Update! Schmupdate:(

A week of plusses and minuses. On the plus side my two new Mulberry Trees are doing great! They have already started putting out new growth, they do appear droopy at mid-day but by morning they are perky as can be. Currently I am watering them daily and probably will for the next couple of weeks, by the end of July I hope to have them down to an every other day watering cycle. All four of the comfrey plants are sending up new leaves and seem to be doing well on the greywater irrigation system. I did hit all of them with a shot of miracle grow solution with a bit of Sprint 138 Iron Chelate thrown in  for good measure.

I have mentioned Sprint 138 on this blog before but it bears repeating, this stuff is great! Expensive yes, but it works to correct chlorosis caused by Iron deficiency extremely fast and effectively. Our soil here is heavy clay and very alkaline, two things that hinder plants access to iron. I have used Ironite and Sulfur but neither one work very well in our soils and what little gain you get is gone by the next year. As of now I can’t talk about the longevity of Sprint 138’s effects but I can say that a week after applying a half a shot glass of the stuff around the base of a bunch of anemic looking yellow leafed fruit trees they were a healthy dark green.

On the Minus side I may have caught one of my egg eatin bastards but I ain’t caught em all yet! I still got eggs disappearing even with a couple that I caught red-handed, so I’m moving on to phase II.

Over on the TBN Ranch Blog I read some good information about controlling this nasty habit. My Granddaughter, Alexa, is going to help by collecting eggs more often, My sweety, Karen, is going to make a couple of mustard filled eggs, and I installed privacy screens over all of the nest boxes today. I am leaning toward the outta sight outta mind theory, in the juvenile pen where all of the suspects, and convicted felons are hanging out I have been getting 4-5 eggs a day out of 6 hens and no evidence of pecked eggs. I believe that even though there are proven egg eaters in there they aren’t breaking them because they can’t walk by and see the eggs in the back of the pet carrier they are laying in.

Another minus was the loss of the two spraddle legged Barnevelders I mentioned last week. Realistically their loss at this stage is more of a -/+ in that their passing now saves them a lot of suffering for little gain.

On the plus side is the 2 healthy Barnies I still have!







I also started a new fermented feed batch, I dumped out and thoroughly cleaned my buckets, enlarged the drain holes a bit then put fresh scratch in the inner bucket. This time I am starting the fermentation culture with both Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and Yeast. The yeast was just plain old bread yeast that I proofed in some warm water with a bit of sugar, when it was good and frothy I dumped it on the scratch and filled the buckets with just enough water to cover. After working in the orchard for a half hour or so the mix was bubbling slowly and smelling yeasty so in went about a cup of ACV and a 1/4 cup of brown sugar for good measure. This batch is gonna set till at least Monday and maybe longer so it gets a good start. Additionally I found a bag of raw soybeans in the barn, so I boiled 2 cups of those to toss in the batch to boost the protein.

It’s been hot as hell here lately and fixin to get humid due to the monsoons sweeping up outta Arizona, but I gotta say that even a smoking hot, muggy, sweaty day spent working in the Orchard/Chicken is hard to beat!

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8 thoughts on “Update! Schmupdate:(

  1. I like the idea of screening the eggs rather than roasting the offenders!

    • Max says:

      So far the idea aint working so good. I’m getting 5 eggs a day from the 6 convicted felons in lockup but nothin but broken shells in the “privacy” curtained nest boxes, and some nasty hen even drug a dead pigeon into one of the boxes!

      • Lordy – it seems you have Hannibal Lecter visiting your coop.

        Okay, I confess, I did have a little chuckle that the convicted felons are laying with abandon. Who is outsmarting who in this little menagerie?

  2. And I have a question – do your chickens eat your mulberry leaves? We planted some mulberry tree babies started from cuttings from our big tree which is both too high for the girls to reach and the branches are too flimsy for them to ever try to flap into. One them had a couple of leaves on it at beak height when it went in the ground. My chickens free range and investigate everything new and in 2 days, no leaves. We now have buds on all 3 trees and I’m wondering if the short ones will ever get to actually produce a full-grown leaf.

    • Max says:

      My chickens love mulberry leaves. I had originally planted 2 in my chicken run that were only about 2′ tall, I put cages around them but they were able to jump over one cage and they devoured every leaf on that tree. So I put taller cages around them. Do you do anything special to your cuttings? I put some trimmings in pots but aint sure if I did things correctly.

      • Damn, I was afraid of that. I see more chickenwire in my future.

        I didn’t do anything very special to the cuttings. In fact, I wonder if I did something wrong. A friend (the one who gave me the initial tree) wanted a cutting from my tree and didn’t want to wait for it to lose its leaves before getting her cutting so she literally broke a branch off by hand in the middle of its length one autumn. I cut a few more and stuck my cuttings in a pot of compost which sat under cover but getting full sun. They sat over the winter in the pot (I kept them moist but not too wet) and they started getting buds in mid-winter (they bud early in Sydney). My friend says hers died so she came and got one of my healthy shoots in spring.

        I think they must root easily as I got something like 6 out of 7 to strike. If I were doing it again I’d take my cuttings from winter prunings to save the tree from the shock of the autumn rip (the branch she ripped in half ended up dying back and had to be removed).

        Good luck with yours.

  3. […] first in July with my pie in the sky hopes of “Caught the Bastard” continued with “Update Schmupdate” culminating in a little self examination in “Focus” . Well I’m off my meds and […]

  4. […] first in July with my pie in the sky hopes of “Caught the Bastard” continued with “Update Schmupdate” culminating in a little self examination in “Focus” . Well I’m off my meds and […]

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