Category Archives: Chicken

Whoo hoo!

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Yesterday it was nice enough outside to go out into the garden and get some work done! Not much, but I did succeed in separating last year’s garlic and transplanting it. I also planted two rows of basil at the far end of the tomato box – a lovely mix of lemon basil, purple basil, Genovese basil and others.

I also set out the plants that were started in our bathroom “grow house” – giant pumpkin, 3 varieties of tomato, bell pepper, marigolds, malva and aster. I set them in the barn aisle, so that they were not in direct sun or wind – I did leave them out there overnight (doors closed, of course) so they’d acclimate to the cooler weather. The pumpkins were looking wilty this morning and the marigolds were kind of leaning. Hopefully they’ll come back around once they are transplanted in the fertile, horse manure-laced soil outside!

Here is a quick look at some of what has been happening in the garden:

A purple coneflower (echinacea) nestled against a border of German chammomile.

 

Snap peas sprouting adjacent to our wedding trellis.

 

The surprise peony! Growing in the middle of a group of Iris!

 

The transplanted garlic, at the near end of the tomato box... mmmm! My fave!

 

Additionally, the hens have been laying about 9 eggs per day, including 2-3 pretty blue-green Aracauna eggs! We collect our eggs daily and they go straight to the refrigerator. On the days we forget, the eggs go to the garbage… better safe than sorry!

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Chicken nipples and worm poop?

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A few weeks ago I ordered 3 chicken automatic waterers – commonly referred to as “chicken nipples”. Ultimately, what it boils down to is the equivalent of a guinea pig waterer for chickens. I set one up yesterday for the chicks and was so pleased that they caught on in about 2 minutes. Once they discovered the little silver pin gave them a “treat” they went to town!

Another pleasant surprise was that the chickens have been busy laying eggs again… I’ve just been too busy to notice. It is the time of year where the coop needs to be cleaned out, and the chickens have been laying them on the floor. During the week we have to restore the nesting hay every few days… and this job has been neglected as of late. I am also going to be changing the bedding to wood shavings for them once the cleaning is done.

In the garden – I finished repotting several more of the tomatos… and I am hoping that the overwatered seedlings that I started come back around. In my research about overwatering, I discovered “compost tea”… which looks like more work than what I’m willing to put in currently. However, I went to the local feed and grain store and found “Earthworm Casting Tea Bags”. It is completely organic. We shall see how this works! I will be misting the tomatos with this ucky (think: worm poop) concoction. I’ve heard it helps give the plants more nutrients, and it is actually good on the leaves, too! I always thought that getting the leaves wet would cause problems… apparently I was wrong! Can’t wait to see how well it works!

Fun!

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Just placed an order with a relatively local breeder of Black Copper Maran chickens. Sometime in May we should be getting 4 adorable chickies who will grow up to lay beautiful dark, reddish-chocolate brown eggs. That is, if we get hens.

Black Maran Roo:

Pretty - not too spectacular, but pretty!

Black Copper Maran Hen:

Love the striping on her head and neck feathers!

 

Maran eggs:

Look at how gorgeous these eggs are!

 

Our current flock consists of one Comet Roo, two Comet Hens, four Barred Plymouth Rock hens, four Black Australorp hens, three Auracana hens, and two Rhode Island Red hens.

Speaking to the hubby today, we are considering replacing part of the coop ceiling with plexiglass to allow more light into the coop in the winter months without having to provide artificial light. Hmmm… it would also mean that we would only need to buy culk – not shingles! Also looking into other ways to improve upon our chicken-tending 🙂

Garden planning, etc…

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I am just so excited and anxious about this year’s garden. I desperately want our home-started heirloom seeds to survive until we can harvest lots of yummy treats from them!

I think that my “to do” for tomorrow is going to include going into the mucky garden and trying to rake up some of the unwanted weeds that survived through the winter.

I’ve been racking my brain, trying to recall all of the perennials that I planted last year, and I was excited to go out to the garden and find the “reminder” skeletons of all of the beautiful plants that we had.

The rhubarb is starting to sprout! Beautiful, bright pink “balls” of leaves are sprouting! The Garlic Chives are also sprouting – they look like a bunch of bean sprouts! Other perennials in our farden include Thyme, Creeping Lemon Thyme, Provence Lavender, Hidcote Lavender, Pineapple Sage, Tri-Color Sage, Oregano, Mint (spearmint and peppermint, cleverly tucked into their own pots to prevent and overgrowth), Lemon Balm (for tea), Chamomile, Bee Balm, Purple Cone Flowers, Shasta Daisy, Purple Penstemmon, Irises, Grape Vines, etc.  

New perennials to the garden this year? Striped Malva, and a variety of gorgeous peonies! I love peonies! I started seeds of pretty, unique creamy white marigold seeds, and they have turned our bathroom into a grow-light mini-jungle!

This year’s garden is involving much more thought and planning. I am analyzing where things are more, considering moving some things – not just for aesthetic purposes, but also for practical reasons! The marigolds are not just for beauty, but also to help keep pests away from the tomatoes – apparently bugs don’t like the scent! Not only are we going to have a functioning garden, we are going to have one that is colorful and vibrant!