Tuesday, October 20, 2015

First taste of winter weather.

Soon the fires will be lit, and we will be warmer inside. But first, we have to make sure it's going to be safe for the small person and that he won't get at the stove. We really want to avoid that kind of burn. To get that safe we're going to have to install the gate around the stove, which I should be able to do Thursday, and re-clean the chimney.

Speaking of the Critter, the Lady of the House has been bringing him out with her to feed the poultry in the late afternoon/evening to get them more used to being in the shed. The Critter has been enjoying this to a great degree, in fact he gets very upset if he isn't the one that gets to feed them despite being incredibly inefficient at it. He got so upset last time she went out to feed them with him that she just dumped the food for them that he screamed until she got more food for him to distribute. You can see how happy he is about it. Of course all of the photos of him looking at the poultry didn't come out as well as the one looking back, but he's enchanted with them still which is really fun for us. It's nice to have something that will consistently distract him from what ever bucket of fuss he's currently expressing from. It's an unexpected side benefit of owning poultry.
The chickens in the old chicken coop are doing well, and settling in. We're getting at least an egg a day from the half dozen of them, usually more. That's a nice haul despite the changing light, and them adjusting to the new situation. Two of them are coming off being broody so I don't expect anything from them, and they aren't producing. I'm not sure if the black hen is producing eggs because if she is, she's laying them in the woods. At this point I doubt she is laying anyhow, she's still fairly young.

The turkeys are still enjoying being out and about, but as we get to  the temperatures in the teens and single digits as we did in the last few nights, I suspect  it'll get less tenable for them. I know it's cold when the water bottles aren't just frozen, they're a single block of ice come morning. That happened Sunday and Monday. I'm getting back into the habit of removing the water bottles from the hutches over night so it isn't quite such a process in the morning to do the feeding and watering. Especially since we still don't have a kitchen sink set up, which makes everything less convenient.
Of course between Friday and Saturday when most of the pictures Above were taken, and today the state of the plants have changed significantly. The hard freeze and snow finished off the Swiss Chard, and even did a hard number on the Kale because it was down in the high teens. We're cutting back all of the greens, blanching, and freezing them for use later in the winter when we want fresh (ish) greens.
The anticipated season change has definitely arrived, the snow is a bit early, but it's just a thing that happens sometimes. We'll see whether it's a hard winter as predicted by the farmers almanac, or an easy winter as predicted by some meteorologists. I don't claim to have any insight into future weather beyond when I can smell snow coming. I just try to make sure I'm prepared for weather to change. I'm going to be very busy otherwise this weekend, but I definitely need to get the outside cleared out, snow could be any time.

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