we finally started the much dreamed about new veggie patch today. It is right outside the big pen when it’ll get the water from the duck pond.
We are running two experiments here: straw bake gardening and huelgelkulture.
For the first one I am starting super small with 4 bales in a squadre. In the Middlesbrough i have put old lucerne straw, llama manure and potting mix so I have a spot to plant into right away we’ll see if this causes issues with the bale.
the huglekulture is just the metal ring we had, filled with wattle and some pine off cuts. We’ve topped it with the lucerne straw and we’ll add poo soon too… Let’s see if it works 🙂
Once we fix the swirl filter and get some gravel, the quaquaponics beds will also go here. One day we’ll build a huge hoop house around it all!
i moved the goats again with the electric netting today and they seem pretty happy with their new location. It took me about an hour and I did it all on my own, so I am liking the netting so far as I was looking for something I could move alone. Only issue is, if the ground is hard the posts won’t go in so it can only be moved after rain.
Larry also got moved in with the girls and started courting the right away and giving them treats. Well done boy!
since out Roger died I have really been missing the cock-a-doodle-doos even if they were often at 4 am.
Today I am happy to report Larry has arrived at Tatum Hills. Larry is a six months old Maran rooster who was attached by a more dominant fellow at his old place and needed a new home. He is supposedly placid and well mannered so hopefully he’ll work well for us.
Edits free losing my beloved Roger I could not bring myself to get another look-alike so I decided to get a different breed. Looking at my current flock, and given that I’d rather not get a whole bunch of new hens, I decided to get a Maran as I have 3 girls of the same breed and they are pretty and good layers. I am not aiming to have enough fertile eggs to sell them, I just want a few pure breed eggs to put under my broodies.
Let just leave the good for last so we finish on an up or we’ll just go looking for a bridge to jump off!
Milton has lost some weight today. He seems OK though he is never bouncy and happy like the other 2 babies. His tail is up, which we’ve decided it means his tummy is not sore, and with a lot of encouragement he nearly finished his bottle.
He is drinking from mum and having a great go at the hay. I am going to assume that my digital bathroom scale used in the paddock is a less-than-accurate method of gauging his growth, but it had so far served me well so I am a little concerned and annoyed at this loss. We’ll make sure we offer him milk several times a day still and hope we reverse the trend soon.
As a side note I also want to note that my favourite chook Amy has been slowing down over the last couple of week and I think she’s on her way out. Very sad!
The last of our peachicks (baby peacocks) died. In a very fun podcast I have been following, the guy has a Hard Lessons Learnt segment in each episode. Well this last death certainly is a hard lesson learnt for me.
When our peahen Luna nested in January, we tried everything to protect her from fox attack. Peahens nest on the ground and become easy pray to foxes. I was acting upon another hard lesson we learned a couple of years ago when our beloved first peahen Aurelia (our Jamie peacock’s soulmate) got taken by a fox while sitting on a clutch. But neither enclosing the nest, nor moving Luna and her eggs to a safer location helped and she ended up leaving her eggs. In two occasions, we put the eggs under 2 broody chicken hens we had at the time. MISTAKE! I had vowed to never create these mix matched families as I thought they’d just be trouble down the track. Of course I was right but the lure of saving some half incubated eggs and of having cure little peachicks got the best of me. I now feel beyond guilty as my vanity and stupidity caused the death of 5 gorgeous little ones! One died about 24 hours after hatching and the other just all died quickly at around the age of 3 months. We have no idea why. They were all good weights and well feathered plus still had mum to go under for warmth. After the first couple we thought they perhaps weren’t getting enough protein so we started feeding the rest up with mealworms a few times a day. Still they died. All I can think of is that there’s some disease in the pen that they are very susceptible to, whereas everyone else is resistant. Or just that not having their proper mum means they are not looked after the way they should be. Either way, I think next year we’ll make a big frittata out of the peacock eggs!
And the lesson? Follow your gut feeling and not your vanity and DO NOT make un-natural families.
About time hey? The new baby llama (name still under discussion) is doing great. He seems to have slight weakness in his rear right leg but he is jumping around and running like crazy so I think he is fine.
Connie’s been sitting down a lot lately and we can’t work out why . First we thoughys she was just lazy but now we are a bit worried she may have an issue with her legs.
Lady night we put her in the crush and checked all her foot pads, cut her nails and felt up her legs… The spit was flying high but we couldn’t find anything wrong with her.
Or of course she could be pregnant but her tears are flat and the only culprit could be Vslentine which is unlikely… She actually seems occasionally unsteady on her feet but we can’t work out which one.
We tried putting the goats in the electric fence netting today for a few hours to see if they’ll start helping with the blackberry infestation. They weren’t all that impressed as they usually free range but today we don’t want them around the new llama baby plus they are in the bad books for eating the bark of some trees. Anyway. They seem to stay there without complaining too much or hurting themselves on the fence.
We’ are also trying out the swirl filter for the quaquaponics… So far it doesn’t seem to swirl much at all… That might be an issue. At least the pump and the solar panel seem to be working well. We’ll let it run for a couple of days and see if it clear the water a bit…
Got home after dark last night and found that Rebata had finally had her baby. Phew! We were starting to imagine all sorts of horrible scenarios.
We wrote in our farm diary when we put her in with our stud Enrique last year, but we forgot to write when we moved her back in with the girls (oops) do we weren’t really sure if her due date.
We kept checking her tears and there was milk in there so we thought she was pregnant for sure and nearly due. But when no baby came we were getting worried and wondering if maybe she had it and was dead and a fix took it. Well luckly not. He was in there all along growing huge and strong.
He is drinking well and bouncing around. Mum seems to have milk. That’s great as bottle feeding Milton is all we can manage. Milton was our first cria this year and we had a very rough time keeping him alive as he was early and his mum had no milk.