Monday, December 31, 2007

Last Post For 2007

As this is my last post for 2007 I am so pleased to announce...... I have green tomatoes at last on my Grosse Lisse tomato plants....mrgreen




Not sure how many there are yet.....don't want to scare them off the branches.



This gives you an idea of their sizes as of this evening. This is the first year we aren't eating them at this time of the year. mad So I am thinking as many will be later on pulling up their plants, we will be eating ours.

December Stats

Boy its been hot and today was no picnic..... with babies out the back to keep an eye on and adult poultry, I have a heat headache from going in and out through the day.


Chooks have been busy laying and this included in the heat from the last few days.

  • Chooks laid 52 for the month, up from 41 in November.
  • Bantams laid 59 for the month, up from 47 in November.
  • Ducks laid 60 eggs, down from 77 in November.

All up my poultry laid 1750 eggs down from 2006's tally of 2199 eggs. Mind you I don't have as many chooks as I had in 2006.

  • Chooks laid 813 eggs for the year.
  • Bantams laid 455 eggs for the year.
  • Ducks laid 482 eggs as well.
December also saw 2 sets of ducklings hatch out. Twinner hatched 6 ducklings, though 2 have died. Banjo hatched out 5 a few days later. So I am happy spending my time drooling over the little balls of fluff as they paddle their days away.

I am refusing to discuss the weather this evening, why should I tell you its so hot outside and that it reached 42.7 at 3.11 pm today and the lowest temp was 27.5 at 1.07 am this morning. Also I refuse to tell you we slept under the a/c in the rumpus room last night and will be doing it again tonight. rolleyes

But what I can tell you is we had 25.5 mm of rain spread over 3 days in December. Ranging from a lowest recording of 2 mm to a high of 17.5 in 1 day.

So that is about it from me this year..... so ...yep almost had it correct ..

Until the new year....hoo roo lol

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Thoughts Towards 2008

Now that Christmas is over with for another year and the ducklings have all hatched, my thoughts are turning towards next year. Not so much whether we'll be out raging on New Years Eve, but more so what I would like to achieve through out 2008.

My main thoughts when I think of 2008 is towards my garden and what I'd like to change or start growing.

We have had a bad time fruit tree wise in the last 2 years and for this reason the espalier area needs to be started this coming winter.

Spring 2006 we lost our plum tree only weeks after the local council had been cleaning up in the park behind us. A few days after they had finished our plum tree started dying and within weeks we had lost it. The apricot tree also had the outside limbs near the side facing the park affected as well. Then spring of this year the apricot tree died as well.

So with the fruit trees now gone we need to think about what we are going to grow in the duck run. Pat & I have talked about this and have come to an agreement that an orange tree and a mandarin tree would be nice for the duck run. These will need to be fenced off until the trees are big enough to cope with ducks sheltering under them.

The espalier area is ready for stone fruit to be planted and is being used at the moment to grow beans. Pat has put a request for a new plum tree and I want a white flesh nectarine. So in the new year we'll be starting our mini orchard.

So between now as in this minute and sometime next year I need to cut down the apricot tree. Plus dig out those roots and the plum tree roots....still. Think I had better sharpen my secateurs and pruning saw, plus get the shovel ready as well. Gee love to have a shredder to shred the apricot tree..... then I could use the mulch out the front in my Friendship Garden. idea Need to think about that thought.

Two new citrus trees and 2 new stone fruit trees I think is a good amount to aim for in 2008. mrgreen

In the vegie garden I'd love to learn more about moon planting. I started this early in March of this year with some FAB TAB results. Towards Christmas I fell of the wagon with a trip to Sydney and then Pat who suffers badly from work related Occupational Asthma and has lost 44% of his lungs through this , wound up with bronchitis leading up to Christmas. So with the threat of being admitted to hospital on Christmas Day hanging over our heads, gardening has taken a backward step.

Pat thankfully wasn't admitted and is very slowly recovering to the best his lungs will allow him.

Vegie wise, I have this dream of making my garden produce as much as possible in the small area. Hence I love to grow things on trellises and against fences.

I have 8 capsicum plants out the back and I'd love to roast and bottle my own capsicums this season. If my tomatoes ever get a wriggle on and set fruit, I'd love to try my hand at making tomato sauce.

Seed saving has branched out into more varieties and I get excited to think I am saving money by saving my own seeds.

So now that it's quietening down here, I'm ready to face a new year with fresh ideas on what I want to grow.

Now you know what is whirling around in my head at night, as I lay there tired and excited about the up coming year.

Bring it on....................

Until next time.... hoo roo

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Banjo & Her 5 Babies

Banjo is now the proud mum of 5 little ducklings with mixed colours. I have removed her and the babies from the in closed area of the hen house. Last thing I want is to loose ducklings through the hens attacking them.

So into a bucket went 5 ducklings, into my arms went Banjo and down the front of my clothes and legs went Banjo's bowel movement as she wasn't a happy mum at all.



First run round in the big wide world. At one stage all 9 ducklings were in the pond....I missed that as I was in the shower.



Sheltering from the sun, but near mum.



