Well I think the title pretty much sums things up right now. (note: Blahhhhhhhhhh is pronounced properly with a full extension of the tongue ). Busy season has hit hard at work, the remodel is trying to absorb every spare minute , I am the secretary for our clubs Field Trial in February, and trying to find time to finally close out my Pop’s Trust has been just about to much. But on the bright side the Holidays were wonderful! All of my sons were here along with my sister Lorri’s annual pilgrimage (which I secretly look forward to every year) making things complete.
This weekend I was supposed to be working on plumbing at the Clayton Annex,
The new drain stack
but I kinda played hooky and messed around at The Fruity Chicken instead. It was refreshing to start getting some of the things done that have been hanging over my head in the orchard. The first thing I noticed is that my Hen to Rooster ratio is way outta whack again! Just a rough count turned up 8 horny Cocks trying to mount anything that moved and half the hens hiding in the Hen House. Those poor girls are seriously underweight from stress and hiding out. I chased down four Roosters and headed up to the feed store (the Santa Ria Priest didn’t answer his phone) only to find out that they are closed on Sunday now (maybe they go to the same Church?).
Roosters behaving badly
Plan B: Lock them suckers up. All of the Roosters are in the area where I tried to grow winter wheat. That plan didn’t work out to well due to shade. Hopefully it will work to confine these horny bastards for a few days and give my hens a chance to recuperate. Who knows I might even start getting some eggs again. Two of the girls in my juvenile pen are laying now and all I can figure out is stress keeping the other girls from getting it in gear.
The Kool Krew meets The Ducky Ducks
My baby ducks, The Ducky Ducks, got turned out into the main run last weekend. They immediately went and tried to make friends with The Kool Krew,
right off the bat the Buff Tufted drake in the Kool Krew grabbed the black tufted baby by the beak and held it’s head on the ground for about 30 seconds! Now the Ducky Ducks are allowed to follow along respectfully but not get to close. Poor little Ducken still aint sure what he is.
Last Year I lost several trees to wet feet. I hadn’t taken into consideration the slope of the ground and most of the trees at the bottom of that slope succumbed to root rot. To rectify this situation I am creating raised bed’s for the replacement trees, these are being suspended at roughly the same level as the last healthy row. The plan is to fill these suspended boxes with compost and soil then heavily mulch around them. Over time the surrounding area should form a gentle swale up to the level of the trees so that the boxes can be removed.
The Orchard in Winter
The compost pile is shrinking
Overall it was nice to get back into the orchard/chicken ranch, it kinda gave me my focus back a bit. Those couple of hours inspired me to come home and start reading The Holistic Orchard by Michael Phillips, Lorri got me this book for Christmas. I can’t say that I would have bought this book for myself but that’s why everyone needs an intuitive sister. After the first hundred pages I am already searching for unpasteurized liquid fish and cold pressed pure Neem oil.