Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Baby Chicken Update

Its been a hard day here today with the chickens, as 2 have died.

Both chicks were the smallest out of the 6 that hatched and were pure bred light Sussex bantams.

The last 2 of the pure bred chicks and the 2 cross bred chicks are doing well and are happy to learn from mum and are eating and drinking.

I am wondering if the 2 chicks that died had the same mothers and weren't a strong egg to use when setting Bonnie.

To have a high percentage rate of healthy chicks, food becomes a huge factor in having healthy eggs that reduces the fatality rate when the embryo is about a week old. So I am thinking the eggs weren't of a high enough quality to give a strong chicken.

So hopefully the last 2 purebred Sussex's will continue to thrive along with their siblings.

Hope you enjoyed the 2 photos of the little fluff bums. More photos to come over the next few weeks, as they grow.

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Where Are My Summer Vegies??

Nine years of gardening I have always had wonderful or above average harvests. Now I am suffering a shocking summer with my summer crops.

Out of 7 tomato plants I have about 4 fruits hanging on a couple of bushes. What a disappointing season and now the plants are starting to die off.

I have put this problem down to the above high temps as the tomato flowers will not set above a certain temp. Also with our trip to Sydney and the possible trip there again.

So I have decided to just walk away from the summer garden plants and get it ready with next seasons crops.

I really do hate summer and I don't use the word "hate" lightly. What gets me through the hot months is the promise of tomatoes, corn, zucchini and other summer crops.

Don't get me wrong I haven't lost my passion for gardening, just common sense has prevailed. Cucumber plant is cropping wonderfully and the climbing beans are growing nicely.

So when a friend phoned me with the promise of enough soft home grown tomatoes for sauce, I jumped at the offer. Having never made tomato sauce before I was very excited when I started to get things ready for the kitchen cooking blitz.

I have made chutney and pickles before with tomatoes, so the sauce was a welcome food source to the cupboards.

You can find photos and the end product on my "garden to plate" blog. Also I have popped a link there as well to take you to the recipe I used to make the sauce.

  • Keep your eye open for boxes of cheap tomatoes selling for cooking. 4.5 kilo of tomatoes makes about 4 litres of rich, tasty sauce and its easy to make. mrgreen

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Monday, January 28, 2008

First Born.

This little Isa Brown X Sussex is the first born from Bonnie's clutch. Both little Isa Brown crosses hatched first and I have marked them with e texta mark.

At the moment 4 chicks have hatched from 7 eggs. Not long for another 2 Sussex bantams will hatch. Still no sign of life from the 5th bantam egg.

Earlier hatching chicks have dried off and are fluffy as. mrgreen

Until next time....hoo roo

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Bonnie's Eggs Pipping

Today is the day folks mrgreen At some stage today, this evening or overnight, Bonnie is going to be a mum again.

Bonnie was off her nest when I was down there feeding the gang this morning and so I checked her eggs. I found 4 of the pure Light Sussex eggs pipping out of 5 I set under her. As well as the 2 Isa Brown X Light Sussex bantam eggs both pipping.

Pat went and got Amy so she could hear the little chick in the egg cheeping and tapping on the egg. This is the first time Amy has been home to experience this miracle in the happening stage. Amy said it was different and it did bring a smile to her face as she listened to the chick.

Little Sussex egg pipping away in my hand.

Isa Brown X Sussex cross, wonder what colour the chick will be? eek Shoot hope I'll be able to tell them apart later on. Didn't think of this when I set the eggs under Bonnie. confused

Labour ward in action. lol Thats Clyde giving Bonnie moral support.

So its all happening here on Lucky's Duck Farm. New babies hatching and the garden not looking so flash.

But I'll leave that story for another day cry

Until next time....hoo roo

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Over My Fence

Earlier this month I had posted I was going to be planting out a late summer crop. Well this has changed as we may be heading back to Sydney in a few weeks. Pat's dad has had major surgery and when he comes out of hospital, we may be needed to help care for him. So I am not planting out anymore vegies for this season. I'll now prepare for a sowing of winter vegies instead.

Other wise things are going the usual here in Luckyland. We are enjoying the antics of the visiting bunnies, including a escape of Jasper (one of the adult bunnies) who was found eating my bean plants the other morning.

Veg Gardener has asked me to post a photo of how much the ducklings have grown. So for you VG here is the latest photo of the now very scruffy looking ducklings. Who I must say aren't very little anymore.

Thinking it's time to pop Twinner back over the boarder fence and get her settled back with the other ducks. Leaving Banjo to keep them company before she too is sent back to the duck run.

Won't be too much longer and these little ducklings will be off to the sale markets.

Also new to the place are the "Blue Rinse Set". Six point of lay Isa Brown hens. Very pleased to say I have them at last. Now that Christmas is a memory once more, I was able to purchase them.

I guess you are wondering why I have called the new hens....."Blue Rinse Set"?

