Egg Chart, Identifying Various Problems

Buff Orphington

Here’s a handy chart from the Poultry Site that identifies the egg problems you might be seeing among your laying hens.

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Murray McMurray Hatchery, Online Catalog

This is a great place to buy all your poultry needs. Great products, service, and a huge selection of chicks, including hard to find rare breeds.

Now you can view the entire catalog online – one page at a time.
Shipping Chicks, How it all Works

TBN Ranch, The Seven Year Makeover

Before and After Pictures of TBN Ranch 2004-2011

Seven years ago we sold our newly built cookie cutter home in a residential neighborhood to buy the house of my dreams.  We traded cathedral ceilings, a sparkling pool and gorgeous appliances for a move-in ready horse property. I guess we failed to see the harsh reality that TBN Ranch was going to need some sprucing up. Oh, and some major repairs.
Today I’m happy to say we have indeed made progress, thought I’d share the before and after pictures of this ongoing makeover. All I have to say when looking at the before pictures is WHAT WERE WE THINKING???

Below: The TBN ranch house up-trade in 2004

Above: It took three years to rid the house of it’s stark white and ugly aqua trim. The garage was an obvious add-on, not to code, and with wood siding that was falling off. The swamp cooler didn’t work, and that dinky two ton AC unit was ancient and inefficient.

Below: The newly painted ranch house. The garage has been repaired and the wood siding replaced with stucco.  The AC unit on the roof has been replaced with a four ton unit and the swamp cooler removed. It was not a surprise the house needed a roof, but we didn’t expect to find three layers of shingles during the tear off. Nevertheless, it’s all done now and what a difference!

Below is the service drive, what a mess. To the left of service drive was forty feet of river rock that had to be moved so I could have a shoeing bay built, that took a month by hand. It took two dump trucks of sand to level the ground before my farrier could build a suitable place for horseshoeing.

Before

After,  Yes indeed… that is the same service drive!

Below was the yard from hell. It had twenty-seven thousand gopher holes and as you can see somewhat of a lawn. No trees for shade except for that overgrown hideous palm tree.

Below is a current picture of the yard, I planted three beautiful pine trees and an Arbor Vitae tree and called a professional to skin and trim the palm tree. [pictured right]

The automatic sprinkler system of course leaked, but that has been repaired, so the only excuse I have for the poor turf quality is our lovely dogs.

Below: The biggest problem were the weeds by the wash racks. Also, there needed to be secure ground footing atop the concrete slab.

The weeds were an easy fix and have been easy to maintain with a once a year ground service.

Below: There wasn’t any electric in the stable, the ground footing was like concrete, and darn those weeds were everywhere. Also, that Palo Verde tree behind the pens was pushing against the roof and needed to be cut down. All the rail feeders needed to be moved from front to back so they were under cover and out of the sun and rain.

Below is the stable with crushed cinder block footing and each pen has individual overhead lighting. The Palo Verde tree has been removed and the feeders have been placed in the shade.

Below: The interior paddock fencing was pretty sad looking to say the least, and the poles on both sides of the cattle gate were completely rotted. Eighty-five feet of PVC pipe for water to the stable needed to be replaced along the fence line too.

Below: The stable area with a new interior fence that never needs painting and boasts a fifty year warranty! We also put down eighty-five feet of PVC pipe along the fence line to supply water to the stable.

Below: The termite infested tack shed

I hired a handy man to rebuild it, but as you can see in the picture [right] it was rather unsuccessful. We washed our hands of this project and built a new one, a much better one too, with a window and ventilation!

How nice it is to have a roof that doesn’t leak and a floor that’s actually hard.

Below is the new tack shed beauty!

The most resent major upgrade was the pleasant surprise that the septic drain field needed to be replaced. Ouch!

What’s next? Well there’s a to do list a mile long, but that’s another story…

Nature’s Gift

The Arizona skies darken with the sudden formation of clouds teasing the valley with the threat of a summer rain.  The mountains shadowed with their presence gleam with magnificent anticipation.  As the scorching sun singes the horizon, its fiery presence humbly bows beneath the angry sky. Gentle breezes build in strength and the scent of moisture fills the air as droplets of rain sprinkle the sun dried foliage.

The desert floor compromised by drought changes from dingy to brilliant as the clouds spill their joyous contribution to the fruits of life.  The sky rumbles and sparks of light electrify the depths of beyond, changing the peaceful drizzle to a raging downpour. The desert rejoices and the trees wake from dormancy as nature in all its glory weeps tears of joy.