Sunday, January 2, 2011
A Great Start to a New Year!
I had a great 1st. Woke up and had some leisure time with coffee and caught up on blogs. Then went and rode Mickey and "played" (term used loosely) a game of polo. We had a great ride and even though it was cold, there was no wind and the sun was out. Then, I went and let the chickens out free range since I was going to be working around and in the coop. They had a great time picking at all the fresh grasses that have come up from the previous rains we had.
Below is a picture of my Easter Egger named "Tutu Evans". If you remember, I bought her and a Plymouth Barred Rock and they didn't have all their feathers in and had to be separated from the rest of the girls. They are holding their own now, and Tutu Evans has grown up to be quite pretty! Neither of the new ones are laying yet, but it won't be long
Below Jack looking handsome as always. I had to do some changing of their feeders. I have been going through feed (and I get organic feed and it's not cheap) like crazy and realized that I'm feeding all the desert's rodents as well. Small chipmunk type critters are getting in and during the day I found a squirrel as well! So, I have hung the outside feeder and then even remove that when they go in to roost at night and put it in their bin where I keep their loose feed. The other feeder in the coop I mounted up on the wall where the chickens can reach it, but not the rodents. I think it will work well. Hoping I'll get many more days out of my feed bags now!
Below is Miss Osie, the Plymouth Barred Rock I got with Tutu Evans. I'm so excited for both of them to start laying. I'm going to hatch some of Miss Osie's eggs because I read that a Barred Plymouth Rock hen crossed with a Rhode Island Red rooster will give you "Black Rocks" - a beautiful bird and a good layer. Mostly black with some red markings. That's one of the projects I'll do in spring and I'm hoping one of my hens will go broody then so I can raise them naturally.
Below you can see before my homemade feeder is just sitting on the ground. Learning curve - I guess it's a no brainer the rodents came to get meals! I have it suspended well now and I'm confident it will just be for the chickens. They are also spilling less now when they eat.
The other project I started yesterday was my garden. This will be the 4th year I'll have tried. But, I am very confident now. I saw a woman's garden who has done it successfully and saw what she did. She told me she went almost two feet down with hardware cloth and the entire structure is also enclosed by hardware cloth. Although a little costly, it's the ONLY way to keep birds and rodents out while having a desert garden. Yesterday, I got the two foot holes dug for the posts. The garden is going to be 16' x 12'. Not huge, but enough to grow a decent amount. The garden will share a fence with the chicken run and I will make a little door for them to go in and eat up and forage for when one season is spent and I'm getting ready to plant for the next. I also have been tossing the chicken manure in the soil for the last two months so I think it will be well fertilized. Wish me luck!
For dinner, we had black eyed peas and lots of other tasty things to ring in luck and prosperity for the New Year!
Tutu Evans and Miss Osie.
Miss Broody is still broody. I feel so bad - she really wants to be a momma! But, dang, it's too early in the year and too cold!
A little sign I got for Christmas. Fun.