May 28, 2015

I lost a chick.

Well it was bound to happen eventually, I just really hoped it wouldn't be with my first batch.
Chicks coming home last month. (I'll not be morbid and point out the missing one.)
I've been putting the chicks (who are really more like awkward adolescents than babies now) in their old brooder but relocated to the garden shed for the nights lately. There are a number of wild cats, large rodents and dogs in the area that would love to make a snack of the little guys in their tractor and since we don't have any large enough dogs to scare these critters away, safety is indoors.

Yesterday morning before I left for work at 7, when I transferred the chicks from brooder to tractor, I realized that I had a goner on my hands. My little brown chick (who had come to me with paste bum, but had seemed to overcome it as it grew) was very limp and didn't even attempt to stand. I made a makeshift triage of chicken wire and Rubbermaid container and left the poor baby on clean grass in the sunshine and left a note for my mum to check up on it.

Work doesn't wait for sick chickens.

When I had a few minutes between my morning work tasks I did a few google searches and determined that either the paste bum caught up with the chick or (my guess) it had gotten sour crop. I texted a few treatment suggestions to my mum but she responded at about 10:30 that it was gone.

I realize that death is a part of a farm, its nothing I'm afraid of, I just had high hopes that my first batch of chicks (who were all doing very well!) would be spared!

Welcome to the life of a farmer, folks! Sometimes it suck.

But sometimes it doesn't. I did gather 6 eggs yesterday. I do gather on average 5 eggs every day.


That's what a person looking to farm needs to remember. There is a balance on a farm. Sometimes animals die (unexpectedly or planned) sometimes that results in a freezer-full, other times it results in one less future egg per day. Its a balancing act between life and death, ups and downs, surviving and thriving.

The different shapes and sizes of my hen's offerings

May 25, 2015

Beautiful Weekend!

We had a really beautiful weekend (my shoulders can tell you just how much sun there was!) and I just have to share some of the photos I took while cleaning up the front paddock and hanging out with the chickens!
one of the ladies visiting me while I was laying on a blanket, knitting
Oh and maybe having a drink too ;)
A storm blew right by us, not a drop fell on our party
The chicks still hang out in the tractor (they don't get along with the hens yet)
My babies are growing up!
A couple hens like the chicks though
Max wasn't too keen on sharing his paddock with the ladies...
To be fair, they get all the green grass out there, but he's stuck in here.

How does her garden grow?

Over the past few months I've been experimenting with a few different methods of growing Avocados.

My first Avocado plant is doing great!
I LOOVE eating avocados but am always sad that I have to throw out almost have of what I buy because it's a huge seed! A couple years ago I followed the instructions of my grade 12 biology class from years ago and went through the whole "put three tooth picks in the middle of the seed and rest the bottom in water" and that took AGES! (but the result was and IS a happy and thriving avocado plant going on three years!).

I've read a lot of different opinions about different ways of convincing a grocery store bought avocado's seed to germinate, so not too long ago as mentioned back in January's post, I tried a few more in that "traditional" method" but didn't see any change until the end of May (when one FINALLY split and sent out a little root!)!

So I got frustrated and threw them all in some soil.

I didn't mention it, but not too long after I had started those three seeds in glasses, I decided to just burry a seed in a yogurt container full of soil. I kept the soil watered (no special care, I just watered it when it was dry with all my other plants) and holy, it took off!!

Look how good it's doing!
Now I have a whole windowsill full of small planters of soil with avocado seeds hiding in them and hopefully soon I'll have Avocados to share with family and friends! (I'm not crazy, I don't plan on keeping them all!!)

(ps. the one who sat in water from the end of January until the end of April before sending out a little root then ended up in soil has sent up two stems this weekend!)

New Avocado shoots sharing their pot with a spider plant baby!