This little one decided to follow Aunty Twinner and it's cousins.

So there you have it..... all hatching is finished, 9 little ducklings to trip me up when I visit or feed them.

Now maybe I can get back to other things besides babies out the back ...... naaa lol

Until next time....hoo roo


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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Animals & Hot Weather

Going to be a stinker of a day here....again. evil

So this means not only keeping an eye on waters but also for distressed animals from the heat.

Cadbury & Flossy have their 3 ltr milk bottles frozen with water in their hutches. Makes for a more comfortable time as they wait for the cooler evening to come round. Lazying against an ice brick makes for a cooler bunny.

Chooks & ducks have their waters checked often as they will not drink warm water. Must be changed if the water warms up. This water isn't wasted, its emptied onto the lawn.

Ducklings too are kept a close eye on, for heat stress. We lost one of Twinner's dark feathered ducklings over night. I found it this morning caught behind a nest box. cry So she is now down to 4 babies, here's hoping they all grow up to be cute big ducks.


Banjo is still sitting on her eggs and a new duckling is about out of it's shell and this will be number 3 of the clutch. Other 2 eggs are still chipping and peeping away inside. I do hope they survive today's heat as they continue to hatch.

Due to where Banjo decided to go build her nest, there isn't a lot of room for much else besides her body and the nest. I did manage to squeeze the small water bowl Twinner's babies were first using as a pond, in close to Banjo and her ducklings. Just to make sure both Banjo and the babies had water.



But before I did this the 2 little ones came inside for a big pondie and a feed of chick starter. While I was getting the 2 little ones, Pat set up a pond for them. Talk about spoiling them, look at the size dish Pat used....mrgreen Did those 2 ducklings have a ball with all that water.



And of course with babies in water, there must be life guards. Today on duty is Rebel and Milly. Rebel was more gamer to check that the little life jackets were correctly positioned on the ducks, by sniffing them.

I sprinkled some chick starter in the water and once what was floating had been eaten up, it didn't take them long to learn.....if you paddle your feet fast, the food floats to the top. cool

So after a good play, feed and drink, it was back out with mum and with them went a bowl of fresh water.

Anyhow, must be time for me to join the real world and push a broom round the floors in the house and think about other boring house jobs.....

Until Next time....hoo roo

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Banjo's A Mum Again



First 2 of Banjo's babies to hatch out. Still 4 eggs to go, 3 are pipping as I post this here. Banjo is a funny thing, she didn't mind me picking up her babies, just didn't like me putting my hand near her eggs.

Both are just so cute though I do love the little black & white one.

Said to Pat I'll take the babies away and give them a drink and then return them to Banjo. Not the best weather outside for hatching babies, very hot indeed.

Have you ever held a duck egg while it's pipping? Putting the egg to you ear ever so gently and listened to the "tap, tap" of the little egg tooth, as the duckling chips away at the shell? Hearing him/her peep and talk to mum as they work away at the shell. I can tell you it is mind blowing and can make your eyes sting with wonder.

Holding an egg in your hand and feeling life entering this world is a humbling experience. I can't explain how it feels to have the egg move and flex in my palm. Feeling new life struggling to enter the world is amazing. I am always careful not to touch the open area of the shell.

I'll update you more than likely with a new count of baby ducklings tomorrow. If all goes well it will be 5 or 6 all up.

Until next time....hoo roo


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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Update Baby Photos

Seeing as I was updating my blog about saving seeds I thought I'd show you some new photos of Twinner and her brood.

I have upgraded the pond for the 6 of them, as Twinner was wanting a swim herself. Also 5 babies in a small dish isn't big enough for them to swim/paddle and have water for drinking as well.




As you can see Twinner and the kids fit in nicely and the ducklings can get in and out of the dish okay. Well almost everyone....this little fella was having a problem getting his legs over the side.



So with the use of a brick in & out of the water dish, I don't have to worry about any of the little ducklings drowning.

I could sit outside and watch them all day. mrgreen When ever I go out and check on them, I always walk away with a smile on my face and my heart that bit lighter and happier.

Twinner isn't attacking me or biting at my hand when I am putting feed or water down near them. I'm really thrilled at this as Twinner has always managed to bluff me with past clutches. Maybe it had something to do with not being able to rely on Pat to get her out from under the chook house the other day. rolleyes

Until next time....hoo roo

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Saving Seeds

On Christmas Day while sitting out the back I was harvesting seeds from the flower heads of the chives and carrots. What a relaxing job this turned out to be. Sitting with the family and just sorting out the seeds from the litter that came off the flower heads.



Not a lot of chive seeds, but enough to start a couple of new clumps when I want. Usually I just lift and divide the clumps of chives and this seems to get the plants all excited and reshooting.

I think more of the seeds wound up in the soil than in the dish I was using to dry the seeds out.

I weighed the seeds on my digital scales, but it didn't register a weight reading.




Now the carrots are a different matter, there is 16 gm of seed from 4 flower heads. This harvest of seeds doesn't include the seeds I am drying here. Those seeds are still to be sorted out. I had picked 4 other flower heads off the carrot plants and then removed the carrots from the garden.

