Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

There are many activities going on in the area today, but we are choosing to be independent at home. 

News from the Coop:  As noted last weekend, the 2nd black hen’s hatch (we call her Mama Red now because she will be getting a red leg band ) did not go well.  In fact, one of the three chicks did not make it and she just had the two.  On Tuesday, the red hen’s clutch was due to begin hatching.  When I came home from work and went to check on her, here was the scene in the big room of the Winter Coop:  The red hen (I think she needs a name too, don’t you?) was on her nest, all puffed up.  The black hen, Mama Red was sitting on the bedding next to her nest, also all puffed up.  What I mean by that, for those of you who aren’t familiar with hen ways, is that all their feathers were standing on end, making them look twice their normal size.  So anyway, I lifted Mama Red up a little, and she has six chicks under her!  And I really couldn’t tell which were hers, and which ones had come over from the red hen.  Then I checked under the red hen, and there were more chicks under there!  The final count was eight for the red hen; a decent hatch.  These two hens and their little ones have moved over to the “chick room” of the Winter Coop where they are cooperatively rearing the little ones.  Mama Blue and her 6 gangly youngsters have moved to the big room so they can access the rear door to the coop-yard. 

The red hen and some of her eight chicks
Mama Blue and five of her six kids; it's hard to get them all in one frame!
News from the Field:  Kevin is a happier farmer now that some hay production is happening.  He cut on Tuesday evening east and south of the house. 
Cutting hay after work on Tuesday
Baling commenced yesterday afternoon after work.  Fortunately Kurt was off work for the long weekend to provide some muscle and Rollie, farm hand extraordinaire was on hand to contribute his years of experience.    Our John Deere baler, which has a history of cantankerousness, performed it’s duties with minimal issues.  While I went about the evening chores, Kevin’s laughter could be heard above the sound of the machinery, and it was a wonderful thing to hear after a trying workday.

Both of our hay wagons were filled with winter fodder which will be unloaded and stacked in the shed today.  Kevin cut part of the long field last night, so the process will be repeated tomorrow.
Hay production going smoothly (for a change!) 
News from the Goatyard:  Remember a couple of weeks ago, we were going to try putting the doelings back with their moms to see if they would still nurse?  Well, both doelings were interested in indulging at the milk bar.  Vinca was ok with it, Daisy was not.  So, Ivy and Chicorita were exiled back to the coopyard for a while.  Big change now though.  Ivy has gone home to live at Righteous Oaks Farm, where she will grow up to be a fabulous milker, and Chicky has joined Daisy and Vinca in their quarters. 

News from the Garden:  The peas are blooming!  OK, so we should be eating peas by now, but… it’s just that kind of year.  Things actually look pretty good out there considering how cool it has been.  Kori and I have enjoyed eating a few strawberries, and there is plenty of lettuce.  A few leaves of the Chinese cabbage add an earthiness to the salad; it’s pretty strong stuff.  I haven’t cooked any of it yet.  The Swiss chard is coming along and will be added to the salad bowl within a few days as will the zucchini. 
I think this lettuce is almost too pretty to eat!

Peas... Kevin's favorite veggie!

So, let’s get this long weekend started!

If you want to throw out a name suggestion for that red hen, use the comment feature below.


  1. Replies
    1. Like Ginger... Fiona? Is that from a Disney movie?

    2. it just took me forever to post the 3 word comment!!! I love Chicky's picture.....Happy 4th of July to all youse.........

    3. Thanks for spending the time to figure out how to comment! Hope it is easier now...

  2. Since she swiped some chicks from the other hen and is therefore a chicken thief, like a fox, you could call her Reynard, or Rey. Okay, maybe I've had too much coffee already today.

    Glad they got that hay in without it getting rained on.

    1. Russ, the black hen, Mama Red is the one who did the swiping...