Wednesday, February 15, 2017

It's been kind of boring in the garden this winter...

It stuck me that I have not posted anything to the blog since November of last year.  Not out of shear laziness but there has just been a lack of activity.

Over the winter, the chickens have stopped laying to the point where they ALMOST got to go to freezer camp.  One of them has finally started producing so I'll have to put off that chicken and dumplings dinner a little longer.

In January, I visited my oldest son in northern California.  A little town called Dunsmuir, near Shasta.  During this time I had to make sure the chickens were fed and tried a couple of new self feeders.  The first was a flip top with a treadle but my birds could not work out to stand in the right place to open the lid.

The next stab at a self feeder was a 5 gallon bucket with a pair of 4 inch PVC right angle pipes through the sides through the sides and about an inch off of the bottom of the bucket.  This home brew feeder worked well in that it held a lot of feed and the chickens would stick their heads in and eat.  After a few days and then I found the "BUT" in using this feeder - Mice.  When I checked the level after a couple of days, there were mouse droppings on top of the feed.  The little b@stards were diving through the feed and gorging themselves

My last hope was the PeckOmatic feeder.  This is a hanging bucket with a kind of funnel in the bottom and a pendulum with a catch cup below the funnel.  When the birds want to eat, they simply bump the cup and more feed drops in. The cup is high enough to keep out the mice out and yet simple enough to use that my "Special" breed of chickens don't starve. PeckOmatic is a winner!

On the gardening front, I did start some radishes in an empty planter I had in the front yard.  They've been watered only with rain water.  In another week or so, I'll pull a few and see what they look like.

In the next couple of weeks, I'll rototill the garden area and try to start getting rid of the weeds and sunflowers.  After a couple of years of lawn clippings, straw and poop going into the chicken pen there's a pretty good layer of soil build up that will be going into the garden on the second tilling.  There's also a couple of barrels of leaves and clippings that have been composting for the last four months and that will get mixed into one of the tilling cycles.

Thanks for reading and comments are always welcome.

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