Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Few Things

Some things to catch up on...
In garden news:
I've got two plots, big and small, both are fenced and planted. I've got peas, beans, popcorn, squash, cucumbers, watermelon, arugula, spinach, peppers, sunflowers, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, garlic, cabbage, broccoli, and carrots in. I may plant some more greens and flowers. So far this years is going much better than last. I planted five or six varieties of beans last year only to have the rabbits eat every single plant. The bunnies are keeping out mostly with the fence up, although they have snuck in a couple times and eaten a handful of my tomato seedlings. Grrr. Hard to believe that I actually succeeded in growing seedlings indoors this year, but I did!
We also planted some trees. And by we I mean me. Three apple, three peach, and two paw paws. I've also got one alive and one dead blueberry bush to plant but have not gotten around to that yet. I suppose I probably won't plant the dead one, maybe the company we ordered from will send me a new one though.

In bird news:
Like I mentioned before, Mother Goose did not hatch anything, but the ducks did! They hatched out two fuzzy ducklings, and around the same time we had a lone hatcher in the incubator so I just added that little guy to the nest and he/she fit right in. It has been one of the cutest things ever to watch mama duck walk around with the little ducklings following her. They are fast! So sad though, we just found two of the ducklings dead in one of the "ponds" (baby pool). They must have gotten in but couldn't get out and drown. We had no idea they could even get in, but the ponds are now empty or shallow to keep the last little one safe.
As cute as the hatchlings are, I'm over the broodiness that seems to be contagious. In our crappy chicken house on the hill, we've got three ducks and three hens rotating nests, which means I can't collect any of the scrumptious duck eggs (who even knows where the chickens are laying) that are laid up there because I have no idea if they will be fresh or rejected from a nest. And trust me, you don't want to accidentally eat a rejected egg. Then down in our other chicken house where all birds should live but refuse to, we've just had six hens go broody this past week. There are only six nesting boxes down there. Tonight I collected one egg total, which is just sad. A couple weeks ago I was getting over a dozen a day in that chicken house alone. Either the non-nesting gals are laying elsewhere on the farm or are squeezing in next to the hens setting and adding to clutches.

Miscellaneous news:
*I made my first batch of kombucha. The kids love the stuff, we tried strawberry which was good and grapefruit which was not. At all.
*Speaking of fermenting things, I'm going to be teaching a class on such at the library next month.
*Our farm is going to have a booth at the local farmer's market this summer. It starts in June and as of now it seems my table is going to be somewhat bare for the first couple Saturdays. Thanks a lot, hens.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

No Goslings Here

Mason's garden picture.

I uploaded these pictures a good month ago, and here they've sat. Better late then never? 
Mother Goose hatched zero babies, a couple ducks started setting when she had about a week left on her nest and then they started rearranging nests and switching eggs and I'm not even sure when went on, but she finally gave up and there are no goslings running around unfortunately. She hasn't started laying again yet, but better luck next time.
I do have more to say, but I also have more pictures. Suspenseful, eh?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Mother and Guy Goose

Goose Egg vs Duck Egg

We found our first goose egg in February and were of course excited. I didn't expect it to be that big, but it was giant. Our female goose, Mother Goose, had laid about four eggs haphazardly around the chicken house so we collected them with plans of popping them in the incubator after getting a handful ready to go.
After a little spring cleaning and a fresh thick layer of straw down in the chicken house, Mother Goose decided it looked so comfy and went broody. She made a perfect nest with the straw and feathers she plucked from herself and I'm pretty sure a couple ducks and a chicken layed a few eggs in there as well, so she may have a variety of children next month.
The issue here was that we had five goose eggs that were about to be put in the incubator and a goose (which trumps artificial incubating) setting and ready to hatch. So I carried the eggs up to the chicken house, locked Guy (her protective fella) out and was hoping to perhaps slip them under her somehow. She was and still is very cranky if you get within five yards of her, so what I ended up doing was putting each egg on the ground and sliding it under her with a really long stick. It was challenging and she jumped up hissing every time one touched her, but she didn't reject them and is still sitting on them today, phew!
Mother Goose comes off the nest for a short while every day to hang out with her beloved Guy Goose, but other than that he is on his own and just looks so lonely. Hopefully at the beginning of April we will have a fresh gaggle of gosslings following Mother around chomping at grass and swimming in the "pond"... and perhaps some duckling and chicken brothers and sisters as well.