March 27, 2017 FARM NEWS

 

The usual Monday morning garden view at just a little past Monday morning, just past noon in fact. Looking very much the same as it has for the past few weeks

The weather is steadily, if rather slowly, getting a little warmer each week.  Lots of mud around all this past week but it is drying up now even though it has rained.  We have been cleaning out a chicken house and putting the litter on to our Hugel beds in the garden. A Hugel bed is a bed for planting into that is prepared with sticks and even small logs being buried in compost, leaves and other not yet broken down organic material and all mixed with garden soil and covered with mulch, in our case straw.

The makings of a Hugel bed. Very much a work in progress. Wood ash pile in the right foreground bag of leaves, large branch needing to be cut into pieces and everything needing to be placed into position and tidied up.

One of our ducks just floating serenely on the ground and dreaming of a nice big pond and making sure that I don’t get too close.

The chickens seem quite fine and are mostly laying quite well although a couple of our very dark egg layers have not laid a single egg in nearly two weeks and our main layers are down just a little bit too. It is likely that all of the hens will lay better as the weather warms and green grass and other plants start to grow and of course as the insects reappear.  the ducks and our Leghorn chickens (the white egg layers) are proving to be the best.  The 14 hen ducks lay 12 or 13 eggs a day though they will drop back 2 or 3 eggs when the weather turns colder. The 9 Leghorns though will lay 9 eggs a day for 5 or 6 days in a row after which it might drop to 8 for a couple of days then it is back to the 9 again. Over the past 14 days there were 9 days with 9 eggs and the other 5 days were at 8 eggs.

One of our Leghorn hens. Leghorns are white egg layers. Nothing to do with the colour of their feathers but ear colour is usually an indicator. White ears on white egg layers and dark ears on brown egg layers. There a very few exceptions. This hen is a little bedraggled and dirty. Not sure what she was doing to get in that condition.

There is nothing like a good roll to satisfy that itch. This is Marta, one of our Belgian mares, one half of our team of work horses.

The horses, cows and the sheep are all just fine.  The lambs are still coming, another born Saturday night and they are all doing well.  A cow is due to calf at any time now.  She looked like she was about to drop her calf last night so likely it will be borne today. This lot, our four footed friends are going to start getting very anxious for green grass very soon but it will likely be mid-May at the earliest before they are on pasture once again. The bees are busy buzzing about on these nicer days.

And this is Nell, Leucans mother, looking quite well filled out and still in her winter coat. The horses are just now starting to show signs losing their winter coats and soon it will be coming out in handfuls.

Not too much work done in the garden or the greenhouse the past week. Too cold. We are still boiling down maple sap but with the warmer days and nights forecast the sap low may soon end. Gardening work will start in earnest this week.

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