Well, it has been a while since I have reported on the comings and goings of the farm, so here goes.
The baby chickens are growing like bad weeds (see the newest photos). They are around 9 weeks old and are outside in the “Bitchin’-Chicken Tractor” that Eric made a few weeks ago. We utilized the house the ducks conveniently never used and built an enclosed run onto that. It has worked great and protected them well! And of this, we are certain.
Speaking of the biddies… we have our first broody hen. Beatrice has been sitting on her nest for about 2 weeks solid, so in another week or so, we should know if we are going to have more babies to contend with. She is sitting on both silky and game hen eggs, although we are not particularly hopeful for the silky eggs. Silky-E-Smoov had been gone about 2 weeks when Beatrice went broody, so I snuck them in on her. (They are supposed to be fertile for up to 3 weeks after the last insemination – if he was doing it right!) We candled them today but could not see much. We will wait and see what happens over the next few days and update accordingly.
On Thursday, I FINALLY caught the evil critter that had decimated our silky population. The varmint got Ms. Opal and Silky-E-Smoov (both R.I.P.) and attacked Matilda – but she has come through with just some lost feathers and war wounds. The rest of the flock, the Olde English Game birds are unscathed. Oh… and said varmint turned out to be an OPOSSUM which we relocated over to some adjacent game lands.
The donkeys are doing fine. They have been frolicking as much as donkeys can frolick in all of the lush goodness in the pastures. When they realize that the hay is not coming because we are done coddling through the winter, they are in hog heaven. And apparently they have a found lots of poison ivy to rub on themselves and lovingly share with us every chance they get. Such little darlings!
They are shedding copious amounts of fur these days so we are holding off on shaving them.
Well the duck situation is in fluctuation. We think that one of our females has flown away. We like to think that the spring ‘brutilization’ rituals in the duck kingdom drove her away to the safety of the nearby game lands. So in theory we have three ducks. But we only see the third one bird, Stephen, about once a week. Perhaps he splits his time between visiting our ducks and visiting Scott in the game lands. Ya… that is what I like to believe. But they are getting really big (and looking quite delicious.
The cats are still in the ‘severely obese’ category according to the vet so they are on a diet and they are really quite pissed off about the whole thing
The garden is coming along.To be honest, no where we have ever lived has had decent soil or even marginal soil and here is no exception. So I am doing the absolute best with what I have to work with. Luckily we have no shortage of manure around here so my compost bin is coming along and I cannot wait to put my first batch into the garden.
I have had squash (zucchini & yellow squash) in the ground for about a month and finally saw the first baby yellow squash. The tomatoes are growing slowly but surely. The tomatoes are coming along, too. I have had my onions and potatoes in the ground for a couple of months and seem to be making it. Peppers are growing in the greenhouse and I hope to plant them out in the field in the next week or two.
The newest addition is HOPS. Eric bought 25 hops rhizomes this year (5-Glacier, 10-Cascade, 10-Chinook) and I had actually dug up some Chinook and Centennial from our house in Cary and moved them. We got all in the ground last weekend and I am going to get my trellis system up soon. (I want to make sure that they actually grow before I go to all the trouble of trellising.
Thanks for checking in! Back to work…