Saturday, April 21, 2012

I like people who give me shit

And I really like people who deliver it to our Ppatch and the other people who help us spread it.

But as our benefactor told us - it's the Ppatch, so just call it compost.

Thanx to Mesha for the photos - she told me the angled ones alway look the best.

Friday, April 20, 2012

What's up chickie?

Today the meat chicks moved into the chicken tractor in the backyard.

Not being so bright I had to show them how to get outside, and then in the evening herd them back inside.

They have a heat lamp inside, but spent the night as far away from it as possible.  I don't have a thermometer, but I am guessing they are more than warm enough.

We lost one in the first week, over eager child we think.  We left the smallest one inside with the other chicks, he (I am guessing) is not quite as robust as the others.  But 11 total are with us as we move into summer.

We have only one polish type chick out of the 3.  Hubby was really bummed about this.
We also lost one of the bantam cochin frizzles.  All of them have the gene dominant (if it is submissive, the feathers are smooth) but that worries me.  If the hatchery bred 2 with the gene dominant, the feathers of the offspring will be brittle.  25% of a hatching should be smooth.  But maybe it is just luck on our part.

But this white one looks the coolest.

Mesha's buff cochins are the biggest of all the chicks inside.  I am really glad she talked me into these, since we will be able to compare them to Hubby's frizzles.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

They're mutants I tell you! Mutants!

Last year I was unable to get any cucumbers to grow.  So this year I planted early, planning to reseed.  And reseed again.

I planted 6.

I now have 6 cucumber plants taking over my little 2x2 space under lights.  They are climbing up the shelf uprights, the okra plants and I think they are making plans to invade the few tomatoes that have survived (most of them Green Grape cherry who seem a little belligerent themselves.)  When all my other starts have been burned to a crisp, or dried up to a husk from me forgetting water, these have thrived.  Even pollinating with only the help of a little desk fan.

Not to count my pickles before they are harvested, but I better find a good recipe for crispy canned dills.  Possibly by next week.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Meanwhile back at the ranch . . .

Hubby had been busy (Special Thanks to Kevin & David and all the boys)
A window box! Hinges from the fence gate! Leftover house paint from the basement! Four nest boxes!
Shutters for the winter.  He said there will be an overhang for the feed cans soon.
He had been getting things from Craigslist and stashing them for weeks.  Sneaky Sneaky.  It is a great coop - and I can stand up in it.

The girls have been playing in the old coop since it was decommissioned.  It will have a new home on the SW corner of the yard - hidden by the chokecherries and covered with morning glories - a great playhouse.
Whew! Time has been flying.

I spent the weekend after Easter in Seattle - I think I may have eaten my way through the city.  Local burger joint, Irish Breakfast, DimSum, a lot of local beer etc etc.  But my favorite dinner was made in missnan's tiny 1920's kitchen:
Fresh Marlin with lime cilantro butter, baby violetta artichokes & fiddlehead ferns.  Add the Alaskan style sourdough and local beer and it was beeuutiful.  

 We walked a lot checking out a couple of the local P- Patches.  I admit to being really jealous of zone 8 - even if they need a greenhouse to really grow tomatoes well.

Cold crops and leeks
Succulent wall and ironwork fence

Seattle is such an urban farm friendly city.  They even have a feed store geared towards people like us.

We do of course have Denver Urban Homesteaders up the road a grip and Valley Feed here in Littleton.

The trip was great but I am glad to be home. . .

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hoppy Easter

Our easter bunny, knowing that this holiday to us is more about spring and the changing of the season than it is about any god, brought us fruit trees. Our celebration today will include planting said trees, plus strawberries, sunchokes, hops and butterfly bush. Luckily we have company that invited themselves over to do just that. I will get to sit in a chair with a glass of pinot grigio and point with my cast.

Life is good.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

1st Criminal Barrel installed

Hubby finished setting up the barrel, just in time for a thunderstorm to fill it.  The hose coils inside the oilcan base, but right now it is full of water also (Note to self - drill holes in bottom after we empty the barrel.

The hens are happy now that they don't have a downpour in their yard as the spout originates above and makes a wall of water blocking them either in or out of the coop.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Chickens are a gateway drug

New Chick Count:

2 Buff Standard Cochins
2 Red Bantam Frizzle Cochins
3 White Bantam Frizzle Cochins
12 Cornish (for nom-ing) Juju says watch video in link.
1 Golden Laced Polish Crested
1 White Crested Black Polish Crested
1 Black Crevecoeur

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

But wait . . . there's more

Hubby wanted Frizzles, so I ordered two from a feed store in Elizabeth (about an hour away) back in January. I called in March to add a half dozen Cornish to the order, only to find out that they had misplaced my original order.

The Bantam Cochin Frizzles were no longer available.

Hubby was not pleased.

But the feed store came through. Two orders were cancelled. The five unwanted chicks were offered to us.

(o^_^ )o
Juju's happy dance

New Chick count:

2 Buff Standard Cochins
2 Red Bantam Frizzle Cochins
3 White Bantam Frizzle Cochins

By Juju

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Here we go again!

We went to Murdoch's Farm & Feed today - to pick up some loose straw and chicken feed. Every time I have stopped by in the last month (and I have seem to found reasons to) I have hoovered over the chicks. Hubby convinced me not to get a couple 2 weeks ago, last week all the pullets were from black breeds, on Thursday Juju tried to talk me into Khaki Campbell ducklings.

I did not count on the Mesha's powers of persuasion today.

Our new pullets Buff Cochins and are reputed to be friendly "lap chickens." Although they are not great layers, reviews of them are positive. They also have feathers on their legs.

This should tide us over until our meat chickens (who were supposed to be here last week) come in.

It is a fowl thing, segregation

After 3 days of work, Hubby finished the new duck quarters. They are now in the back corner of the property, with a new sunken pond and a shade tree overhead. The dogloo (duckgloo?) was found by a dumpster a few blocks away, all the fencing was leftover from the chicken yard, so the only cost was for deer style netting over the top and heavy duty zip ties.

I would have liked to kept our birds together, but Quinn took his role of "rooster" way too seriously and I hope our hens will be calmer, and that all their feathers will grow back in soon.

With this move, Juju's chicks, newly named Chocolate & Pretzel have been moved out of the tractor. They are in the coop roosting for the night, we will see how things go tomorrow.