Hobby Farm Journal - 4-9-15
The garlic & daffodils are coming up, plus the sorrel! It must be officially spring! Here's more photos of the garden:
It was damp, but warm and most of the snow has melted, except for some of the huge piles. I looked through some of my seeds, and decided to try “direct sowing” in the garden on the 1st bed that has no mulch. Sowed peas, spinach, onions, arugula, corn salad, lettuce, parsnips, carrots, etc. It will be interesting to see if any sprout, and if they do, how they grow. We’re supposed to have a few nights in the 30’s , but day temps are going to be mostly in the 50’s & 60’s, with a few mid-40’s, in the mix. So much better than below zero lows at night and 20’s during the day! McDoogle joined me while I was in the garden, as it provided him some time to run around "free", as the garden in fenced-in (though it still needs posts, etc).
The chickens in the Dad’s coop group are enjoying getting out and digging through the compost and mulched yard areas. They’ve also been reaching their necks through the fence to get any early spring grass sprouts. The grass is just starting to “wake up”, but not yet ready for the chickens.
Besides, I still have to finish fencing on the paddocks. It was wonderful to be out working in the garden, seeing the earthworms and other signs of life out there. I don’t like all the mole & vole holes that are littering the garden, as that means they’ll be probably be here all year! I guess they only like to eat the earthworms, but they can cause damage to seedlings if they happen to burrow right by or underneath them. When I was transferring my blog posts from my Wix site to here on Blogger, I noticed that I’d written on 3/13 that I’d “tested” the rabbits to see if they were ready to breed. Most weren’t, but I did say that the buck did fall over with one or two of the young does. That means day 30 is coming up here pretty soon, and while I’d be totally surprised that “it took”, I’ll be keeping my eyes open for any signs of needing to put the nesting box in. I tried to palpitate the does tonight, but couldn’t feel any “marbles”. Some definitely had larger bellies, and a few seemed to have noticeable “nipples”, not swollen, as they don’t get enlarged until they kindle. I know that some of the does seem to be really hungry in the morning, but that may just be because they’re separate now, not in with 3 other does.
Well, 4 of the SFH chicks went to their new home this evening, but I kept the 5th one with a “vaulted” skull. It’s most likely from Little Man x his crested daughter that hatched last spring. I’ve read if you cross crested to crested, the crests become larger, which can lead to a “vaulted” skull”. Basically, that means it looks like a “Polish” chicken and should have a crest as large as them. Even though the Swedish Flower Hens are a landrace, the general consensus among the US SFH breeders is to not breed crested to crested. While they do naturally have crests, it’s supposed to be just a small “up-do” that doesn’t block their vision. Otherwise, it’ll impede their foraging and free-range qualities, plus make them more susceptible to predator attacks. So, if this little SFH cutie is a male, it’ll probably be raised out for meat, as I’m certainly no going to sell him/her for a breeder. If it’s a hen, it could be just an egg-layer, but not for a breeder. Time will tell, but I am curious to see how it turns out.
I also took photos of the chicks out in the "shed brooder", which are the ones from the 1st and 2nd 2015 Hatch.
They're growing great, as you can see in these photos.