Monday, July 25, 2016

Chickens in the heat

Egg production here is WAAAAY down due to the setting hens and the heat.  I have one hen that is being followed around by 8 little chicks that hatched 5 days ago, including the one whose scalp I had to superglue back on after it got pecked by another setting hen.  I sprayed it with veterycin and superglued it and let it rest for the day in my room (that was the day of thunderstorms).  Then I put it back under its mother.  It is moving and eating and drinking just fine, but I'm not sure it actually has any eyesight on one side... that side is still rather swollen, though it did seem less this morning than yesterday.  Anyway, if it survives this, we are still going to eat it in three months.  No more keeping the injured as pets (do you hear me, children?).

Other than that, the outdoor garden has gotten away from me again.  Going on vacation always lets the weeds take over.  Next year, I'm not going on vacation.  I have harvested a bunch of garlic and kale and cabbage, and have lots more of all three.  Also, I started broccoli for a fall harvest (I'm hoping it does better than the spring starts, which were mostly eaten by the groundhogs.  The Matt's Wild Cherry Tomatoes are ripening (I keep sneaking them off the vine), but the Hillbillies are still green.  I'll replant the beans this week(now that we are down one groundhog) and see if I can still get a harvest in the time left - maybe in the hoop house if nowhere else).  Gotta do something with the basil, too, before it all goes to seed.

It's a banner year for blackberries - I have 18 jars of jam done, and 5 more bags (enough for another 9  jars if I'm so inclined, which I am not) in the fridge.  I think I'll try some other recipe(s) with those.  Did a batch (8 jars) of black raspeberries yesterday.  There are a lot of berries but they are tiny this year, I'm assuming from the lack of rain... at least until this week.  I still have a tray of strawberries in the freezer to can into jam.  And I'm going to pick up 10# blueberries from the u-pick farm later this week (I'm not picking them this time, since the price difference is only $4).

My other MUST DO job this week is getting the last of the bee boxes assembled, painted, and on the hives.  And slapping a few more supers on top so I might actually get a reasonable amount of honey this year.

The fun never stops.

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