Friday, August 23, 2013

Good Morning

Good morning, how about a little tour and update? We have a few new faces around the farm. The sun was perfect this morning and so after chores I took my camera out to take a few snapshots. 

You can see one of the four Toms slightly puffed up on the far right. Yes, you read that right, four toms. Out of nine turkeys we figure that four of them are male. Daily they strut their stuff to figure out who is boss, but they don't fight. We are hoping that Thanksgiving will come before they feel like fighting. Otherwise we will deal with them accordingly.

The pumpkins are growing, but we did not get as many as we wanted. Dad was really hoping for enough to let the daycare kiddos come out and pick their own. It looks like we will have just enough for our own needs. Jason's grandfather (who is an exceptional gardener) says that his didn't do too well either and wonders if we wound up with too many male plants. 

This is our rooster, Charcoal. Neighbors down the street from us had two roosters and didn't want any fights and asked if we'd like one. We were hoping to get a rooster in the batch of six that we bought this spring and so we happily said "Yes." Little Sister named him Charcoal after the black plumes on his tail. He is adjusting well to having so many ladies to himself, but he has not asserted himself yet over the older twelve hens.

This last month we added in the new six layers, the rooster, and removed a chicken who was pecking the others and it stressed out our flock quite a bit. They aren't laying as much as they used to, but they still are laying. We are getting between 6-9 eggs a day which is just enough for us to eat and sell a few on the side. Hopefully in the next week everyone will relax and get back to laying. The six new hens won't be laying until mid-September or early October.

The hens have not reduced their pen to dirt which has surprised us. They don't eat everything in sight either. The turkeys will eat everything down to stubble, but it seems like our hens are a little more picky. It has been interesting to learn which birds will eat what. For instance: the turkeys devour apples, the chickens just peck at them and the chickens devour bread while the turkeys just peck at them. Also the turkeys don't put themselves to bed a night we have to go out and encourage them into their coop, but the chickens go in as soon as the sun goes down.

This is Kee-La-La, Elle's kitty. The kitty is living here on the farm until my brother and his wife find a new apartment. She isn't too sure about the farm animals or my dog Vinnie. This morning she called me to her and I obliged in pets and rubs.

The garden is doing all right. We got sidetracked with our trip to MI and NY and then the wedding so it didn't get tended to well. We have a nice crop of tomatoes and I will be making salsa this year and some spaghetti sauce. It will be a nice change to do some canning around here. The pear trees are loaded so we will also be making tons of pear sauce. We have really missed pear sauce over the last year, since last years crop didn't do so great. We cannot complain since we don't prune, spray, or pick them, just let nature take its course.

This has been a summer of change and loss for us. Little Sisters kitty passed away in the beginning of the summer and her bunny passed away this week. One evening Jason came home with the above bunny for the daycare kiddos. The kids really enjoyed feeding Sara bunny so I thought it would be nice to continue to keep a bunny for them. Jason's bosses kids participate in 4H and one of the boys raises bunnies. He gave this one to us. Mom named her York Peppermint Patty.

I hope your day is lovely. I'm off to check for eggs and make lunch!

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