Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Rooster out, rooster in, and good fortune.

Things are moving very quickly right now with the Lady of the House very busy with getting working on her art as she's got a show going this next weekend. With all of that, that doesn't mean things have slowed down around the homestead. I'm going to start with the things that are quick first.

First things first, behind me to my right (the left of the photo) is our sunchokes. We weren't sure when to harvest them, but I think it was probably long before now! they seem to be thriving, and I'm sure next year we'll have plenty of them to work with.

In other news, today I bred Dawn's Daughter with Herbie of all bucks. I was surprised he successfully bred a doe, but we'll see what comes out. I really hope he comes through, and it's a big litter of good looking healthy babies. This is the last chance for him to continue living with us, so here's hoping it's great. I'm going to be trying for a second breeding this evening, and seeing if any other does that refused this morning will go ahead and breed this evening. I'm hoping to get a couple other does bred before we're too busy for the weekend to take care of them. We'll see, as a rabbits mood isn't mine to determine, and I'm not going to force them to breed any more than I do by controlling when does are exposed to bucks. The kits are going to be ready to butcher shortly, so we're going to be back in rabbit meat which is always a good thing after a while without.

First of the other very busy things that have been going on, Mr. Bond and a pair of the chicks disappeared, we assume eaten by something. That left us with 2 Cinnamon Queen, 1 australorp, 4 mixed chicks, and 1 leghorn chick with no rooster. The pale Cinnamon Queen to the right in this photo is the one who's been in charge. One of the things that you may notice in the background is that there's a rooster, though it's not a good photo of him. We were very fortunate this weekend, and the rooster is part of it. A friend who's been very helpful in the past has a friend with a minor, and somewhat unusual problem. She had too many turkeys, and so we happily took in the two turkeys too many. She also happened to have this rooster that needed a home since he couldn't stay with her. Right now he's still scared, and boy does he move fast! It's tough to get good photos of him right now, but he's a gorgeous Welsummer Rooster. I hope once he's full grown and no longer freaking out he'll cake control of the flock, and keep them together. Right now they're all over the place, and he's wandering around with the chicks since the adult girls beat him up.

The big thing though, pun partially intended, is the turkeys. If we thought that the chickens were our little dinosaurs, turkeys are much more so. These two are just adolescents, barely older than chicks. They already fly quite well, and I actually discovered a spot in the coop that wasn't well secured. Fortunately they didn't get out, but that's thanks to quick reactions more than quality construction! The hole is now blocked, and they're more firmly contained. Right now their primary place they spend time is as you see in the picture Above, is the sill of the ventilation window on the West side of the coop. I'm thinking about what I can do to reduce the gross factor from them pooping up there a lot. Obviously I need to get a perch in there that they can sit on instead of the sill itself. Apparently turkeys are very tamable, and can be very friendly. I'm sure it'll take a while to get them there as right now they're scared of us since it's a new home, and I helped grab them and toss them into cat carriers. Turkeys are going to be a whole new learning experience for us. I hope that one is male, and the other female, if they're both male, ahh well, Thanksgiving and Christmas it will be. If they're mixed, we'll let them live and breed next year. I'm going to have to do a bit of thinking because apparently turkeys don't really go back into their coop in the evening like Chickens do, they have to be herded, or they'll end up in the trees which isn't really what we want.Always more to learn, and that's part of the fun. As a heads up, below the picture of the damsel fly here is a spider photo for those of you who are phobic.

One of the things that comes up a lot around the homestead that I don't discuss as much is bugs. I mean that in the broad sense, not the scientific sense. Since I got a really good photo of a some sort of fish fly, and managed to get some photos of a dark fishing spider with her egg sack I figured I'd talk about bugs. We have a lot of bugs around the property for obvious reasons. The fact that we don't use insecticides of any sort on the plants probably drastically increases our variation in bugs. Our primary encounters are with wasps, but we aren't going to be photographing those, they get a little aggressive about their camera shy tendencies. For the most part our yard seems to do very well self regulating bug wise, though that probably has as much to do with the chickens and our regular flycatcher visitors as the bugs themselves. At some point I'd love to learn enough about insects to do a real survey of our yard bugs, and make it a better environment for insects. As is, I'm happy to see sensitive species like a fish fly out and about in our yard. The spiders are obviously good, but I know the Lady of the House isn't a huge fan of seeing more of them, especially since they are big.

I hope to have a post for you Thursday, if not, see you in a week.

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