Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Another Bits and Pieces Day

Amazingly, I took the day off! 

No, I didn't neglect all the chores... but just didn't go above and beyond.  I didn't work in the garden, or cut the balance of the pasture.  It was cool and rainy, in the 60's, and I printed out some pictures to put in a scrapbook, and read some blogs. 
A perfectly wonderful day. 

The humidity is 90% out right now, but the weathermen are saying that we are going to have little, if any, rain tonight, and then sunny skies for three days. 

I hope it will help this: 

That's my beautiful pot of balsam, that I started indoors.  It's wilting and dying.  I'm not sure if it's feet are too wet... I had to pour water off it the other day... or what.  It's definitely dying.  I'm praying we have some strong sunny days, and it revives.  Some of it was blooming already. 

You can see from this shot from the door how gloomy it was.  Our little red squirrel friend was eating in the flat feeder, since Lilly was in the house sleeping.  After a while, she went out and laid in the rain under the maple tree, watching her garden.  Last night, Keith watched her stalk a rabbit that was in one of the garden beds... she made a final run, but it got away. 

This is one of the old hens that I got from a friend last year, and now most are no longer laying. 
This hen is very old, and you can tell that by her face, it is very washed out of color.  

She was laying under the nest box, hiding.  She got up and walked a few steps when Abby came in to help me... and then went back under.  I suspect we aren't going to have her around for long. 

There she goes back into the dark, as soon as I was finished gathering the eggs. 

I'm going to have to make a decision at some point... we are feeding probably 20 hens who have not laid in months.  I wish I could say that we would keep them forever, but I am the one dealing with the muck and the mud daily, so I am trying to make a decision for everyone, especially Keith, who is buying most of the feed now. 

I got a whole 9 eggs from this henhouse today, and two had tiny cracks in them, so could not be used. 

Of those eggs, only two were large eggs, the rest were bantams.  There are 32 birds in here, and four are roosters.  I rest my case. 

When Keith is gone with his dad next week, grandson Chris is coming to help me for a few days with some chores I need to get done that need a second pair of hands.  One is to definitely move the ducks from the henspa yard over to the old henyard, so they can go in the pasture daily and eat grass and weeds.  They are desperate for them, and in the morning, I go around picking stuff for them to eat, and give them time to eat before I let the ravenous hens out.  Same at almost-dark, I pick enough for the four ducks, and they eat after I lock the hens up. 

I'm going to have to work with them to get them in at night, because otherwise, the coyotes will get them.  We did keep ducks before, though, and they always spent the nights in the henyard. 

Once they are moved over, then we'll have a cleaner henspa yard, and I can start putting out straw again to be worked down into compost. 

Someone Who Has Been Grounded was helping me tonight.  The humidity was 90% and it was very hard on her.  I did get an idea from a fellow blogger today, Deb at The Three Little Pugs, to order a blue gel pad that can be refrigerated to cool Abs down on hot summer days.  We expect 90's next week, so I'm going to order it right away. 


  1. How old is old for a hen? How long do hens lay eggs before they are too old? It's too bad that you can't put them out to pasture like an old horse. But then the wolves would get them!!

  2. I hope the heat doesn't affect Abs too much, he is gorgeous!

  3. When it gets up in the 90's the heat gets to me too and only go out early or late in the day when it is cooler. So far we've seen a few of those hot days but not many. Glad you enjoyed a partial day off anyway. You do a lot more than i for sure. No animals of any kind around here. Just the ones that visit and then go home. Thanks for the prayer for my grandson. That was very kind.

  4. It will be a lot easier on you when you separate the ducks and they can forage on their own. Maybe you could train them with bits of bread or something.

    When I walk toward our pasture gate and holler "chick chick" to my 2 hens and 2 roos, they stampede.

    I'd probably repot that balsam into a couple of different pots to see if that would save it. Or maybe pot some and plant some in the ground.

  5. abby looks so cute smelling the basil...we have mint planted in a pot beside the door and it has the opposite problem as it is to wet. Did you get your cooling pad ordered...I see they are not 10.00 anymore but still well worth the price!!
    stella rose

  6. I hope your work gets easier. It is hard taking care of lots of animals. I don't have near as many as I did but it still takes a bit of time.
    I hope you have a great weekend.

  7. Good girl, Mary Ann! Take the day off, it will do you good. Kind of like paying yourself for all the hard work you do and a difficult winter and spring. And try not to wait until next winter to take another day off.

    Yes to cooling pad for Abby!

  8. I loved the picture of the little red squirrel! Something we don't have in Australia.
    We are just moving into winter as it warms up at your place!

  9. So glad your Grandson is coming to help out :) We've got that gloominess and we had the humidity but it left and got cold, now it's working it's way back but pretty slowly. I never thought of the pads for Pugs, but that's a great idea. I used frozen water bottles for rabbits and they love it. Usually Douglas stays near the air conditioner :)


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