Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Alaska In March

We were blessed to be able to take a quick trip to North Pole Alaska a couple of weeks ago to visit family again.  I Thought you might enjoy seeing what's going on the month of March in the arctic.  There was still snow on the ground but the temps hovered around 0, the coldest that it got that week was -5.  The McEwen household is a busy bustling place of home schooling, birthing of baby lambs and goat kids. Andrea spent every night sleeping on the couch and getting up hourly to check on expectant mothers.

twins are born

So soft and sweet!

Sheep, goats and poultry do well here even with the harsh long winter months.

This is Brody's seven year old Blue Laced Red Wyandotte hen Whisper from Chicken Scratch Poultry.  You can also see Whisper on our website from her younger years as a blue ribbon winner at the fair in Fairbanks Alaska.

The dog mushers race was on Sat. March 19th so we took a ride out to the Musher Lodge to check things out.  It was very cold that day and Larry and I were not dressed appropriately for dog mushing and about froze our butts off.  The dogs were so excited, you could tell they absolutely loved what was about to happen!     

My hands and face got so cold I would have paid anything to get 
this guys beaver gloves and hat from him.

This beautiful little girl was snug and warm in her fur lined sled. 

It was neat to see all the different fur hats, boots, coats and gloves that the locals wore.  

The fur action was going on before the dog race. Lynx sold for about $400, fox $300, wolves $500, martins sold for around $100. 

All the trucks are equipped with dog boxes that held several dogs.

After the dog races we headed over to check out the ice fishing a Chena lakes.  We drove right out onto the lake to watch the fishing.  There were several tents and sheds set up for fishing.  We spotted a guy cleaning trout, they are very tiny trout though.

This guy was nice enough to open his tent flap and allow us to watch for a minute. 

He had a small heater inside the tent and it was surprisingly warm inside.   He has a camera that he lowers into the ice hole to watch the fish.

This is one of the fishing sheds.  You can rent them by the day and they will drill the fishing hole for you.  That's on my list for next year.

Hope I didn't bore you to death.  It such a beautiful place with so much to do and see no matter the time of year or season.
Have a Blessed day!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Getting Ready For Chick Season / Chicks For Sale

It's that time of year again, hatching season!  It's a hectic busy time but I'm looking forward to it. We've had December, January and February to rest up and get ready to hit the ground running once again.  Before we hatch the first chick of the season there's work to be done to insure that we hatch the healthiest chicks possible.

The first place we begin is in the incubators and hatchers.  The photo to the left is one of the hatchers, we have three of this size and two large incubators twice the size of the hatchers.  We clean them all thoroughly and then a disinfectant is sprayed on and left to dry.  One of the worst possible things you can do to chicks that are hatching, is to let them hatch in a unclean hatcher or incubator.  The problem with this is, the newly hatched chick has an umbilical cord that disconnects from the egg sack just as it hatches and the abdomen can be slightly open at hatch time, once the chick dries off it seals up and you don't see that.  If you hatch them in a dirty hatcher or incubator the chick can get an infection in the abdomen, it might not kill the chick at that time but they will be birds that never thrive and are always unhealthy and unproductive.

The next place the chicks go once they're hatched is into the brooder house.  We have two stacking brooders in here.  Larry has disassembled the brooders, washed the brooders house walls and floors and sprayed with a disinfectant.

Power washing the stack able brooders.

Once the brooders are thoroughly  washed he sprays them with the disinfectant and allows them to dry completely.

Once the brooders are competently dry and the heaters are running, the babies are ready to move into the brooders and another busy chick season begins.

We are still taking chick and started  young pullet orders at this time.  We are not shipping the chicks yet, we won't start shipping until we see warmer weather.  Our egg production is still very low at this time but the girls should be kicking it into high gear as soon as they see some steady warmer weather.  Our temps have been on a roller coaster ride in our area this has the hens a bit unpredictable with the laying.
If your interested in placing a chick order head over to the website
Hope you have a blessed day!