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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Short Shrift.

I had planned on featuring my chickens - who have been getting short shrift around here, except for my gratitude for their outstanding egg-laying ability of late.  When I walked into the coop this morning, camera phone in hand, I was met with one dead-as-a-doornail chicken and another who has been placed on DW (death watch).  Sigh.  It figures - they made it through the rigors of winter, only to keel over from the exertion in the Halcyon Days of spring. 


I will, instead, lead you on a wild and merry chase through my weekend.


Since it was Easter weekend and my presence was expected north on Sunday, I thought I could put in a full day on Saturday.  I am so funny.  I opened my package containing my special T-5 bulbs for my little greenhouse and...they were not the size they were reported to be.  Drat.  I had to drive to the nearest big box (HomeAwayFromHome Depot) store (a good half hour away) to either find a fixture to fit or ... Plan C.  Since I had to leave the house anyway, I decided to drop eggs off at the food pantry, stop at the library and make a run through the transfer station.  I then remembered that I had not gotten my 2017 transfer station pass, so added a trip to the town clerk's office.  Needless to say, half the day was gone by the time I got back home.  There was some frantic planting of onions, cleaning, weeding and mulching of the strawberry bed, and the spring cleaning of the duck huts. 



"After"

This design has worked out well.
I decided to spare you the "Before", but you can tell how bad it was by  the high 'water' mark on the wall of the first pic - biggify to see, if you dare.  You will also notice that the ducks refuse to use the nice nesting box I included in the design of this hut.  It's become their personal latrine.  They always lay their eggs in the same spot.  The girls were so thrilled about their clean digs, that they went in and out three or four times, quacking loudly in delight.  I choose to think it was delight and not, "About time, lady!"


Leggy Seedling Alert!


Herb seedlings
I ended up having to buy separate fixtures and different bulbs for the seedlings.  As you can see on the first tier, the seedlings (lettuce and kale) got all leggy on me because I a) did not have the right light above them and b) had it too far away.  Isn't it good that I took that seed starting workshop?  Geez.  I planted celery in the six-pack next to them and the tray below is planted with oregano (could those seeds be any smaller?  I think not.), parsley, basil, chervil, and cilantro.  There is more seed-starting in store for this weekend.


My favorite view from the kitchen.
Although I'm trying hard not to get too giddy about the onset of spring - it can be so cruel - it's hard not to think that it is finally here and here to stay.  The sun has been out for over two days!  We did have rain, but it was not a gusher and happened overnight.  My favorite kind.  I set up one of the rain barrels and it was filled the next morning.  I am planning on setting up another in the chicken/duck yard.  This, I hope, will save me wear and tear, toting 5 gal. buckets of water from the barn to the back.


Grass!  Dogs!
Even the inside plants are rarin' to get outside!


Over-wintered geraniums

FIG TREE! and Meyers Lemon tree.  Can't wait
until the jungle is outside.
Another sign that spring has sprung?


The last time it will be this clean.
The Nuggets are arriving at any moment.  ***Make that HAVE ARRIVED!***  I have such a bone to pick with the USPS.  I signed up for their text service - which was to alert me by text at every change in status.  I started with "Label has been generated" and there it stayed.  I checked it this morning six or seven times.  Still at the label stage.  Then I got to work, opened my phone and had six messages from the USPS and one from my post office.  Apparently, they magically went from label to delivered in less than two hours!  Amazing!  Spectacular!  Baloney!  I had to call my neighbor to ask him to pick them up and hold them for me.  I can, hopefully, leave early to go fetch them and get them snugged in.  I am not a happy camper. 


I will do a separate post with garden-type pics, once I can get myself out there with my camera.  Not that there is much to see, but at least there is no snow.  Wait.  Can I take that back?  Did I just put the big Hinky Jinky on myself? 

18 comments:

  1. I'm fairly new to chickens. I have four. They have gone through their 2nd winter. What do you think made the chicken ill? I think its good to hear other people's stories to gather bits of useful info, just in case I ever need it. By the way, sorry you lost one and one is sick. I hope she gets better.

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    1. Theresa, I am by no means a chicken expert! Most of the time I have no idea what went wrong - some things are easy to spot: sour crop, egg binding, etc. I usually make sure there is ACV in their water and DE in their nesting boxes and dust bath spots, but I do admit to being lax over the winter.

