Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Playing Catch-up

Birthday season, for the most part, has come and gone, allowing us to focus a slightly larger portion of our time and money on gettin' 'er done around the house and farm. A few developments since I've last posted -

I think she thinks she's invisible.

*Blueberry, a Muscovy hen, has made the executive decision to go bat-crap broody, and sit on a fairly-well hidden clutch of eggs. She's rarely off the nest, but based on the few quick glances that I've had of the clutch, I'd say she's got at least 15 or 20 eggs in there. If you happen to be one of our egg customers, this may help explain why the duck eggs have been fewer and farther between these past few weeks. But...

*We have another half-dozen layers just around the corner! The Khaki Campbell girls are now almost 8 weeks old, and have been integrated into the main flock. They seem to have unanimously chosen Kiki, our black Swedish hen, as their mama. "Keeks" seems mostly indifferent to her new brood, but to her credit, does not seem to mind overly much that they follow her every move. Kiki's fella, Tombo, thought he hit the jackpot when his harem grew by six laydies overnight. Alas, he was too... er... vigorous in his attentions and traumatized the heck out of the Khaki girls. And so, Tommy-boy is living in the ducky bachelor pad chicken tractor for now, where he can see, hear and chat with his gals, but not have direct "encounters" with them. He'll stay there until - a) the Khakis are fully mature, b) he learns how to be a gentleman, or c) we re-home him. We'll play it by ear.

Kiki and her little 'uns.

*Our eleven 8-week old chicks have also transitioned into living with the main flock. So far, so good.

*We've been averaging about 10 chicken eggs, and 1 or 2 duck eggs per day from the laydies.

*I planted a whole bed of carrots this past weekend. Half are Cosmic Purples and half are Red-cored Chantenay. I also started a second plot of Watermelon Radishes.

*The new beehives are doing pretty well. The Langstroth hive started to build a bit of cross-comb, which Billy cleaned up, but other than that, everybody appears to be settling in nicely.

*We're gearing up to make our first batch of soap of the season - Dandelion & Honey, provided that the bees don't begrudge us a little of the sweet stuff. The next batch on deck is Sugar Pumpkin & Spice, with homegrown pumpkin. :)

*We've had some fun and different bird sightings over the past few weeks - male and female Rufous Hummingbirds, California Quail, and a very vocal Raven.

And that's about it, I think. I need to get crackin' in the garden this coming weekend - cilantro, spearmint and kale are on deck fo' sho', with chamomile, thyme, calendula, breadseed poppies and borage to follow soon after.

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