Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Despite the Rains...

The skies opened Sunday night and it has been raining off and on since. The ducks and geese are in heaven with the soggy situation, everyone else: not so much. Myself included. I have things to do outside and this rain is helping neither my mood nor motivation. In addition, the wet ground creates a very nasty scent and makes the chicken coop really unpleasant to be near. Sean and I spread some hay to cover the muddy mess. This made it more pleasant for the chickens walking about and also had the added benefit of eliminating the foul odor. At least, temporarily.

While caring for chicken chores on Sunday morning, I had quite a surprise. Amidst the cacophony of 2 geese honking, 13 ducks quacking (including Gillie, who takes her breed of Call Duck quite seriously), and nearly 60 chickens clucking, I heard a tiny, single, little "peep, peep, peep" emanating from somewhere. At first, I thought that the last chicken egg hatched from our first clutch of 10 eggs, but then, I remembered that I had Sean dispose of the last un-hatched egg the previous evening. There were no goose eggs being set upon any longer, either. This meant only one thing, either one of the chicken eggs (being set upon my some confused ducks) hatched out or the duck eggs were finally hatching. I called Sean over to help me investigate. Sure enough, one of the Black Swedish ducklings hatched. We decided to leave it with the broody duck caring for it until after we returned home from Sunday worship and could properly situate the new one into our brooding box.

The ducks are still stubbornly sitting on multiple nests. We have five nests full of eggs being set upon right now by broody ducks. Besides the nest of the only duck to hatch any ducklings so far this year, two ducks have laid claim to a HUGE nest of 20 or more eggs and they are sharing incubation duty. One duck began a nest outside, in the corner between the duck house and the fencing. And, Caitlin (the goose) scared off the last broody Momma duck and claimed her nest for herself to sit upon. As long as the eggs are being incubated, this would not necessarily be a problem, but she is systematically expelling developing eggs from the nest each day! Sean and I candled the eggs Caitlin pushed out of her stolen nest and put any that were developing and still warm under a broody hen. This cannot be allowed to continue and makes removing Caitlin and Justin from the chicken yard a priority! To summarize: We have a broody goose sitting (and expelling) duck eggs, we have a broody duck sitting on both chicken and duck eggs, there are 2 ducks sharing nesting duties, and a broody chicken sitting on rescued duck eggs! I guess it is really true that it takes a village! With all this craziness to track, I just hope some ducklings actually hatch since I have orders pending and only 1 duckling so far to fill them!

We settled the sole duckling into the brooder with the 2 goslings and they were immediate buddies. When the goslings drank water or ate their grain, the duckling followed along and learned to eat and drink from the containers, too. They are very sweet to watch and snuggle with, for sure!

Also, on Sunday night, we were able to find a home for Reddy Roo and the last Partridge Cochin Rooster with a family from a neighboring town. They lost their rooster of 4 years over the winter and had been looking for a replacement for their hens. That leaves 8 roosters for us to find homes with hens to protect and romance. We'll take 3 Americauna roosters and Barred Rooster to the Farm Swap in Bangor on Saturday and maybe they will also find suitable homes.

Monday was quiet around here. Sean and I both had to work and it rained steadily, so not much happened on the farm. Today was a different story. After the girls got on the school bus and Sean left for work, I spent my morning making 3 gallons of milk into a big batch of cheddar cheese. Then, I used the left over whey to make a container of ricotta cheese. While the cheddar was being pressed and the ricotta hung, I made up 3 trays of fresh Lally Broch Farm Goat's Milk Soap in the scents of Jasmine, Maine Woods, and Citrus-Mint. These need to cure for a bit, but they should be ready to use by July 1st.

We have thankfully been selling out of our soaps regularly. Which means, I need to make more to keep up! That will be easier to do in the months to come since I will finally be making Lally Broch Farm products my main source of income beginning in August. Sean will be keeping his regular job while continuing to work the farm as we've been doing. It is so exciting to see our hard work paying off and completely TERRIFYING, too. So much can go wrong, it is easy to dwell in the land of "what if." But then, what if cuts both ways. What if we are able to live modestly from the farm products we make and Sean is someday able to focus on it full time, too? What if we succeed and are able to spend crucial time home with our teenagers before they set out on their life's path? What if....

Back to today, Sonja!

Today, we have a few of our 5 oz (approximately) bath bars of goat's milk soap still available for purchase at $7.25/bar at our Etsy Shop. We have the following bars of soaps available:

From our Regular Line
Lavender: 3 bars (ready to use now)
Cinnamon Spice: 3 2 bars (ready to use now)
Peppermint Stick: 6 bars (ready June 1, 2013)
Maine Woods: 8  6 bars (ready July 1, 2013)
Citrus-Mint:  8  6 bars (ready July 1, 2013)
Jasmine: 6 bars (ready July 1, 2013)

Limited Supply Special Scents*
Baby Powder: 3 bars (ready June 1, 2013)
Dragon's Blood: 7 bars (ready July 1, 2013)

*We do not plan to carry these scents regularly at this time. These limited supply soaps were made from free essential oil  samples sent from our soap oil supplier with our order for organic coconut and palm oils. Each time a sample scent is sent to us, we make a limited run of those soaps. When they run out, they are gone. They may be available again, maybe not. So if you see one you want, get it while you can! ♥

Have you entered the Farm Chit Chat Give-Away Contest, yet? Here is your chance to win a bar of soap or your very own Lally Broch Farm Mosiac Eggshell Pendant valued at $25.00. To make it super easy, you can clickity, click, click on the link above or enter below for your chance to win one of the fantastic prizes FCC is offering. There are 2 separate give-aways being hosted with a total of 10 prizes to be won on June 1, 2013, so be sure to enter both!

Here is the first:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And, this is the second:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much for visiting today, friends! I am so glad you are here. ♥
Sonja ♥


  1. Awww that video is cute! They seem to be doing well. It's so exciting that you'll be able to work on things on the farm full time soon! I bet it is a little bit scary and exciting at the same time! Congrats :)

  2. They are precious! I am so excited for you to be doing your farm products, and artistic creations full time in the not to distant future. I know my beautiful nieces will be the perfect students, and truly appreciate the wonderful education you will be providing them.