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  2. What a busy time of year for you! But then, it seems that EVERY season is a busy time of year for you, lol!

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    1. Debra - You are so right! With this lifestyle, I am never bored.

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  3. Susan, I get tired just reading about all you do in a day. I want to have a few hens (can't have a rooster--neighbors would shoot me). But, my cats were feral & I fear they'd attack hens. Spring is so beautiful, but, sooo much work. Do take care & pace yourself. Sandy

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    1. Hi, Sandy! The only reason I have a rooster (other than the crowing, which I like) is for defense of my hens. Not that Bunny is Mr. Macho. He is more Mr. Hysterical. That being said, without a rooster to protect your hens from your feral cats, you're better off not chancing it.

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  4. I'm with Sandy. You get so much done in so little time available to you. Geesh, you put me to shame, girl! Glad to hear your duck huts have worked out. Do you give some of your duck eggs away, too, or just your chicken eggs? The plants you over-wintered inside look gorgeous. I just don't have the space to bring much of anything in in the fall. Gotta change that. Somehow.

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    1. Oh, hahahaha, Mama Pea. As if you sit on your dusty buster for five minutes a day! I give some of my duck eggs away, but find that most people are 'afraid' of them - having never tasted the divine-ness of a fresh duck egg! I know what you mean about space. In the winter, my dining area is the size of a boot box.

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  5. So I'm not the only one with clogged windows? I've got 6 weeks left until stuff can go outside. Looking forward to the day I can see out my windows again.........

    There's a book by Pat McManus that describes what he calls "Sequences" and it pretty much describes your days (well, everybody's days). You start to do ONE THING, and end up with 50 things that have to be done in order to do that ONE THING. So true.

    Looking forward to chick pics!

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    1. Note time on my reply. Insomnia returns.........

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    2. I should have called you! LOL! I can't wait to clear my windows and get my dining room back. But it's still too cold at night to even contemplate it. So THAT's what it's called - sequences.

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  6. I wish I was raising meat birds this year, but Hubby and I decided to wait yet one more year to get big jobs done. We may be able to purchase less of them now that we have only 3 meat eaters remaining. Oh the joy of a filled freezer is in your horizon. Enjoy.

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    1. Kristina, I was thinking about taking a year off, then I roasted one of my remaining birds. I went right online and ordered chicks! It is much more cost-effective now that I am processing them myself (with my neighbor's help...)

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  7. Susan,

    Sorry to hear about your chickens. I'm thinking your ducks were just clucking because there's no snow on the ground and they can come in and out of their place with no issues, not that their critiquing their quarters. Never rely on the USPS notification system, it doesn't follow through as needed. We were suppose to receive a telephone booster on Wednesday, I called my doctors office and rescheduled my appointment. Tuesday afternoon the darn package arrived down at our gate sitting there in a puddle for anyone to take. I received no notification of early delivery!!!!

    One day when I can get up your way, I'm going to have to bottle up some of your energy and see if it will work on me :-)

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    1. Oh, girl, wouldn't that be fun?!?! Let me know when you're coming and I'll reserve some...

      They are the worst. I do like my postal carrier (great guy - hope he never retires) and the latest two women who work in my P.O. are great! But, we've had to go through a lot of chafe to find these few grains.

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  8. Hi Susan :)) I'm sorry about your chickens :(...what a sad discovery. But I am happy to hear about your quackers :) Your plants all look great! Now, what do you mean by "leggy"...is that bad? I think my spinach is being "leggy"...I'm guessing that "nuggest" are chicks?

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    1. Rain, you never know with chickens. Good thing I have so many (hahahaha). Leggy=spindly and they are more difficult to get established, as they fall over and their little delicate stems are easily snapped. I usually try to plant them deeper when I move them into their transition pots. Yes, Nuggets are what I always call my meat chicks, as I don't name my food. I call it the Red Queen's Rule.

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    2. Lol @ the Red Queen :) I wonder if I should be transplanting my spinach a bit deeper, but that is what's happening. I noticed some of my beets seem a bit leggy as well. Maybe I didn't plan the seed deep enough to begin with.

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