Hey it just started to rain. Oh no, its gone. Well there was a wee bit of something. It was spitting. Though the sky spitting on me is not a sweet analogy. We have not had rain since the middle of June so I guess even those few spits are welcome. Shortly we are going to have to resort to some kind of rain dance. And that is not a picture I want anyone carrying around in their heads for the day. And yes it is still hot, but there is a wee breeze, so all is not lost. This is a chook photo from my archives. I will tell you about it soon.
Now we were going to discuss chickens on the farm. They are pretty important. Because they are the clean up guys. They are practically camped under the apple trees this week. When I weed the flower and vegetable gardens all the weeds that are deemed edible, which is most of them, are thrown into the chook run. They eat left overs from the house kitchen. They turn over the hay in the barn every day looking for tasty morsels. they have dust baths in the most inconvenient places but what can you do. They work for free. They are my waste disposal units.
I have two flocks. One spends their morning in the chook house being good girls and laying their eggs before coming out in the afternoon to make trouble. The other flock is smaller and sleeps in the rafters of the barn with the guineas. See below: These are the guineas, these are not chickens. And yes these birds are really as ugly as they appear. Their job is to wander about and eat bugs. But they just wander about and make a sound similar to a bug that needs his bicycle chain oiled. They squeak about the property. And they don’t even eat Japanese Beetles! People say they are good watchdogs but they don’t do that either, more often than not they saunter slowly in front of the approaching car thinking squeaky thoughts. TonTon used to herd them but he has given up on that because they take no notice of him anymore.
Anyway back to the chickens. Their eggs are fed to every animal on the property. The cats dogs, cows and sheep all line up for their daily eggs and milk. I have tried every recipe known to man or woman that uses lots of eggs. I cannot wait to get a pig and then I can feed the little oink eggs and milk as well and won’t he be YUM! Here is Rooster 3. Not pretty either really.
And so to all those egg shells. These get crushed then thrown into the vegetable gardens. Good for tomatoes evidently and a great deterrent for all manner of little crawlies in the soil. Calcium for the soil. I also put crushed shell into the worm farm. I must tell you about the worm farm sometime soon.
The chickens are the manure spreaders in the fields. Now anyone with a weak stomach may not want to read this paragraph. But the moment the chook house flock is let out in the afternoon, they race each other to the cow pats. They jump into them and scratch about looking for seeds. Flicking clumps of cow poo in all directions. It is quite revolting to watch but perfect for fertilising the fields. Sometimes I feed Daisy oats (which pass right through her undigested), to encourage the chickens in their job as farm manure spreaders. Isn’t that just awful! I feel so bad. OK moving on. Here is a nice picture of lambs to take the nasty image of flying poo out of your head.
Hen Health. To raise animals naturally we must always be proactive about their health. Cider vinegar in the water once a week. Yoghurt mixed into their feed once a week. Garlic when you think about it. Lots and lots of green. Make sure they have oyster shell and a varied diet. In the winter our girls will not take a step out that door, they HATE the snow, so sometimes I throw a slice of hay in for them to munch during the cold times. I used to give them a heat lamp when it was below freezing but the cats kept shuffling the chickens out of the way and sleeping under the lamp all day, so we gave up. (See First Image. Unless I tell you, all photos are taken on the day I write , but I could not resist including this old one of Thing Two as a heat seeking cat. Bad cat)
So there you are. Chickens, chooks, hens. They are one of the pivots of my little farm system. Our attempt to live sustainably without waste.
Now I have started a flag counter on this page so we can see where our readers are visiting from as a bit of interest. So far though I have had 379 visits. Thank you so much for dropping by. I am loving it. And your comments are great.
Now, I am going to go and make quiche. I will use todays eggs, and zuchinni and onion from the garden. This is a popular Buyswheeler recipe so I will write it up for you tomorrow. Though I need to warn you that my recipes are of the ‘a bit of this and a bit of that’ variety.
Talk to you again soon.