Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A break for beauty, and a whole lot of chicken changes.

In between the storms that have been rumbling through the area dumping water in copious amounts, and bringing cold temperatures, we've had some gorgeous weather come through. We try to make sure we take the time to enjoy the beauty around us every day, even in the dark days. On days like this though, it's easy to appreciate even the most mundane parts of our home. In this case, even our regular trouble, the driveway, has provided real beauty to enjoy. Even with the pauses for beauty though, we have plenty going on.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Good fortune, and good growth.

Today we have a lovely example of happy accident. Down at the border of the parking area, and the slope we plant on, the Lady of the House planted what turns out to be an Evening Primrose from the seedling swap. The happy accident isn't the planting so much as where it's been planted. Evening Primrose usually blooms in (you guessed it) the evening. Ours blooms all day due to the shade it's been planted in so we've been able to really enjoy it. I'm not usually a flower person, but it's a sweet little flower. Of course lots more is worth noting at the moment.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Asparagus, coop construction, and other concerns.

I am really excited about this, our asparagus has not only sprouted, it's doing well! It's sort of a silly sounding thing to be excited about I guess given everything else going on, but I'm excited about it none the less. Mostly I think because I didn't expect any of them to necessarily survive after some of the heavy rains that came in right after planting. So far only 9 of the 36 we planted have come up, but that's still better than the none that I'd been seeing up 'till now. I'm not sure if any more will come up, and if so, great, if not, we still have some which is better than no asparagus! That said, in a lot of ways that's the smallest thing going on.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Happy rabbits eating greens.

It's the time of year where the rabbits can be fed mostly, if not exclusively on greens from the yard. I've been putting as much greenery in the hutches as I can, though I probably shouldn't have started with the favorites and moved to the less favorite as I have. Favorites right now are plantain and raspberry/blackberry plants. They eat the raspberry and blackberry stems and all, barely anything was left of the stems even except the woody center. I'm being very careful about what goes into the hutches this year because of a couple of reasons. First is last year when I accidentally poisoned a hutch of babies, and caused the deaths of a couple, the other is a friend with rabbits who has recently started having kits die off on her, sounding like poisoning. Being careful seems to work out, and the greens save money And make the rabbits happy at once, double win. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

To my love, and awaiting new life on the homestead

I'm going to start today with some recognition for my lovely wife, the Lady of the House. Today it's been a year and two days of marriage, almost ten years of being together. Without her support in my life not only would the homesteading blog not exist, the homestead wouldn't exist. A lot of what makes my life good is, or is supported by her presence and encouragement. And obviously, without her we wouldn't have our lovely Critter. Really though without her I never would have started homesteading even with the opportunity. Even without that, she's my favorite person in the world, so here's to as many more years together as we can. Below the cut I'm going to go into the rest of what's going on in our world.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thinking about chickens and what we're doing.

Of course on a post mostly about chickens I'm going to start with a bunny photo because they were being adorable when I came out this morning, and wanted attention. Of course, that meant I gave it to them because when they want pettins, I want to give them pettins. They're looking good, growing fast, and eating everything in the world that is provided to them. No wonder they've grown so well with eating how they have. But now over to chicken discussion.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Summer recharge, fast growing chicks, and weed combat.

For all that we sometimes wonder why we are where we are, and think about wanting to leave during the winter, May through October reminds us why we live here beyond just the ideas of why we're doing what we're doing. Some days are just beautiful, and while I'm not a good enough photographer to really capture the appearance of what I wanted to share on the cell phone camera, but it was beautiful. Coming home to this kind of gorgeous lighting in perfect weather is just the kind of thing we need to recharge from stress and fatigue. As you can see, everything is green and bright, and the weeds need more attention which isn't shocking given our time frame this year. I really want to try to make sure I get out and do something about the goldenrod before it flowers this year to try to cut down on how much more grows next year. The other weed that we're having to actively kill this year that I never thought I'd be considering a weed is raspberry and blackberry! On the up side, the rabbits are having some great meals when I just hack down an arm load of raspberry plants and pass them out. So far that's still their favorite treat food which is very entertaining to watch. Even Twilight's nervous babies come out to eat it even when I'm around to interact with them because of how high value of a treat the greens are. I want to feed Goldenrod again because it's everywhere, but I just need to make absolutely sure that it's all goldenrod this time and I don't slip dogsbane or anything like it in with the safe food again.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Growing kits, growing chicks, and another broody hen?

Ok, I'll be honest, the baby picture up front is mostly just because they're cute, and why not. We've been very busy so we haven't done rebreeding yet, but it's time. We need to get that done this weekend so we can have an appropriate number of litters this year. Especially since we're introducing The Critter to solids, and he finds basically anything we feed him delicious. I didn't know such a small person could drink that much milk AND eat that much food!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Quick Hit: More chicken pictures

The Lady of the House had gotten some  great photos of the chicks being sheltered, and out and about yesterday and had promised to share them today. I had to leave this morning without the image files, and with the Critter being up all night I didn't have them 'till just now. So here's more cuteness with chicks than the photo earlier, which I'm including just because
As you can see despite the chicks being adventurous, they're still learning a lot from mom, and not being full sized they still can't handle the weather that we're getting right now without help. I personally love seeing them stick their heads out to look at the world while staying warm with her help. One of the things that's been a constant lately is them going back into the coop without a problem at dusk so I'm not chasing them around. Now that they're relaxing more I want to spend time sitting with them to get the chicks used to me so they don't run from me when I go to pick them up if I have to. It's not something I got to do with the hens we have, but they're still fairly relaxed at this point. Before our next batch of chicks though I do think I need to do something about the ability of chicks to freely enter and exit the run they're in. It'll probably come down to putting more chicken wire around the base, and then piling old wood so it actually blocks them in. It may be a more urgent thing that I'm thinking of right now because as I mentioned earlier today, there appears to be a hen that may be broody, we shall see this evening.

Much needed rain from a misplaced Spring.

The serious rain we've needed has finally come, and now it won't stop! The chickens however are undeterred, though in the times of heavy rain if the chicks and mom don't go inside, she does protect them, and given how independent they've become it's fairly adorable. The chicks have been growing fast, and are feathering out. They're also starting to stray a bit from mom, though still very much within line of sight. I'm excited to see what they turn out looking like. I also need to check because one of the Cinnamon Queens may have gone broody, but I was too tired to bother her this morning.