A Week on the Farm – July 9, 2016

This week has been more about fiber arts than gardening, but I did get the blueberry bed weeded again, put down some bone meal and peat moss around them as a friend told me that they may not be thriving because they like acid soil.  A ph test showed it wasn’t.  Hopefully that will help them to improve in health.  I really don’t want to move them if avoidable.

We did not get to the pumpkin patch last weekend, but I worked on it some today.  I looked for pumpkin starts at Lowe’s to see if I could salvage that crop for this year, but was unsuccessful.  There are many pumpkin patches around here in the fall and I will just have to buy a couple for the porch, pies, and soups.  I think that part of the garden is just going to be tarped to kill off the weeds, then plant a cover crop so it is ready next year.

Another area of neglect has been my grape vines.  Today, I weeded around them, put down a rectangle of cardboard, tossed on a pile of spoiled hay and put little fences around them so the vines are not on the ground.  I really need to build two small trellises for them to grow on.

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Mama hen #3 has fought a continuing battle with BMW, I found the wanna be repeatedly trying to share the nest.  Thursday, two chicks hatched and BMW managed to kill one of them.  I didn’t expect hatch until tomorrow or the next day, so I have boxed Mama hen #3 off from the coop to protect her and the chick and she is still sitting the eggs.  If more don’t hatch by tomorrow evening, I will move her and her baby to the Huck’s coop nursery.  All 13 of the older chicks now roost in the top of that coop at night and the hens have basically given up mothering, other to check on them each morning.

In another couple of weeks, once they can’t squeeze through the welded wire fence anymore, I will sort the older chicks into mixed breed culls and pure Buff Orpingtons put most of the pure Buffys into the layer coop, the culls into the chicken palace and close off the nursery once no one is raising chicks anymore this year.  I hope that a few of the Buffy chicks are pullets to replace BMW, who is a bad mother, small and beat up and to add a few more layers to the coop.  Any cockerels will be culls.

BMW has sat the days eggs three times this week and abandoned them at night for the perch or to harrass the sitting hen.

2 thoughts on “A Week on the Farm – July 9, 2016”

  1. BMW sounds like the proverbial bad apple, and makes me think of some people I’ve met along this road called life. Has she been demoted to “hens for the oven” status?
    That’s another thing I don’t think I’ve given you credit for – harvesting your own chickens. Honestly, I don’t think I could do it, but I admire your resolve and reality check that the chicken breasts I buy at the store are only a step or two away from the procedure you are willing to do. Bravo, Fran!

  2. Martha, she is a marked woman uh hen. She got banded with the red band of demise on her leg. The first time a hen was “demoted to hens for the oven” it was hard, even though I taught Biology before becoming a school counselor. It gets easier each time you do it, but it is still not a pleasant task. At least I can eat them now. The first two times, they all went home with my son.

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