It’s been such a strange summer so far! The weather has been all over the place. You may remember we had to send some of our over-eager roosters to another farm; in the end we sent all three including Toni who I had wanted to keep. He was a beauty, but unfortunately, he was kind of the leader of the pack, and they were all just too much for our hens.
Since we had decided on no more hatches, we thought we were done with all that for a while, or at least until next year. However, someone on the farm had a secret he was keeping……
We kind of suspected Tory could be a rooster due to his size and looks, but we’re never sure until we hear that crow or see them trying to mate with the hens. We were joking for a while that he had yet to find his identity! He didn’t do either until just about a week ago. He was hiding out behind the coop the first couple times he did it, but you can always tell the new crow of a rooster, it’s not really complete yet! On this day I happened to be inside the coop, and he didn’t know I was watching. 🙂 We joke about the fact that he seemed to be quite smart in hiding his true status, so he didn’t get sent away like the others! So far, he is not behaving too badly so we plan on keeping him for the time being, we are hoping that doesn’t change.
At least one more of the young ladies from that group has started to lay her eggs too. We’re not sure we’re planning things very well since we’ve only gained 4 laying hens this year now (half of what we hatched before the last group turned out to be roosters). There are two more of the young ones that remain to be seen, but the way the odds have been going we’ll be quite lucky we think if both turn out to be hens!
More Newbies & Flock Antics
We also still wanted more guinea fowl this year, so we decided to buy 8 newly hatched keets from another local farm. It wasn’t really in the plans, but you know how it is when you see an animal on Facebook? Every day I see a dog or cat I’d like to adopt, but Luke says no. So, I saw keets instead, and those he approved! These 8 are all lavender colored, so we’ll have a lot more variety now! The 3 we hatched previously are still unknown for color, but we think they are probably going to be “slate”. All 3 are looking pretty much the same in coloring.
Our one guinea mama has been keeping us on our toes trying to find her nests. The crazy amount of rain we’ve been getting has been making all the brushy areas grow in quite thickly, and she’s pretty good at finding places to get into that we have trouble finding. We’ve broken up two of her nests so far, and we think she’s working on a new one now. We hate to have to do it, but it’s just not safe for her when she gets to the point that she wants to stay on the nest overnight. Long time readers of the blog might remember that we lost two other females to predators that way.
This girl teased us a bit by starting to lay some eggs in the coop, but she didn’t stick with that. Two of our chickens were trying to nest as well, but they didn’t have success. We had thought maybe we could get one or both to raise the new guinea keets, but they were not on board with that plan. They’ve given up on being Mamas for now, thankfully. It’s not healthy for them to spend too much time sitting on nests, and it seems sometimes they don’t know when to quit, even when none of the eggs are viable! The whole process can be a long story, and frankly, we don’t have it all figured out yet!
Rain, Rain, Go Away!
Luke remains patient about not getting a lot of walks, but we hope the current rainy spell has finally come to an end. He keeps busy assisting me in the kitchen when I’m baking dog cookies! The last time we had a hot spell, I ordered one of those “splash pads” for he and I to cool off on, but ever since I got it, it’s been mostly rainy and cool, so we haven’t tried it out yet. Since we’re already halfway through July, I wonder if we’re going to get a true summer or not!
Things are coming along in the vegetable garden, but the weeds are taking over! I planted a “cover crop” this year, in between rows of veggies. The cover crop, buckwheat, is supposed to enrich the soil and drown out the other weeds because it grows so quickly. It’s doing well, and the bees love the flowers, but the native weeds are not giving up so easily, especially with all the rain! It’s kind of a jungle out there…..but in the middle of it all, most of what I planted is blossoming with the promise of a good crop. I think some sunshine and warmth would help now to really get things going, and if we can get enough of a break from the rain, maybe I’ll even make a dent in the weeding.
For those of you having more heat than you’d like this summer, feel free to send it our way. We typically only have two or so months of hot weather per year and that’s just enough to give us our fill. We’re running short right now, and we’d like to get to enjoy just a little bit more. 😊