The couple of days we’ve had freeze warnings here. We did take them to heart, but we really didn’t think it would get as low as it did. I have the NOAA weather application on my phone, and it is pretty accurate about the warnings that it gives. I have it programmed for Ramona and for Hereford. So, while Ramona warnings were all about wind and extreme fire danger, ours were about freezing temperatures. Continue reading
It’s funny how when you do an image search on “Winter Is Here” you get so many Game of Thrones references. I didn’t search for “Winter is Coming”, but that’s what the majority of the images were. Anyway… tiff over. Even though it’s not technically winter – according to the astrological calendar, that date is actually December 21st and it arrives here at 9:28 in the morning – the temperatures are heralding its arrival! Currently it’s 41°, but the weather info says “feels like 36°”. Last night we received a frost warning that goes through tomorrow. There was also a small possibility of snow in the mountains last night, but I didn’t see any on my way to work. ‘Course, it’s still a bit dark then. We’ve had the citrus trees covered for a few nights now, and I’m contemplating giving the broccoli some water bottles to keep them warm tonight. Doesn’t take much to keep them from freezing.
Because the temperatures have been rather cold, it’s been difficult to do things outside. Still, Sue manages to find things to take care of. Today she said she just kind of putzed around: organized the wood remains of the trailer, moved the salvaged doors and drawers to the Storage Trailer, along with some of Belles belongings that we might use at a later date, hauled feed and grain over for the goat boys, added more straw to the chicken coop – both sides, and kept putting the covering back on the Meyer lemon tree. Not to mention doing all the chores by herself, again, because I was working late and meeting with our friends Mark and Nina on an egg supply run. Jeesh. That’s nuthin’. Too cold to stay outside doing day long activities though. The wind is simply biting, even though the sun was out for most of the day today.
Tomorrow… we’ll just have to see what that and the weekend bring. Was thinking it’d be a good weekend to take eggs to the Farmer’s Market, but we have a rehearsal in the morning, so I may just have to create a small farmers market at church that day. I’ll also be making a quick trip to Ramona next week and can bring eggs if you need them. I won’t be able to drive them all over hill and dale though, but I can make them available at FCC! Let me know if you’re interested. If it looks like it might work, I’ll post a call out on the Face Book page. Hope to see many of you at some point this month or over the holidays. Until then~ as always,
Thanks for reading!
Today’s Weather: See above for some info. Sunset is at 5:17 p.m. Low is supposed to be around 25° early next morning. Sun rise is at 7:08 a.m.
Egg Report: Yesterday we had a pretty good day: 15 chicken eggs, 1 duck egg. Today was ok: 9 chicken eggs, 1 duck. There was probably at least one more, maybe a couple, because there is evidence of egg eating on some of the eggs that Sue picked up today. Rotten little scoundrels!
Ta da! Here is the the trailer at it’s barest. It is ready for its new purpose in life. Sue went to Home Depot yesterday and ordered the materials to create the Have Chickens, Will Travel Trailer. That’s not what we’re really calling it, it’s just what typed out on the page. She said the guy at Home Depot asked “Why do you want to put your chickens in a trailer anyway?” After she explained about Pasturing chickens, his response was, “Oh.” Well… you know, it’s all an adventure! The frame is really quite sturdy and has very little rust on in considering all the leaking that it had weathered. Sue’s looking at the best way to treat the frame to remove the rust and then repaint it. Told you this would be an ongoing, long term project.
I’m not really sure what else we’re going to talk about. We have some things planned, but nothing is really happening. The supplies for the trailer will be delivered on Friday sometime. Our neighbor, Tom, will be dropping off a couple loads of mulch – hopefully – sometime this week. At some point we’ll decorate the Christmas Tree… although that’s not really Wing and a Prayer stuff, technically. I’ll probably take eggs to the Farmers Market on Saturday… if we end up with enough that would make it worth our while. We still have one little Banty Hen on the DL. We’re not sure she’s really going to recover enough to thrive. We moved the Banty Rooster Processing day forward a few weeks – just so we can make sure that the Roosters are truly Roosters; they are not all crowing yet, and sometimes the hens can have pretty good combs and wattles. We don’t want to accidentally process a hen.
