goodbye Gus!

I have mentioned that Buffy, our Buff Orpington rooster, takes good care of his girls and that on two occasions I incubated eggs successfully.  The incubator takes 7 eggs and each time there were 4 viable chicken and each time it was 3 hens and one rooster.  And each time, as the young rooster grew up, friction developed between dad and son, and son and all the hens. We are very lucky to have a chicken enthusiast down the road from us who happily took Buff, the first young rooster and we see Read more [...]

goodbye Red

I inherited Red from departing neighbors.  She had been rescued from a commercial hatchery and came with a snipped beak.  She was the smartest of them all.  In the early days I borrowed her and some of her companions to help prepare the vegetable growing area and she would hover close to my digging implements to examine and gulp down whatever edibles I unearthed - whilst the other chicken stayed as far away from me as possible.  And when she and the others were given to me, it was Red who first Read more [...]

while walking

I notice the butterflies love the zinnia plantings in the vegetable patch. I have  not lost any more chicken to predators, for which I thank my handsome rooster.  His aggressiveness to some of the chickens seems to have abated.  Here he is with Lady Macbeth, who is still missing feathers from the back of her head, but they now seem on cordial terms. And the rains we have fortunately received have promoted sprinklings of mushrooms throughout the woods and perhaps encouraged the turtles Read more [...]

it’s off to work we go

So its off to work we go now the night long roost is done and the fledgling sun brings cheer and early crow we hear the padlock click the stay bolt undone we gather at the coop door and here's our keeper Rick he points out the way a 50 yard jog across a field and up a hill its the fruit trees turn today he is deep into organics no sprays at all munchies abounding for us his soil mechanics he wants the bad bugs gone we're happy to oblige we eat them all both good and Read more [...]

chicken synergies

The chicken are still doing well.  Six hens from my former neighbor (4 hybrids, 1 Ameraucana, 1 ISA brown) and 8 youngsters ( 2 Buff Orpingtons (1 of which is a rooster called "Buffy"), 2 Golden Comets, 2 New Jersey Giants and 2 Speckled Sussex).  No casualties, though one of the hybrids walks with a noticeable limp and is now called "Gimpy".  The two dominant hens are the Ameraucana and the ISA brown, which curiously are also among the smallest.  The two largest hens, the New Jersey Giants, Read more [...]


During the past week the cantaloupe have shown they are ready for picking.  Quite suddenly their color changes from green to yellow, their stem withers and they exude a strong musk aroma. I planted the seeds directly into a raised bed (8ft x 4ft) on Sunday 6/26.  I had purchased a packet of Burpee's Ambrosia Hybrid which cost $1.89 (before taxes) and I was disappointed there were only 12 seeds in the packet.  I formed two hills in the bed and placed 6 seed in each hill.  Previously I had Read more [...]

chicken dynamics

Eight young chicks arrived as a group into a shed converted to coop two Golden Comets who jump on your knees when sitting you offer some morsels to feed two Black Giants so skittish and shy they keep the most distance when friendship you try two Speckled Sussex the smallest of all but quickly chase Comets to far away wall and then the last couple, so striking indeed a hen and young rooster of Buff Orpington breed as coop door unshackles they cluster around then chortle and hustle with Read more [...]

recycling, scuppernong and the first crow

Recycling I recycle whenever possible.  Two favorites are newspapers and woodchips.  I was able to twice load my pickup with pine tree woodchips and these, together with bundles of accumulated newspapers, gave me the incentive to weed the overgrown walkways in my vegetable garden. I first remove the weeds, then lay down the newspapers (typically open the newspaper at the middle and ensure plenty of overlap to block the sunlight), and then cover with a thick layer of woodchips.   In addition Read more [...]