Friday morning, July 24th, last evening, when we closed the coop, there were 4 baby chicks, one was very questionable, but I thought things would be better in the morning. I came into the coop to find Momma Hen off the eggs with two of her chicks around her. Mr. Bootsie came into see what was going on and he saw two little chicks pasted away in the nest. What a way to start the day. After taking care of things, Momma Hen returned to the nest and began to gather her eggs and chicks. She seemed almost thankful Mr. Bootsie cleaned her nest. This has been the a heartbreaking journey for me, but she seems content to continue.
Bittersweet is what is happening in the coop, maybe, I should have taken control but how many times hens take nest, disappear for days returning with a hatch, I thought this would work. We do enjoy the hatching with the mother hen, when using the incubator there is something missing in the chick's life. This momma hen was in an incubator hatch I did last year. I am wondering if this could be contributing to my problem.
Things are going on in the garden which means there is quite a bit of activity in the kitchen. Canning, freezing and dehydrating. There is quite a bit of food preserved for the winter, now it is time for winter squash to harden and cure. These will be food for us and fed for the chickens and goats. Winter squash are great for preventing worms in chickens and goats. The onions and garlic have dried.
One poplar tree was felled last week and the tree filled one of our wood racks. It appears there will be enough wood for the winter. On the to do list is the chimney cleaning. This is done by a contractor, I just feel much better knowing the chimney has been checked by someone who is knowledge (?) about chimneys.
Cleaning the barn and coop goes on all year around, in the coop over the winter I use the deep litter method which means I just add straw during the winter. Our girls stay outside during the day, we only have the waste from nighttime and this is quite manageable using the deep litter method. I bed in with leaves first and add straw as needed. This adds warmth to the coop as the leaves and straw insulate the floor holding the heat manufactured by the birds in the coop.
Time has come for the eggs of the squash bugs to hatch. Some of the squash plants are on their last leg and this makes a wonderful place for the babies to hide. We have removed and burned a number of old leaves. Some of my plants are so large there is really no way to control things. I grow a number of climbing squash. I spend quite a while in the garden chasing the critters. I use no chemicals in the garden. This is my choice and I feel it is a good decision. I control through hand picking and using other plants to defer the bugs.
Harvested the first brandywine tomato and corn for corn on the cob. I know a little late, but corn on the cob from our garden is a first. Using some of the tomatoes to make pasta sauce. Referred to a recipe I have from Italy and it makes a delicious sauce. Roasting tomatoes and making tomato soup, we are enjoying our harvest.
I am going to plant some fall beets and the last row of snaps this afternoon. Winter garden seedlings are coming on. They are looking for a place to go into the garden. Pulled the first planting of snap plants and the goats are having a picnic. I am going to plant garlic where the snaps were planted. This bed will have a rest for a few days.
We have been busy, weather has kept me from posting this blog, here it is finally and look at how much the baby chicks have grown.
Time for me to check on the garden, I am sure there is something to pick, I shall take my gathering basket and see what treasures I can find. Thanks for stopping by!!!