January 18, 2016 Farm News

The usual garden view gets to look more and more winter like as January ages.

The usual garden view gets to look more and more winter like as January ages.

A lot of last week was routine.  Searching out and gathering firewood for the home fires.  All of that wood had to be carried into our woodshed, cut to length then carried into the house and the yurt.  There were the daily rounds of feeding and watering all the four footers as well as all of the feathered two footers.  We had to gather eggs frequently since when it was very cold and windy we risked frozen eggs if they were left too long. We did have several this week.  The chickens still wander where they will, even in the cold winter, looking for new spots to hide their eggs, though not so often as when the weather is fine.  We are going to keep the worst offenders, the breed known as Rhode Island Reds, locked in for a few days to attempt to break them of the habit and get them accustomed to laying eggs in their chicken house.  In the cold and the windiest weather, the chickens do mostly tend to stay inside.  Some of them will stay inside nearly all the time anyway but there are others who seem to get outside as much as they can.  Often though, when the wind is blowing hard, and the temperature gets to well below freezing, the chickens will mostly huddle as far from the open door as they can get.  Door is best left closed on those days.

Nell and Marta just trying to get by. Nell, on the right, is having a good backside scratch on the tree branch.

Nell and Marta just trying to get by. Nell, on the right, is having a good backside scratch on the tree branch, and Marta is getting a forehead rub from the same branch.

Still spending a fair bit of time preparing for the upcoming growing season.  We have to list what seeds that we think we’ll need, what we will trial, and try to figure out just how much we should plant.  It takes searching through many catalogues looking at old favourite vegetable varieties, reading about new, interesting and enticing ones, then we have to decide what to go with and what to just let go.  We will get the majority of our seeds from William Dam Seeds near Dundas, Ontario.  They are on the internet at  http://www.damseeds.com   Have a look at their website and their on line catalogue.  There are dozens or likely several score seed purveyors in Canada alone.  Most of them are a good read with lots of interesting, and in some cases unique, plant seed varieties listed.

All but two of these chickens are a breed with the rather utilitarian name of Red Sex-Link, from Frey's hatchery in St. Jacobs. The hen on the far right is a white Silkie and a bit to the left from her is a little Bantam rooster.

Seven of these chickens are hens of a breed with the rather utilitarian name of Red Sex-Link, from Frey’s hatchery in St. Jacobs. The hen on the far right is a white Silkie and a bit to the left from her is a little Bantam rooster.

Short blog this week.  Must learn to note things as they happen so as to be able to recall when it comes to typing it all up.

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2 Responses to January 18, 2016 Farm News

  1. Robert Feagan says:

    Chickens — what a bird — just read last week (maybe in one of your posts) that the longest recorded flight for a chicken was something like 13 seconds. Are they actually a bird, or just a crazy and interesting little critter with odd arms?!

    • devonacres says:

      I think that bit of trivia was from Bountiful Brant just last week. I did not know that interesting tidbit but will remember it for when conversation flags. Chickens are I think, more closely related to the dinosaurs than any other bird, though I’m not at all sure what that actually means. Lots of birds have vey short flight duration. I have seen the wild turkey fly impressive distances at a just over tree top height but I think even at that the duration would have been similar to the chicken’s thirteen seconds. Many of the ground dwelling birds such as partridge and quail are likely similar. When I watched the Grey Partridge fly they did not at any time fly as long as 13 seconds. There must be a scientific paper out there somewhere that talks about this interesting feature of the ground dwellers such as chicken, turkey and quail.

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