Farm Blog 2010

First Duck Egg
Posted on September 7, 2010
We've been living up in Allentown for about four months now.  We've been busy getting settled and starting renovations.  Our middle group of ducks and chickens are just about old enough to start laying and just this morning we found our first duck egg in the nest box!  We're not sure who laid it, but we think Sweetpea could be the culprit!  Exciting!  Once everyone starts laying, we'll finally have enough eggs to start selling again!

New Location
Posted on June 22, 2010
We moved into our new house with a big yard last week.  And we've already been burglarized and had a fox attack.  What luck!

We have two hens laying right now, so egg production isn't very high.

Our new pickup location is South Side Slopes / Allentown.  Hopefully our customers will still want to make the trip out!

More Chicks!
Posted on May 21, 2010
Carrie Junior is a mother!  Several days ago, her step-eggs hatched out five little Welsummers and Black Copper Marans.   (We only plan on keeping a female of each - the rest are going back to the farm.)   One little Maran hatched late and wasn't fully developed.  It didn't make it.  This brought the joy of the new chicks down a lot.  Carrie Junior is doing a great job, however, showing her new babies how to scratch for food.

We also are the proud parents of a hive of bees!  They seem to be doing well and are out gathering pollen.

House Un-Woes?
Posted on May 5, 2010
We're under contract on a house in Allentown / South Side Slopes!  We're just waiting to hear back from the city about whether they'll sell us the empty lots nextdoor.  Our final decision rests on that and the inspection.

The chicks are doing well.  Sprattle had a riboflavin deficiency, but we got it taken care of with nutritional yeast flakes.

The ducks are growing so fast!  They're already triple their size.  The chicks, on the other hand, are concentrating on feathering out before putting on weight.

Nothing final with the city agriculture regulations, but it seems like we're not going to get everything we want.

New Babies and New House Woes
Posted on April 26, 2010
Last Thursday, a box arrived in the mail with our new baby ducks and chicks!  There was a minumum order, so we went in with two other chicken husbands and ordered twenty-some chicks and ducks!  We got to babysit them for a few days until the owners came to pick them up.  It was fun having a full box of fuzzy babies!  The hatchery sent us an extra chick and an extra male duck (darn), so that's four new chicks and five ducks!  Oh my!

We've also decided to grant our ever-broody hen, Carrie Junior, with her life long wish - to be a mother.  We put four Welsummer and two Copper Maran eggs underneath her.  In 21 days, she'll be the happiest little chicken around!  (What we're going to do with all those chickens is another issue...)

With the warm weather, the chickens have started laying again.  Carrie Junior's not laying right now, so that only leaves two hens to do the work.  Sorry to all of you who have been waiting for eggs!

As for our house/land search, it's looking pretty grim.  Our lease is up in a month, so in order to close on a house in time, we basically need to find something NOW.  We've had two strong leads recently, but both have been foiled by bureaucratic obstacles.  The whole "Side Lot Program" sounds great in theory, but when it comes down to practice, we haven't been able to do a damned thing with it.  We're still crossing our fingers that one of these houses will work out.

Posted on March 19, 2010
Looks like some frat boys spraypainted and released a bunch of chickens at CMU as a prank.  Just awful!

Posted on March 11, 2010
I'm thinking (only thinking!!) about making a documentary about the struggles of urban farming.  City ordinances, finding land, etc.  Hmmm...

House Woes
Posted on March 11, 2010
For about half a year now, we've been searching for a dirt cheap fixer-upper with empty lots to start a small urban farm.  It's been an uphill battle with nothing to show for it.  Just a few days ago, we found a house in Garfield that fits the bill, but fate was playing with us again.  Many of the empty lots were being "held" by a community development organization, which meant we couldn't be sure whether we would ever be able to acquire those lots.  We were still pretty sure we'd put a bid on the house today, but just last night, someone else bought it!!!

Pittsburgh Poultry Meetup
Posted on February 28, 2010
The first meeting of "Pittsburgh Poultry" (of which we are members) met yesterday to ammend the city's proposed ordinances regarding chickens.  The less strict guidelines will be submitted to Grow Pgh who will advise the city planning committee.

Pokey Chickens
Posted on February 27, 2010
With the change in feed and the cold weather, the chickens aren't laying much.   Much to our surprise, we actually have a waiting list for eggs right now!  Apologies to those who are waiting!  It'll be a few more weeks...

Pittsburgh's Regressive Movement
Posted on February 11, 2010
Ruining our dreams one regulation at time:

Support urban farmers by attending the hearing Tuesday, February 16th at 2:00!!!!

Snowed In With No Feed!!!
Posted on February 6, 2010
The blizzard of 2010 has hit Pittsburgh!  The coop has two feet of snow on it and the run is invisible.  We're out of organic chicken feed and it's too snowy to bike to the co-op for grains to mix our own feed.  I have literally emptied the cupboards of all our greens and dried grains and seeds.  Now what do I eat??

Wanted: Egg Cartons
Posted on February 5, 2010
We'll take your empty egg cartons!  Please!

First Egg Sale
Posted on January 28, 2010
I just sold a dozen eggs to my co-worker (soon to be ex-coworker, as my position will be eliminated tomorrow) who saw me working on this site!

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