Monday, 24 October 2011

Video of Dick crowing!


Thursday, 20 October 2011

Still No Eggs!!

The hens are just not laying.  I fluffed up their nests, gave them lots of food, lots of scraps, and even gave them flax seed which is expensive! What do they want? Jam on it?  Wait, now there's a thought.  Dad always says that (what do you want, jam on it?). Maybe if I put jam on their bread!  I am actually going to try that tomorrow, to humour myself.  Going to have to go and buy my second dozen eggs in as many years.

Meanwhile, there are still a few carrots left in the ground which I will leave until I need them.  We shouldn't get any serious frost for a while yet.  I have some in my big shed that I picked a few weeks ago, along with the potatoes.  I am not sure if the environmental conditions are ideal but it's the closest thing I have to a root cellar.

Got my walkway on hold for now.  I will have to finish it in the spring.  My elbows are shot anyway, from the heavy lifting I did during the summer.  I will let them heal over the winter.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Photos of some of the harvest.


Not many beans on the go this year.  This is what I managed to pick a few days ago - enough for a meal for about 4 people.  The yellow ones are always good, but the green ones were very tough and woody.  Not bad tasting.  I think it was the variety I planted.  I will try a different variety next year.

Carrots (but you knew that, did you not!)

The carrots grew really well this year.  This was a few I harvested and I left the rest in the ground to pick as i need them.  Last year, I was plucking carrots on Christmas day.  At least dad was, with his yellow rain suit on.  Emily asked him to go and pick some. He did so reluctantly, after she made him put on a pair of rubber boots (that were too small and scrunching up his toes).  She made him put on that yellow duck-suit with the hood up.  He was out there digging carrots, when the chickens came running towards him thinking he had food for them. He tried to shoo them away but the specks of rain were fogging up his glasses and he could not see where he was digging, the chickens were annoying him, and Emily was coming at dad with the hose to clean the carrots.  She inadvertently filled the boots up with cold water, and dad was poisoned when he finally sought refuge inside the back porch again!  I thought the whole ordeal was funny, but I doubt dad did.

Dad picking carrots Christmas Day 2010

If only mom could see him now!

Next (below) is my biggest garlic plant.  I picked it too soon, I think, but it is very fragrant and I think potent.  I think I was supposed to fold down the stems in order for the bulb to enlarge. I was too anxious though and wanted to see how it grew.  I left four more smaller plants in the ground and will probably get them just before the next threat of frost.

Pumpkins! Tiny, tiny pumpkins.  This is the biggest one, and I have three about this size. I should have just plucked the plant and all out of the ground, but I will let it go for as long as possible to see how big it will be by Halloween.  This was a bad year for pumpkins.  Even Lesters Farm had to ship pumpkins in this year as their crop was so bad.

Getting back to the chickens..................................

Inroducing............Rod, the youngest cockerel!
This is the young Ameraucana rooster. Is he not gorgeous!  This is not a very good photo but Rod has beautiful auburn, green, and red feathers.  His legs and claws are really healthy looking and this guy could be a show bird, I think.  The old rooster is Dick, and Graham named this bird Rodney when he was only a tiny chick, before we knew he was a he.

Update on the chickens to come in a few days.  Stay tuned.

Finally! A new Post!!

Well, it's been over a week and I am only now tending to my blog!  Where do I start!  Well, I will start with the chickens!  They have not laid an egg since I left.  Did they miss me?  I don't know, maybe they did!  I would like to think they did, but really, I think they are molting.  I did not know what this was until I Googled a few websites.  Apparently, chickens regularly shed their old feathers and grow new ones.  The hen house is full of feathers, no doubt.  One of the white chickens looks like it was in a fight and had it's butt feathers picked at but I read that this is molting.  They stop laying during this period for 2 to 4 months! I have actually had to BUY a dozen of eggs, if you can believe that!  I haven't seen any signs of molting in the other chickens, but maybe it is just less noticeable because they are all darker.

I wasn't too sure if the lack of eggs was actually molting though, because the seasons are changing now, days are shorter, well, daylight is less (days are still the same length), it is getting colder, and I rearranged the hen house.  The fact that there are now two roosters bothering the chickens made me think the hens were a little stressed too.  Anyway, I laid a dummy egg in a nest there, trying to encourage them to lay.  AND NO, I did not actually "lay" the egg, I "placed" it in the nest! I can do a lot of things, but lay an egg? I cannot.  At least not in that sense of the word.  As I was saying, the dummy egg was to encourage them to lay but to no avail.  I guess I will just have to wait until the molting process is over.

In the meantime, they tell me I just have to keep the hen house clean, make sure their water is fresh and clean, and keep them well fed.  I think I can handle that.

More to photos!