I know I say this every time we do a farm update, but it’s been busy lol. The gardens, the livestock, the home…all of it. July updates on the farm.
The kids and I took a quick trip to Pigeon Forge (more on that later) and when we got back home…the egg situation was insane. Five days of eggs on this farm is no joke and most of the chickens who are younger aren’t even laying yet. All of that to say that I finally got our egg selling supplies ordered and they just came in yesterday. I may have over-estimated our needs lol. I ordered more than enough cartons.
We ordered our egg cartons from the Egg Carton Store. I wanted to make sure the cartons were sustainable. Packaging: Carton is 100% recyclable, biodegradable and compostable. A federal/state law legal stamp to add to each carton was also purchased. In fact, I purchased a few things from The Silver Homestead because I loved their stuff so much. Lastly, a custom farm stamp of our logo from Stamped With Love. That adorable “unwashed butt nugget” stamp is my fav 😉
The smaller chickens (pullets-meaning female chicks not laying yet) are around 15 weeks old so just a few more weeks and everyone will be officially laying eggs. We will be swimming in eggs.
THE DUCKS ARE FINALLY IN THE POND
If you’ve been around for a little bit, our ducks not going in the pond has been an issue. You can read about that here. Guess what though? They are finally swimming around and enjoying all that water now. Do you know what finally did it? The kids got in the pond to show them it wasn’t scary at all lol. I kid you not. I also removed one of their kiddy pools and a few weeks later (when I knew they were at least getting the water they needed to drink from the pond), I removed the other. It worked like a charm.
The ducks/geese still get put up at night surrounded by an electric fence so I can sleep well knowing they are safe. In the morning, we let them out and I gather up the eggs. We have 4 ducks laying so far and they consistently lay an egg a day. In a few weeks, we will have at least 3 additional eggs per day since we now know that one of our Ancona ducks is a drake.
Well, I grew 2 pumpkins. No, pumpkins aren’t supposed to be ready right now, but they got planted by accident. I’ve had to cut them before they are ready because squash bugs have overtaken my garden. I was staying on top of everything before we left for vacation, but since coming back…they are out there with a vengeance. The entire pumpkin patch is covered 🙁 and since we don’t use pesticides on our property…I’m doing everything by hand to control it. Next year I’ve already come up with a plan.
So what’s doing good so far? Tomatoes. I’m harvesting tomatoes every day and since I don’t have my canning skills down yet, I’m cutting them up and freezing them to use later in the season. Don’t worry, we’re using plenty of fresh right now. I just signed up for Jill’s Canning Made Easy Course so by next year (maybe even this fall), I’ll be good to go with my canning knowledge.
THE ROOSTER ISSUE
Well, we have a rooster issue. Rasta the Rooster who we have had since the very beginning of our chicken journey has now become aggressive. I have no idea what is going on with him (too much chicken testosterone maybe?) but he seeks us out to chase and torment the kids. What do I mean? All we have to do is step outside and I swear this chicken comes searching for trouble. Just this morning he came after me and I had to use my foot against his chest to get him away. Yesterday he decided to chase Ella (8) while she was trying to get to us out at the chicken pasture.
Before making an rash decisions, we’re going to fence in the yard chicken area (was the originally plan anyhow) to contain them and if it continues, he may either have to be re-homed (very hard to do) or culled. He’s not the nicest rooster to the yard hens so it may come down to that eventually.
The main yard chicken coop is to the right of the above image. The smaller coop houses the smaller chicks until they are big enough to join the main pasture flock. That will then turn into a sick chicken coop or a momma hen house. We actually really like having yard chickens. They keep any bug issues under control near the house. Our plan is to deep litter this entire area.
The farm hasn’t had many predator issues…until yesterday. The pasture chickens are moved every single day and we have run out of shaded areas for them so we moved them to the front yard. Why? Because it’s amazing fertilizer for your soil if done properly. Yes, we have 2 chicken tractors in the front of our land and I don’t care one bit. The amount of goodness that they will bring to the front will be amazing.
I was resting in the back bedroom when I heard Jackson screaming my name from the front of the house. I came running and he was so upset. He was watching a hawk try and take one of our hens from the window. I went running outside and I although we don’t think it got any of our chickens, there was a few chickens who had obviously lost some feathers in the process and the entire flock was freaked out!
I put them all up in the tractors for a few hours to keep them safe and released them back a little later. Has anyone ever put a scare crow out with your chickens? I’ve thought about doing that. Anyhow, everyone is accounted for and it was back to blissful pecking at the ground that evening.
I’m cooking all the time. I finally figured out it’s my coping mechanism. What I mean is if I’m stressed or have something on my mind…I cook/bake. I turn on my big band jazz (don’t hate) and I get to making something delicious. Case in point…
We’ve started our plans for a small fall garden and I think my focus will be, not only putting down cover crops, but planting just a few things. Onions, garlic, and greens. I’ve also started planning our orchard space since you actually plants those trees/bushes in the fall. Blueberry, Saturn peach and cherry trees, as well as a few apple and my most favorite…elderberry.
Now tell me, what are you planning for next month? Leave a comment below. See you guys soon!