Archive for November, 2009

More from Me

November 16, 2009

Things have been slowly moving along here.  Our first broody hen, fondly known as Giant Puffball Head,  hatched out 9 of her eggs and they are doing very well so far.  Another hen, Bruiser, hatched just one.

Lydia was also pleased to get a good hatch from the new improved incubator and was enjoying her 27 chicks.

We had recently opened the brooder into a new run and had been letting them out during the day which they greatly enjoyed.  Sadly just yesterday we were horrified to find all but one chick dead or taken in just one hour.  We are not sure whether it was kookaburras, currajongs or hawks that were responsible.  We had most of the run covered with just a small open area so we could get in to open and clean the brooder, but have learnt the hard way that it was not secure enough.

Our 7 turkey hens are busy raising their 31 poults mostly in a free range style although I lock up those that I can in the evenings, and limit the amount they can wander for the first week at least.  We have had a few losses amongst them as well but that was to be expected.  Our original two hens nested together this year and are happily sharing the care of their 8 babies.  Josiah loves them and when they are put away for the night enjoys going into the cages and having a cuddle.  The hens that we raised last year don’t seem to mind.

We went to a Dexter field day the other weekend.  Amongst other things we got to have a go at leading cows.

Dexters are so little.

They also did some halter training on the calves, which we were interested to see.  It was a good day, although our Jack is rather beyond the halter training stage now – at least without a bunch of very strong men and poles to tie him to.  🙂

We also have begun the task of planting potatoes again.  We bought a half a tonne of spuds for eating and planting and have put in 4 rows so far.  We have a bag of Pink Eyes, a bag of Kennebecs and lots and lots of Dutch Creams.  There are so many different potatoes to choose from over here and I do love freshly dug spuds with my dinner.  Another thing I have discovered is that I really like the smoky taste if they are cooked in foil on a bonfire.  With lots of tree scraps that need burning around here, baked spuds is becoming the traditional reward at the end of the job.  Too many potatoes will never be a problem with the pigs around either as they love to eat them as well.

Planting spuds would be easier if the boys were healthier and more able to help.  Caleb and Sam have been told they have Gilberts Syndrome, which means the liver does not work properly and there is too much bilirubin and toxins in the blood causing their nausea and stomach cramps etc.  It is thought to be hereditary and some people have it and have no symptoms.  It is not life threatening and hence not much research has been done into it so basically they just have to learn to live with it.  Liver friendly diets may help, but medical science has nothing to offer although they are trying some anti nausea medicine.  Mind you most of this was found out doing our own research, the doctor here is not much help.

Kim is not doing too badly so long as he is careful about how much he does.  I now have a bunch of second hand bee keeping gear and am in the process of sorting through it and researching all that I need to know to keep some bees.  It is a bit scary, but it would be good to encourage more bees around the gardens.  With all the ill health in the family I have decided not to attempt much in the vege gardens this year.  There was supposed to be a turkey run by now which is just not going to happen in time, so anything I plant is likely to be eaten by turkeys anyway.  I will plant some tomatoes in the greenhouse though, and of course we will have potatoes, potatoes and more potatoes in the crop paddock.  I am also squeezing in a few peas and want to get some sunflower seeds scattered around too.  That will have to do for this season as other jobs just have to take priority.