I had asked on a forum about how many carrots should I let go to seed and was told 2 would be enough. I can see why lol

So I am hoping now that I won't be needing to buy my carrot seeds every couple of sowings. If this is successful...... I am even more self sufficient in my backyard.

To be able to see a seed produce a vegetable the size of a carrot and then to either feed a family from the crop or to collect more seeds for future sowing......is very humbling to me.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Babies

First photos of Twinner and her babies. Sadly she lost one yesterday as some how the baby managed to get out of the shed and Bundy killed it. cry

Pat was so upset and Bundy nearly became Christmas lunch eek this is why I always separate the drake from the duck when setting them with eggs. I had the little boarder gate open and so when the duckling got out the shed, he/she had no protection from the bigger ducks.



Five little bubs in their little water dish. I can see this having to be replaced with a bigger dish in a week.



Wait for us mum.....love the foot action of the little yellow duckling on the left.



All safe with mum.

I love going down and peeking over the fence to see what the little ducklings are up too. No sign yet of Banjo's hatching yet.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Mother Duck wishing you a Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from me and all the gang at Lucky's Duck Farm.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Listen To The Rhythm Of Falling Rain

It's 2.30 in the morning and it's raining...again. mrgreen

Yesterday as in Friday I went into the city and because of the rain forecast, Pat stayed home as he's still sick with his chest infection.

Anyway while in the city the heavens opened up and down came the rain. Watching the water flow on the road, I could see the pollution being washed away from months of traffic leaving its footprints on the environment. cry

Rain also brought out so many cars and on the way home the bus was almost at a stand still at a major intersection and traffic was banked back 3 kms.

I came home to a happy hubby, who was telling me stories of poor Milly & Harley who stuck to him like glue while the thunderstorm was clanging above our house.

I measured 17.5 mm of rain in the gauge from our backyard around midday. mrgreen Ducks are happy as and Radar looked soaked from his morning in the rain.

Listening to the news last night, we haven't had this sort of rain since 1st of April of this year and it's the wettest December in I think they said in 14 years.

Can't sleep and so a milo was made for both Pat & I to try and help us relax after his coughing for the last hour and a visit on the nebuliser for his asthma.

So we have some happy people with the rain and to the people I heard complaining about it raining yesterday and how awful their day was being eek ..... blow it out ya ear lol

Until next time hoo roo

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Feeling Blue Like The Sky

Well I was out watering my little vegie patch this morning, as once again we missed out on the rain.

This is becoming such a habit here in Adelaide this last month or so, rain is predicted and it goes east over the boarders.

When I talk to family interstate they see rain predicted on their weather reports for Adelaide and think we are being rained on. So I have to keep telling them the rains didn't come.

For the first time since I put a garden fork into the soil back in 1999, I am disheartened with the garden.

I feel guilty and this upsetting me, because I am not a farmer who's lively hood depends on the crops. I'm a backyard gardener who has this idea that organically grown vegies is not only good for us, the food tastes so much better. I can go down to the local green grocer and buy what I can't harvest, a farmer can't do this.

Yes I am still harvesting food from the vegie patch, though not as much as in past years.

Tomatoes haven't even set fruit yet. I am wondering if it's all the above temperatures we have been having and the flowers haven't set? Or is it the water I have cut back on, with the drought? By this time of the year we are usually eating or about to start eating tomatoes. These tomato plants were planted out only 2 weeks later than other years.

Now I am thinking what to plant now we are back from Sydney. Do I still plant out some summer crops or just wait and plant out winter crops???


What I'd like to still plant for this summer are as follows.....

  • zucchini
  • corn
  • cucumbers
  • bush pumpkins
  • silverbeet
As we have hot weather up until late March.

Other areas, I can get ready for the following season are....

  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • cauli
  • spinach

Well I feel better for telling you all how I feel this morning. Rain is again forecast for the next couple of days with falls up to 40 mm of rain in some areas. Not holding my breath..... I look so silly with a blue face on a hot and muggy day.

If you are getting rain I am so pleased for you. If not, do like me...... think about it... pick yourself up... dust yourself down and stop holding one's breath.....and get that watering can.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Paddles

First time ever Paddles ( one of Banjo's babies) has decided to go broody as well. So while Banjo and Twinner are sitting on their eggs, Paddles is making good use of the spare worm tray in the duck shed.

Every time I go into the shed to get feed for them all, Paddles quacks and carries on like there is no tomorrow. lol I haven't set her as the eggs have slowed down and with maybe 18 ducklings hatching.... do I really need more babies. rolleyes


Paddles, "your not getting any eggs from under me" face and vocal quack.



Paddles, "Come on this face really needs to be a mum" look.

I have never experienced so many ducks broody at one time. Duchess is broody as well, but she seems to be coming off the brood at last. Not sure but I think Rhett is thinking about becoming broody as well.

Maybe they missed me while I was away?

With all the broody ducks, I am surprised the silkies Bonnie & Clyde haven't become broody yet. As soon as this happens, I'll set them with some pure Light Sussex bantam eggs. mrgreen

Until next time....hoo roo

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