The work weekend is done for me and I am so glad. I have lots of fun homesteading projects coming up!
A few things on the horizon…
I have been doing a lot of research on chicken feed and feeding chickens with less expense, I will have an article on Modern Homesteaders later this week on this topic, so stay tuned.
I am also anxiously awaiting the arrival of my mealworm colony. They were shipped today so should be here later this week or early next week. I will be posting more information on this topic once the little wigglers get here.
Tomorrow I will working on a super fun egg shell project, so don’t miss it.
After getting off this morning, I slept a few winks and then headed out to homestead. There is never a shortage of things to do when you live on a homestead!
Unfortunately, we have been having some issues with Houidini. He has been very grumpy, restless, not eating and over all not himself lately. Two days ago, he developed weeping sores on his back and an unsteady gait. After some intense google-ing, we diagnosed that he had Dippity Pig Syndrome (not making this up folks). Apparently, the stress of being away from his beloved Lady-Bug was too much for him to bare. We have been keeping them in separate pens-right beside each other mind you-in case she farrows. Lady-Bug could care less about this separation, Houidini has been beside himself.
With the development of the Dippity Pig Syndrome, I gave up on keeping them separate for now. I released Lady-Bug and Houidini has greatly improved from his bout of Dippity Pig Syndrome. However, he is still having some behavioral issues towards me. I am hoping these resolve so he does not have to face the fate of what happens to naughty pigs-anyone else starting to smell bacon?
Lady-Bug continues to develop, but signs of labor seem to come and go. Obviously, she is totally faking us out with these “signs of labor.” I know that she will farrow when she is ready, but we are so anxious to meet her piglets!
I have done quite a bit of renovations in the chicken/pig pen. I added a second story to the chicken roost, added more nesting boxes, provided some additional shelters and set up some food stations that the pigs could not get to.
The new chickens are doing wonderful and are continuing to feed my chicken obsession! All but one have started laying again since their move to our homestead. Hopefully she will start this week. It has been so exciting to gather more eggs every day, it’s like Christmas morning for me!
The chicks are no longer chicks, but full fledged pullets. They have formed their own flock with the little Americana.
After months of not laying eggs after a period of being broody (where a hen thinks she is incubating eggs and stays on her nest most of the time) Princess finally began to lay again. We got about 8 eggs out of her and she is now seeming to have gone broody again. I removed all of the hay from Houidini’s house, which is where she sleeps at night, and she gathered the scraps and continued to nest. Ps. She does not have any eggs under her, nor a rooster to fertilize her-my silly hallucinating hen.
The bantam hens are very different than the other full sized girls. Leaning towards agoraphobia, these girls stay in their coop most of the day. They come out only for a few minutes at a time to eat and drink, and then back into the coop to hide. I am hoping over time they will become a little more social. I can’t wait to see how little their eggs are in a few months when they begin to lay.
The original girls have been rejoicing in the return of their free range days. We are rejoicing in the increased egg production and the intense richness of their eggs. It’s amazing what a difference diet makes in egg taste.
I gave them some fresh corn today which they loved!
Working hard scavenging for bugs:
Look at this beautiful girl-and she totally knows it:
The crops in the raised beds are continuing to sprout. The cucumbers I transplanted in the trellis bed were not doing well, so I fed them to the pigs and started over with seeds. My strawberries are also not growing as much as I think they should, so I might be starting over with them also. I love that even if you make mistakes with gardening, you learn from them and can start over with no major harm done. No sprouts from the back deck container garden yet.
Happy Earth Day everyone, I hope you all spent some time and energy thinking of how blessed we are to live on this beautiful, bountiful earth.
Until next time…