And Then There Were Four

After last week’s Cooper Hawk attack killed my last Buff Orpington, we went to Rural King and came home with 6 chicks. Two of them were too weak to make it but Rural King has a replacement policy so on Monday we went back and they replaced them. The original 6 were 2 each Buff Orpingtons, Calico Princesses, and a tiny black chick (maybe Black sex link, as there were two breeds in the bin and the sub that came in to get them didn’t know which was which.) One Buff and one black were the ones that didn’t survive the night. The replacements were a Buff and another Calico Princess. They are surviving great.

Four of them stretching to see what was going on in the room. The Buff and the black are smaller than the others and are hiding under the heat table. I’m thinking they are all Calico’s, even the supposed replacement Buff. They are already growing back feathers, have long feathered wings, but will be late July or early August before they begin to lay.

After nearly of week of being penned up, I let the remaining 5 hens out today, it was a thick rainy day and I hoped they would be safe. Nope, the Hawk got one more, so now there are only 4 laying hens who unfortunately will have to remain penned up. With all the squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, moles, and voles, the Hawk can take, I can’t afford to let it continue to hunt my hens. The only solution I can think of to expanding the hen’s territory is to make a tunnel within my garden with chicken wire so then can wander the length of the garden eating bugs and weeds without digging up my veggies.

After the weekend, another garden box was cleared and one each row of peas and sugar snap peas planted in that bed. Sprouting potatoes were cut to seal over, and a sweet potato set in a jar of water to hopefully sprout shoots before they are needed for the garden. After Sunday night’s below freezing temperature, the potatoes will be planted between and outside of the two rows of peas and covered with straw. The replacement garden box that was ordered arrived late yesterday, but I need a warmer, drier day to assemble it and fill it with soil and compost. Since it will be planted with beans which are still 6 weeks away from planting, there is no hurry. The tomatoes have all sprouted and about half of the peppers have. As soon as the rest sprout, they will get deck time in filtered sun protected in a plastic crate so they grow strong not tall. They will be brought in at night and on days that are too cool, until it is time to plant them in the ground.

My plum tree is full of blossom buds and tomorrow night is supposed to drop into the upper 20’s. I’m seriously thinking about throwing a sheet over it to keep it from dropping the blooms. Last year, a freeze kept it and the two peach trees from producing any fruit. I am hoping for plums and peaches this year. And figs. Even if the one in the back garden doesn’t produce, I have ordered a small fig that than be potted in a big pot and brought in during the winter. Since I don’t have or need a true hoop house, I have to work with what I do have.

I would love to hear your comments on this post.