Saturday, November 20, 2010

Moving into Winter

This fall is so different than last year, which was our first in Texas.  In 2009, it rained constantly and I wondered about the huge mistake we had apparently made moving here.  I hate rain and gray skies; Tucson was the perfect place for me.

The fall of 2010 has been delightful.  Perfect fall weather - sunny, blue skies during the day and cool temps at night.  The weather report says that we're supposed to get a hard freeze around Thanksgiving, so I went out and took photos of the tomatoes that are still growing that will, no doubt, not make it through the week.  Wonder if these are what could be used for fried green tomatoes?

Garlic gets planted in the fall and Chet put down hundreds of cloves in about 8 different varieties.  We'll be selling garlic in the spring.

Garlic as far as the eye can see

The chicks are getting bigger and I hope they have enough feathers now to keep them warm during our upcoming cold spell. 

Chet is working on an addition to the existing coop so we can keep more birds comfortably.  We're calling it the "West Wing".  It's got a big picture window to let as much daylight in as possible.  More daylight....more eggs. 

We're also at the point that we're considering culling the girls that aren't laying anymore. It's just not feasible to feed animals that don't produce. They're not pets anymore. I couldn't have said that 2 years ago!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Chicks and Kitties

Our baby chicks are almost 7 weeks old.  We started with 6 that hatched - 2 black ones and 4 yellows.  They moved out of my bathroom after about 3 weeks, growing out of the large aquarium pretty quickly.  As a transition phase, they are living in the big chicken coop in a large wire dog crate.  This keeps them safe from predators, including our Anatolians, who we would probably eat them in a single bite.

The crate is portable enough to move outside while we're home to allow them some time with grass under their feet and  to learn to start finding bugs.  It was during one of these outdoor times that we found one black one dead, with her head missing.  She must have stuck her neck out and got nailed.  Predator; but we're not sure what - cat, hawk?

The 5 remaining chicks are doing well and now have some free range time since they are getting bigger.  They are about half the size of our adult hens.  The big girls peck on them if they get out of line.

The yellow ones have all changed colors.  Three of them are mostly white and one developed pretty brown wings.  The black one is marked like a Barred Rock.  They are good layers, so I'm hoping it's a hen.

We've had a couple other new additions around the farm.  A few weeks ago, there was a litter of kittens roaming the neighborhood, pretty close to starving.   We couldn't help but give them food and a couple of the boys have hung around.  Hopefully they'll be good mousers.

Mr. Kitty

Yesterday Mr. Kitty got brave enough to wander up to the barn and meet the alpacas and llama.  Everyone was curious.