On the up side right now we mostly have to worry about where to put the small person, and how to clothe them/prevent them from making a body fluid covered mess of everything in their general vicinity. So far I feel like we're about as prepared as we're going to be, especially given that everyone tells me that we're not going to be ready when the critter does arrive. So, in long, sorry for some slightly scattered and probably delayed posts!
Back to the animals and farm stuff. We had a pair of not so good things happen. First, Streak lost all 4 of her litter. She had hay and had built a nest with some fur. She'd had a nest in the nesting area last time, but this time there were kits scattered around the hutch, not together, and cold by the time I found them. I don't know when in the 12 hour period since I'd last checked they showed up, but that was a disappointing loss. I'm going to improve the nesting areas before we breed her again, and if we have time tomorrow I'm going to re breed her then and try to get a last "catch up" litter. Especially given that we've been using rabbits as they're ready to eat this year. That said, we do have some reserve stock, and a lot of pre made meals in the freezer.
The other unfortunate thing that we got lucky with is a freeze. It wasn't a frost, it was a good solid freeze with a layer of ice on every plant. The eggplants are toast, and we need to harvest and use the eggplants from those. The peppers on the other hand are remarkably, ok. I'm still going to be harvesting the peppers at this point. Over all our peppers didn't do quite as well as we'd like, but we have a lot of limon peppers that I'm looking forward to drying to add to the remains of our jar from last year. There will be a smattering of other peppers I'm going to be adding which should be good. There's one plant that just started setting peppers last week that I wish I hadn't lost the marker to because I'd know not to try that again outside, and only do it inside. About half of our peppers only set, and didn't finish ripening peppers. The ones that did are the banana peppers, the czech black, serano, thai firecrackers, and limon peppers. Habenero, sweet habenero, red cap mushroom peppers, and ghost peppers didn't set or ripen in time.
We also need to bring in the last of the squash that are still ripening out there, and seem to be doing just fine. We keep forgetting to go out and bring them in during the day, but fortunately the squash are doing just fine out there.
Finally, the chickens. My goodness do they have opinions, and are very independent. They in fact refused to go under cover even when it was pouring rain. We figured the girls would seek shelter during the rain, but no, they just were out and about eating worms and bugs that came out during the storm. By the time we got them to go back in they were all soaked to the bone, but happy. We're also coming to the conclusion that happy chickens are productive chickens. The more out time they get, the more eggs we get, and we've been getting an average of 6 a day with many days being 7 a day. One of the things I wish the chickens would stop doing is going to the bathroom in their nest box. As you can see they lay a lot of eggs, and poop in the same area. It comes down to that they're roosting on the edge of the nest box and the shelf rather than the roosting bar we have in there for them. Not sure why, but it sure does make a mess! It's a mess we're happy to deal with though given that it is a really nice thing to have eggs regularly.
Signing off for now, we'll see if there's a post Thursday! If not, we'll get one up ASAP!