Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Garden 'n Chicken Check-in

So, the blog has strayed lately to personal and "people" topics, without much chicken or garden content- hmm. Partly that's because it feels like we're never home, not doing much bonding (or harvesting!) in the garden or observing the quiet puttering ways of poultry. WF just finished unloading manure in the dark and rain; such is the life of a two-jobs-in-town and too-much-traveling existence right now.

Looking back at the calendar, I confirmed that I haven't spent two continuous days here since June- always work or travel or family events happening. But "the farm" (as WF's sister delights in saying- we can't quite bring ourselves to call it that yet) is still here, carrying on in the face our town-based distractions!

The young chicks are now over 3 months old: still a long ways from laying eggs (T-mins first egg is December 1st or so) but not really looking like babies anymore.

Here they are inspecting the adult tractor (they have their own new tractor, expertly, if painstakingly, built by WF) and learning to mix with the big hens (and rooster). All 8 are still with us, but the two roosters are starting to look a bit tasty, ahem. We're still not seasoned with the butchering thing, but WF thinks he could do the deed when needed. Still, anyone need a young rooster?

The "old chickens" are currently molting, so there are not many eggs. But each hen who grows back enough feathers avoids this winter's stewpot, so I'm silently cheering them on!

The garden still has plenty of old stuff; dry beans were hastily harvested at twilight today, and we're hoping the beets and carrots can get through the predicted SNOW tonight- we'll finish harvest this weekend. There have been some lovely potatos, thanks to WF. Garlic has been planted. A few tomato vines still hang in the garage with tiny grape tomatoes, slowly ripening. My doorstep kale garden has been ravaged by deer (some of it was actually TOUCHING the house: they have no shame!) but there's some hope of carrying that through for a little longer, providing a few green treats for the chickens later in cold fall.

The rain is falling right now and temps are dropping, so we'll see what the world looks like in the morning! Stay warm!

(non-loading picture of cozy warm stove here)
First fire, October 4th or so-?


Anonymous said...

Glad I'm not the only one with naked chickens! They sure do pick a poor time of year. My 2 year olds didn't seem to molt as bad as the first years. As you can probably tell, we can't seem to bring ourselves to do the "deed"- so they will die of natural causes...

Jamie said...

Deer never seem to have any shame. They are thugs! They just marched through my garden and cropped all my chard to the ground. When will we manage to get off our butts and finish that garden fence?!