Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bad News!

William went to check on the chickens this morning before going to work. Another Freezer Camp bound rooster was killed last night. That's three dead killed by varmints. It's still too hot to have a day of butchering but if we don't get the job done we're not going to have a job to do.

It's heart rending to put out the amount of money, work and energy to get these birds ready for the freezer or canning only to have a wild animal make their meals out of what was supposed to be our meals. Another thing is the wild animals only eat a small amount of the chicken leaving the rest to be disposed of where we would use the whole chicken. PFFFFT!

We are to a point of not knowing what else to do. William has reinforced the pens. Put wire over wire, boards in the ground around the outside of the pens and wire in the ground and these animals are still getting in. He also has traps set but the wiley little rascals avoid them.

It looks like one of us will have to stay out there at night. I really, really don't want to have to do that and William can't and work the next day. So what do we do? Turn the chickens out and just let the wild varmints graze?

That's the news from Hunny Bunny Haven today, sad as it is.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Chickens Survived Last Night

All the chickens were still here this morning. We're hoping that the work William did yesterday around the chicken pens will deter anymore invasions from unknown intruders. I sure hope so. I don't want to have to set in the dark with a gun that I'm not sure how to shoot and a flashlight waiting on a varmint to come wandering into view.

I'm an old woman and my heart gets all fluttery when I get scared and wild animals scare me. Case in point the noises we heard in the front yard last night. My heart still goes pitter-pat faster when I think of the way that animal sounded.

If I was pulling a stake-out and heard an animal near me that sounded like the one we heard last night I'd probably shoot myself trying to get inside. LOL

Truly, I'm hoping that the repairs William did on the pens will stop the killing of our chickens. It's too late for the ducks but may be not for the chickens.

We are going to reinforce the fence around the pasture with some six foot wire and get a dog to live in the pasture. That should take care of all crawling/walking problems. Those flying raptors there's no way to stop. That is unless we can come up with $5,000.00 for each raptor we were to shoot and don't mind a few years in jail.

When the pasture is more secure I will get some more ducks. SSSSHHHH, don't tell William. Let be a surprise.

That's the day around here today. Y'all are welcome to drop in anytime.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What Constitutes Botanical Murder?

I think I've committed botanical murder. After planting the greens last week, I decided the squash and cucumbers needed some fertilizer. We have some organic liquid fertilizer that we had bought. Being in a hurry I didn't take time to dilute the fertilizer instead pouring a small amount onto the dirt and then digging it in around the squash and cucumbers.

Today I went to the garden to look at the little greens poking their heads up through the dirt. Lo and behold the cucumber vines look horrible. They have yellowed leaves with spots on them. I've burned them up with organic fertilizer.

Now I'm wondering just how organic this fertilizer is if it burns like this. I've poured strong rabbit manure tea over plants with no sign of burning whatsoever. When I fertilized the plants last week no fertilizer touch the plants but the leaves still look cooked.



On a lighter side the greens are up and looking good. They are planted thickly. When the plants are little larger I will transplant some of the plants and thin some. The thinnings I will use in stirfry or a salad. No waste here.

This is the kale:

Here is a picture of the lettuces. I mixed several varieties of lettuces and planted them together.

The next picture is a small spot of swiss chard. There is a row about ten feet long of swiss chard but I only made the picture of a small spot.

We are still getting a few tomatoes from the volunteer vine. I hope this one vine will supply us with a tomato here and there until frost. The tomatoes on this vine have tasted so good. I don't know if it's because I know the tomatoes are about gone for the summer or if these tomatoes have a better taste than the others. Either way, we're enjoying the last of our harvest.

On another note. The wild animals are still attacking our birds. All our ducks have been killed except for the old Pekin, Matilda. I guess she's too tough for the animals to digest.

They have killed several of our roosters we've raised for the freezer and some of our Barred Rock hens. Last night some kind of animal dug into the rare breed (Buttercup) pen and killed one of the young pullets.

William worked this afternoon to reinforce the pens so as to keep the animals out. Traps aren't working. We may have to set up a stake-out to find out what type of animal this is.

It's heartbreaking to raise birds up to the age they are just before beginning to lay and then have a wild varmint come along and make dinner out of them. I know that is what wild varmints do but it doesn't mean I have to be happy about it.

That's the goings on here at Hunny Bunny Haven. Thanks for dropping by. Come back again, y'all.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The cukes and squash are growing!

We have the cucumbers and squash up and growing. It's kind of hard to find them in all the weeds and grass. I hoed both on Saturday then pulled dirt up around them.....then it rained. So I go back out there this afternoon and hoe them again. Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow. LOL

We still don't have greens in the ground but Felder says by the middle of September and they will still have time to mature enough to survive any cold weather we may have.

Below are some pictures of the squash and cukes.
Cucumbers before I hoed them this afternoon.

Cukes after they were hoed. They look good now but when it rains again it will be cukes vs weeds!

The squash leaves are a little yellowish. Our spring squash were the same way. They had the same food as the cukes. This is the before picture:

And the after:

I think they will produce before we have a frost. I'm hoping they will anyway. Now to get the greens in the ground before it's too late. Maybe we can get that done this weekend.

We still have butterbeans, some peppers, okra and a few small tomatoes in our summer garden. We had a tomato plant come up volunteer that has some nicer tomatoes on it. They're not large but large enough we can make a sandwich with one. This one plant will furnish us tomatoes until frost.

When all the summer veggies have done their do we are going to till the ground and start building the raised beds for next spring. Our raised beds produce many more vegetables than the row garden.

I can work the raised beds more easily than row gardens. I can pull something to sit on up to the beds and sit while I pull any weeds that need pulling. With the raised beds we don't have many weeds.

That's a little catch up for now. I will be showing some of the other veggies as we get them planted.

One more thing not vegetable related. Our young pullets we got back in March are starting to sing. This means they are getting ready to begin laying. I can't wait to get those blue, green, blue-green and speckled eggs. Also, the Buttercups will be laying soon too. Some folks I know will be glad to be getting eggs with white shells.

On a sadder note: Raccoons killed all our ducks except two. We have one Buff Orph and the Pekin left. Raccoons and possums have never attempted to bother the ducks before but I guess they got a taste of duck when they got the little ones so they can back and got the grown ones.

If things go as I hope there will be a six foot fence put around the pasture this winter and early next spring. The fence along with the pens we have our birds in should keep varmints out. I hope.

I'm glad you came to visit. Come again sometimes.