temperature steady at 37,5'C. In about 7 days I will candle the eggs to see how many of them are fertilized.
Observation window

World War III

Local farmer sprayed his field yesterday with pesticides while the wind was blowing towards our home  I had to use a mask to protect myself from the smelly pesticide but I had no masks for my chickens, ducks and bees :(
Why do we tolerate Ecocide?!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Our new automatic Janoel 8-48 egg incubator

I have decided to buy an incubator and found one on ebay for a very good price. It can hold 48 eggs. At the moment Im testing the incubator to see if all works well and if it can hold steady temperature and humidity and it seems to be performing just fine :)
This incubator turns eggs every 2 hours automatically
it also has 4 small observation windows so there is less need to open the incubator for inspections
It is advised to use another thermometer to double check the incubators thermometer. As you can see the temperature matches on both thermometers :) Nice. The humidity is steady on 60% I will start with the eggs in about 2 days. So far I collected 11 eggs. I will try and buy some more eggs locally. I will get eggs from Sussex hens I think.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Copenhagen's 3 Hectares School Garden

 My friend Cristian works for the School Garden in Copenhagen teaching school kids kitchen gardening. How great is that; 3 Hectares big kitchen garden with all sorts of fruiting trees and bushes as well as growing vegetables and herbs :) They even keep chickens. Fascinating place and very inspiring indeed and worth visiting.
Lovely DIY greenhouse
... greehouse from the inside. Guess what they used to make the end of he greenhouse?
... they used a wooden old boat :)
One of the many kitchen gardens
huge amount of flowers for pollinators
A Honeybee working a Phacelia flower which is very rich in nectar and pollen
Fine design for a composting toilet :) will make one just like it on our farm
They even keep bees here.