I like to keep track of their ages, so if one was to fall off her perch, I like to know how old she is. Also it helps to I.D. their ages and who might be still young enough to be laying.

So each year I use these leg rings to I.D. them. This year we are using blue and so any chook bought or bred and kept will have a blue leg ring.

In 2005 the leg ring was purple. In 2006, no rings at all.

So by looking at the girls I can tell you I have 3 pensioners and the rest are 1 or 2 years old, or younger.

The "Blue Rinse Set" as you can see, all look alike and in a few months, without those leg bands.....they will blend in with the older Isa Browns.

"B R Set" seem to have settled in well and safety in numbers is a bonus. I have for different reasons introduced a single hen into the flock, usually a single hatching and it can be a chore. Giving them time to settle in I now make sure they are booted out of the nesting area a couple of times a day. To mix with the older hens/Radar and so I know they are eating and drinking.

With the extra hens now, this means more chicken litter waste and today I cleaned out the bedding area. All that waste was added to the compost tumbler and will help to break down the compost.

Lurv slatter bugs and all composting bugs as without them the job would take longer. Oodles of baby slatters in this composting brew. I was suprised after all the heat we had, they are still living in the tumbler. eek

Oh yeah, the lawns are greening up after that 28.5 mm of rain we had the other day. mrgreen

Until next time....hoo roo

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Baby Bunny Antics

Our ex lawn mower man has asked us to look after 4 very cute baby rabbits and 2 adult rabbits that belong to his daughter, while they are away on holidays.

The baby rabbits are just so cute and love to be cuddled. Having 4 little 6 week old bunnies is just so much fun and so I thought I'd show you all what happens at feeding time. mrgreen

"Okay guys, while Aunty Lucky isn't looking...... I'll climb out and get some food for us."

"Nearly there, can you just lift me a bit higher."

"What can you see? Is there any yummy food in the bag?"

"Doh! Knew I should have gotten that short straw"

"Oi! Your meant to bring it back to the hutch. Not sit there and eat it all yourself!"

"Okay guys, we need to go to plan B. Start eating your way out."

I have to give these little guys back in a few days.....cry

Until next time....hoo roo

The Sky Is Falling

How cool is that questionquestion

If your not sure what it is ........ it's called Rain mrgreen

We had 28.5 mm of the beautiful wet stuff, in about a 40 min (if that) thunderstorm. When the rain started I ran round pulling out TV antennas and the computers were switched off and modem disconnected.

Then it was out to cover some baby rabbits that are visiting and make sure all animals were okay. We could only get to the animals under the side veranda.

One clap of thunder was so loud, if it wasn't raining..... I'd have thought it was a bomb going off. Cats scattered through out the house when that clap sounded. lol

Pat had to man the broom in the shed out the back as water was running in the shed as the gutters were over flowing. Once he came inside he was soaked and had a hot shower. As he's just getting over a bout of bronchitis, that nearly had him hospitalized on Christmas Day.....last thing we needed is him to get sick again.

So there you have it....... the sky was falling and we loved every moment of it mrgreen

Until next time....hoo roo

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Seed Saving Update

I read that saving lettuce is one of the easiest to cut one's teeth on. If so, why am I wondering if I will do it right or not??

This one has me nervous as I wait to see if I have done things correctly as what is written in my book.

Red loose leaf lettuce flower head. Been a few fluffy flower heads and this is when I am allowed to pull the plant up and enclose the flower head into a paper bag.

The the whole plant is hung upside down to dry out. I read that leaving the whole plant like this, as the plant dies off, it feeds the flower head. Time will tell I guess.

Last of the carrot seeds were harvested and these came to about 16 grams worth. I gave this load of seeds to our good gardening buddy "Pepe" as he has given me lots of little plants for my vegie garden.

The fluffy stuff above the seed is waste from gently rubbing the seeds between my hands. It's that "Beard" waste that surrounds the seed itself. By gently bouncing the dish like I was tossing food in a frying pan (Jamie Oliver does it so well) I was able to separate most of the litter.

Carrot seeds already for popping into a labeled seed envelope and stored in a cool place.

Until next time....hoo roo

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Bonnie Wants To Be A Mum

After sitting on a plastic egg for nearly a week, Bonnie was rewarded with 5 pure Light Sussex Bantam eggs and 2 Isa brown cross with Radar my Light Sussex Bantam this evening.

Bonnie loves to hatch her chickens out in the spare worm box I use as a nest box in the duck shed.

Bonnie nice and comfy with her 7 eggs.

Bonnie is so placid I just picked her up and she snuggled down where I put her with a very warm plastic egg sitting on her back. Eggs went in where the nest was toasty warm.

Then I placed Bonnie back over her eggs.

In 21 days on the 29th Jan, Bonnie with any luck will be a mum. Keep your fingers crossed for Bonnie.

Maybe Clyde might feel left out and go broodie as well mrgreen

Until next time....hoo roo

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