Thursday, April 29, 2010
We got our chicks! We ordered 30 pullets (hens) getting 10 of the following Cinnamon Queen, Americana and Silver Laced Wyandottes. All are good egg makers and meat chickens. We made our own brooder from a wardrobe box, metal supports and 2 kinds of metal mesh. We used our camera stands to hold the warming lights stable over the cage. The cage is cat proof for now in our basement.
When we placed all 30 chicks in the brooder box we realized that we have too many. So we gave away 8 chicks to a friend who's hens eggs did not hatch for her this month. She was overjoyed to have baby chicks.
We are planning to raise the rest. We will post photos as they grow up and eventually move outside with the adults in 6 weeks.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
We poured out the red nectar that came with the hummingbird feeder since they were not eating it. We mixed 1 part sugar to 4 parts water, boiled then cooled then poured into the feeder. Bingo, we have happy hungry hummers fighting to feed. It is a blast having them fly over our heads to get to the feeder. And they also chirp loudly when flustered by other hummers about the feeder.
Last week we proudly put up our hummingbird feeder. We bought the special red nectar and waited. Hummers came but did not eat. So we looked up why. The red stuff taste terrible to the birds. They only want sugar and not the red dyed stuff. So we poured out the red nectar stuff, cleaned the feeder and boiled 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. This new clear nectar we made has been a hit with the humming birds. They sit and eat and bring all their friends.
That is the question we pondered as we tried to deal with our dead rooster. Our red rooster was killed two weeks ago by our other rooster. We learned you should only have one rooster per flock of so many hens; this prevents fighting and death.
In rural areas you have a "dead pile" to let mother nature take care of disposing of dead livestock.
Coyotes, vultures, rats, skunks etc. will all snack on a dead pile. Our neighbors all told us to take a carcass out into the woods far away from the house. So we took dead rooster out to the edge of our field to be consumed by nature; or so we thought.
Then we noticed our dog next to a dead chicken on the lawn. Yep, it was zombie chicken back from the dead pile. Osa, our dog, was trying to bring it back home. So this time as the sun was setting we hiked back into our woods to bury the zombie chicken. But it seemed our dog might want to bring it back again. So we treed the rooster. Put zombie rooster in a tree fork and hoped nature will find it and take care of it for us for the second time. Zombie chickens smell really bad. I guess in spring time predators are full and pass on zombie chicken.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Here are shots of my garden. We have lettuce, lavender, tomatoes and basil. And the rhubarb just stays green all year long. The strawberries are under the cage. The deer came and cleaned me out of my red berries last night; not even a single hoof print. So I have caged up the berries until they can grow back.
My English Roses came in via David Austin Roses. I rushed to make the rose bed and thought I was done. Then I realized I needed to prevent the soil and mulch from washing down the hill in the rain storm. So I spent 4 hours collecting local rocks from my land. The Ozark land is full of rocks and are very easy to find. Just moving the rocks takes time, uphill and down hill. I got a workout. Time to drink some cold iced tea and rest.
Today after the rains ended, I noticed these strange orange "ornaments" hanging from my cedar tree. They look like some kind of orange octopus and are 2-3 inches in diameter. They hang from the end of the limbs and some is on the branches. Wondering what they might be?
Friday, April 23, 2010
My latest sewing machine adventure is trying to fix a friends broken Minnesota Model A treadle. It seems some kids were playing with it and broke the treadle. We were able to find a welder in town who works in bronze. He said he will join the broken cast iron and make it whole again. Then we need to find a wood worker to make a new shaft. The old original one just came apart from dry rot and use. I need to find a single metal wheel to replace the missing one, but it was too large, back to hunting. We did find the original needles for this treadle and they still make the treadle leathers, too. I will update as we get this old treadle up and running again. It takes a small town to fix a treadle.
Spring is about renewed life. Tree are growing new leaves and the baby lambs born. My husband A. and I got to see newborn lambs at a greenhouse in Cabool, MO called Country Petals. The owner raised lambs for meat and wool, weaves fibers and runs a greenhouse during the growing seasons. We got to touch and smell fresh lambs wool, smelled like wax crayons and grass. And we were happy to learn these lambs get to keep their long tails.
Here is my friend and neighbor Nancy trying out the Co-Op tire swing. These are made from recycled tires and reused as swings and horses. But the tire horse were sold out. These are a lot of fun and last for years. And they have a rubber guard around the tree branch to protect the tree from all the swinging.