I wanted to share with you this photo that Sue took a few days ago. The Moringa Tree that we overwintered in the kitchen window last year, and that was planted in the spring, seems to have really settled in. It’s about my height now, and as started to bloom. Eventually it will freeze down to nothing, and then grow even taller next year. This is the process that generally happens with those. If the blooms last long enough to form seeds, maybe we’ll try to propagate some of those elsewhere on the property. They just need to have regular water, and sometimes that’s hard to always get. Maybe we could plant some near the goat pens… as long as they are far enough away that they don’t get eaten! Who knows. But I do like the little flowers… they are edible… we tried them. Tasted green. I did write a bit about the Moringa Tree in some earlier post, but here’s a link that talks about the health aspects of Moringa leaves: www.purehealingfoods.com. We were thinking that it’d be a good additive to the chicken feed – especially if we can grow a few on the property well. Since they die back in the winter, they will let the sun in to warm the coop, and then provide shade in the summer. It seems to be growing well where it is… maybe where we need to add another is on the other side of the coop near the doves. Again, we’ll see – that’ll be a bit down the road. We’ll share with you when we start planting out the other trees that we have as well. Until then, as always~
Thanks for reading!
Today’s Weather: Cold. We’re really getting to feel wintery now. It was cloudy and a bit windy most of the day today. the high was 61°, but felt more like 56°. Currently it is 60° and feels much colder due to the wind. Low is supposed to be 38° tonight. Sunset was around 5pm, tomorrow’s sunrise is 7:06 a.m.
Egg Report: Today is the best day we’ve had in a while. We ended up with 18 chicken eggs today, and 1 duck egg! We did have one egg that Sue rescued from being eaten – it was just pecked when she went late morning to check. I wanted to share this as our cool thing this week. My dad made this egg keeper, I call it the egg counter, for us to use a while back. It’s an easier way to keep track of the eggs by the week, especially now that we’re trying to pick them up several times a day. From the angle of the photo, it’s difficult to see – but today – Tuesday has a double row of eggs, one atop the other. We used to just pile them all together in an egg basket, but this helps us keep track, just in case we forget to write it down. And it provides a visual as well. I still need to paint it, but we’re using it now anyway. Thanks, Dad!
That’s a very good question. Is it just me or did this week seem to simply fly by? When I got home today, Sue said, “I sure didn’t do anything today.” Then she proceeded to tell me all the things she did work on. The biggest of which was research and planning for completing the trailer-cum-chicken tractor. There are a lot of things to think about: needs to be strong enough to withstand the winds and be towed all around the pasturelands, needs to be tall enough for people access, yet not too big or heave so that it can be towed all around the pasturelands, needs a storage place for food and a tank to harvest any water that is collected from the roof, needs to have enough nesting boxes for 30+ chickens as well as indoor roosting space. That’s a lot to take into consideration. Plus figuring out what lumber is needed… there’s math involved in all that stuff! Takes some brain-power; glad she’s doing it!
The other thing she did was set up the mid-sized crate for the little Banty Hen and her beau. We wanted to give her some more room to be exercising and getting better, but still keep her safe. So Sue put up a barrier between the two in the crate and we set them up together. This will also allow the Beau to be able to come and go if he wants as he has a separate access door. If, for some reason, she doesn’t get better – he’ll need to be able to participate in the Banty community. He’s been a good protector to her and stuck around with her, even though he was able to get out of their little enclosure if he wanted to. I think he’ll be a rooster we keep.
Also today, Sue put up a really nice winter wind barrier for the doves. As the days and nights have been getting cooler, we’ve been concerned about keeping them warm. Last night we talked about giving them shelter from the cold wind and I suggested using the remaining heavy duty plastic sheeting that was left over from the cold frame. That would allow them to still have light come in. So – Sue did that today. Leaving some open spaces here and there for circulation. When I checked on their water this evening, you could feel a noticeable difference in the temperature. They’ll do great!
I suppose the final update, then would be that the Little Layers have been unleashed! They’ve been so hot to get out of the brooders they’ve been jumping over the top. So, last night, after everyone was settled down for the evening, we just simply opened the doors for them. They have yet to venture out of the coop and many are staying in the bottom brooder because the Banties are less than welcoming. I keep telling them that they better watch it because those layers are gonna end up twice their size – and we all know about paybacks! We’ll see how many days it takes for the layers to get outside. Integration is always and interesting time.
We’ll keep you posted on all of these exciting happenings and so much more! Until then, as always~
Thanks for reading!
Today’s Weather: was cloudy all day and cooler. My body is telling me that the weather would like to rain. The high was 69°, currently it is 62° at 5:33 p.m. Sunset was sometime in the past ( like around 5:10) and sunrise will be at 7:03 a.m.
Egg Report: Yesterday we had 11 chicken eggs – no duck eggs; they are on hiatus. Today we had 12 chicken eggs.