Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Did we have winter this year?

Other than a few cold days and a few nights that it dipped below freezing, we seemed to have skipped winter this year. I feel like I am already ahead on a lot of things around the homestead. Behind, as usual, on others.

Despite not blogging about it, things have gone on as usual around here.

The chickens are doing well and started laying again about 2 weeks ago. We already have more eggs than I know what to do with. After not having any all winter, I'm definitely not complaining! I'd like to get a few baby chicks this spring to add some hens to the flock since we didn't last year, but we will see how this spring goes. The small (original) coop didn't fare as well as they did. I used untreated wood to build it so it lasted far longer than I thought it would. That building project needs to happen soon.

The pigs we got at the end of last summer are HUGE and very healthy. I never named them because we didn't have great luck the the pigs we got the previous year and I didn't want to get my hopes up. They are by far the sweetest pigs I have ever had. Both "uncut" boys but they are far sweeter to each other and to everyone else than any of the "cut" boys we have had. Cruel practice anyway so I wouldn't mind being rid of it as long as the meat doesn't have a bad taste to it like I have been warned about. They like their ears scratched and always come when called. The boys have been naughty and gotten loose a couple of times but always came home. Once just about a month ago. They ended up about a quarter of a mile away on the other side of the huge field beside our property. I found them as I was on my way to pick Keegan up from school so I pulled that car over to call them to me as a police car slows down to see what was happening. They decided to help. Imagine me in my car(baby was in there so I couldn't go far), windows down, yelling for the pigs as they trot beside the car, followed by police directing traffic around me, all the way home. And just as we get back to the property and the police leave, the pigs take off again. Brad is in the woods trying to find them somewhere else this whole time and I can't get ahold of him. It was a mess. I wasn't a huge fan of them that day.

The two turkeys I have left are still here, but they are trying our patience. Both of them have been very aggressive for the last few months. Tabby has always been hateful, but Yellow (male) has always been sweet until lately. He actually flogged me a couple months ago. I'm hoping it was the season and soon when Tabby starts laying again they will calm down. We had taken to carrying sticks (not to hit them with but just because they are wary of them) or the hose when ever we are outside but they are chilling out a bit now.  Except for with the poor dog, which they chase and antagonize constantly.

Guineas may also be on my list of spring babies. I am down to 5. One poor soul was lost to the electric fence when he somehow got his wing wrapped around it. That continuous charge fence is no joke, but nothing else was keeping the pigs in.

Many spring chores have been happening lately and I may be ahead of my usual game. Over the last couple of weeks I have already
- Pruned the fruit trees and did a little bit of blueberry pruning since none was done in the fall like usual.
- Weeded the strawberry patch (which was a terrible mess!)
- Cleaned the deep bedding out of the chicken coop and used it to fertilize the fruit trees, strawberry patch, small garden beds, herb garden, and all of the flower beds.
- Separated overpopulated plants in the flower gardens, moved them around, and planted more bulbs.
- Raked a TON of leaves and mulched all of the places I fertilized. Chickens are trying their best to undo that.
- Planted cool weather veggies in the greenhouse (about a month ago)

- Planted sugar snap peas for the boys in the garden... which the chickens enjoyed. Need to plant more.
- Started indoor seeds (peppers, tomatoes, etc) 2/22/16. Late again...

Still lots to do but Liam keeps me company most days and I love it.

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