Tag: chickens

Happenings Around the Homestead

This has been a slow garden year for us.  First of all, spring arrived late this year, and, second of all, with my work travel schedule, I was hardly home to work on the garden.  I also started a new garden spot this year which didn’t account properly for the position of the sun in the spring, and the new chicken coup is partially shading a garden.  In short, we have struggled with our garden.

We have yet to harvest peppers worth speaking of, and while we have harvested some great tomatoes, the crop has been small.  I have only harvested my first cucumber in the last week or so, and the summer squash, while being one of the plants which was out as early as possible, has already stopped producing.  Speaking of squash, my winter squash was hit by vine borers while on the mission trip, and there is nothing left.  My okra landrace project is coming along, however, it isn’t producing quite like I had hoped.  Oh, and let’s not forget the sweet potatoes!  The deer are having a hay day with the leaves.  🙂  I still expect a good harvest from them though.  The corn has done well, I think, other than the possible cross pollination issue.  Even so, the corn looks healthy and I am expecting a good harvest.

It may sound like I am whining about the gardening year, but I am not.  I consider every year a learning opportunity.  I have several good take-aways from this year that I will be sure to implement next year, and if the Lord so blesses me, next year this will happen on a proper homestead property.

Speaking of vegetables, last Friday we stopped off at The Farmer’s Market in Nashville, Tennessee.  If you haven’ t been there, you have really missed out.  This is a true joy for me.  Let me share just a few pictures:

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

Huge onions

Huge Onions!

Colorful Bell Peppers

Colorful Bell Peppers

My family is really blessed though, despite the lackluster garden year.  My father-in-law also gardens, and he has blessed us with an abundance of melons, peppers, tomatoes, and more.

Speaking of peppers, we have already smoked a good amount of peppers, some of which are already dried and ground.  Others are in various stages of processing, but I should be able to share a picture soon.

The chickens didn’t work as hard for us yesterday, and only produced two eggs: one blue and one brown.  I did eat the first of the eggs last night, and wow, were they tasty!  Hopefully there will be three more today.  I had to smile at my first egg issue yesterday.  One of the ladies laid her egg in the run below the cage, which is not fun to get into during the day while they are playing.  I could have just waited to get it, I suppose, but I was impatient.

I have to wonder, am I the only person out there who is already thinking about next year’s garden?  The growing season is not even over yet, and I am sitting here dreaming this morning of what I will do different next time.  Don’t worry, I am sure I will share the plans here as the days roll on.

A Few More Eggs

WOW!  I can’t tell you how excited I was yesterday to find out that we had not just one more egg (see: My Surprise for the Day), but THREE MORE EGGS!  Not only that, but one of the Easter Eggers, we believe it was Blondie, laid an egg!

Three New Eggs

Three New Eggs

Henry Ford, referring to the Model T, reportedly once said, “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black.”  That is much like eggs, isn’t it?  Almost all of them are white, though the stores have found ways to upsell anything brown in color.  The one thing that I haven’t seen in the stores yet, however, is a blue/green shade of egg.  Even so, there are breeds of chickens which lay this color naturally.

You will notice four eggs in the picture, the largest of which is a store-bought, large, white egg that I placed in one of the laying boxes to encourage the chickens to lay there.  The other three, however, were all from yesterday.  The one at the 7:00 position in the picture looks identical to the one yesterday in color and size.  The next one going clockwise, at about the 10:00 position, is the first Easter Egger egg.  The next one going clockwise is perhaps a little smaller than the other ones, and it is a little more elongated.  I would say all three are similar in size to a small store-bought egg.

If I understand it right, there are probably three hens laying right now, one of which has layed two days in a row.  I expect all three will now start giving 5-7 eggs a week, or a total of 15-21 eggs a week.  The other seven hens should start laying soon, perhaps more will even lay today.

My family thinks I am a complete dork, but I am so excited about this.

Chicken Eyes

It won’t be long, my friends. It won’t be long until some of the girls start laying. Perhaps a week, perhaps a month. If they are really late bloomers, sometime in October, but it won’t be long. I am checking their laying boxes daily even now though.

Check out this cute Easter Egger giving me the eye:

That look!

Are you Lookin’ at Me?

Did you know that chickens are near-sighted in one eye and far-sighted in the other? According to FreshEggsDaily.com:

Just before hatching, a chick turns in the shell so its right eye is next to the shell (and absorbs light through the shell) and its left eye is covered by its body. As a result the right eye develops near-sightedness to allow a chicken to search for food, while the left eye develops far-sightedness, to allow a chicken to search for predators from afar. That is why when a hawk flies overhead, you will notice your chickens tilt their heads with their left eye to the sky.

I suppose this means she was using her right eye so she could see me better. 🙂