Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Return to the Daily Grind

I came home Saturday afternoon. Camp was quite enjoyable, but one week was enough for me. I think I may be getting too old to get up every morning, feed 12 horses, ride all day and then participate in counselor hunts and hoe downs. There is the will, but at some point, the knees and back scream "NO!" That point would probably be a big-boned 9-year old who was the fifteenth child to need a knee up on Thursday... My favorite camp horse, who was pictured in Thursday's post (he is much more handsome in real-life) is still there and still being ridden by horseback counselors or very good young riders. He's a big boy and strong. And the early morning canters were to die for.

Charlie and Monkey had a busy week of baby-sitter shuffling (Monkey's had a family emergency), playdates (Monkey), and impending law-suits against clients (Charlie). Charlie did, however, find time to finish the gate for the duck pen. He also installed a movable sprinkler system around the garden and it is a life saver. He mounted adjustable rotating sprinklers on the fence posts and added a timer. We are now in a "moderate to severe" drought, so it is especially fantastic. He staked my wildly growing tomatoes and took care of these...

The Newest Members of Little Creek Farm

There are ten of them - seven black and three red. Rufus is the dad of all. Ruby, the Rhode Island Red, is the mother of the red ones and I think the solid black have Dominique moms and the "penguin" ones have Australorp moms. The broody hens (one on an empty nest (?!), two on the same nest) did quite well. The two on one nest have worked out a system. One sets on the eggs the other on the hatched chicks. Once the chicks are dry we remove them and put them in the brooder where they are safe from the other chickens. My plan is to build a brooder pen and move them back outside as soon as possible. There are two eggs left in the nest. I think I'll give them until tomorrow morning to hatch, then I'll remove them and put the hens in with the goats to hopefully break the broody cycle.

I've spent most of my time since my return catching up on the garden. It's amazing how fast weeds can grow. There are tons of English peas and snow peas. The beets are about ready and the onions are huge. Charlie is quite impressed with my new no till gardening. I think I'm slowly converting him.


  1. Welcome home!

    Aren't those little chicks adorable. Any thoughts about naturally brooding them with the hens? (mostly to satisfy my curiosity).

  2. I think next time I will set the hen up away from the rest of the flock in a brooding pen and little house. Chickens aren't always nice to each other and chicks are easy targets. It's not pretty.

    I would love to have a clucking hen followed by a bunch of little peeps running around the yard.

    Also, I knew I would be out of town when they hatched and separating them seemed like the easiest approach for Charlie.

  3. I, too, am playing catch-up on my garden. A week away and then a week sick pretty much eliminated any prevailing sense of order out there! But isn't a sprinkler system the bestest thing in the whole entire world? :-)

    The chicks are adorable!

    Oh, and thank you so much, belatedly, for the turkey ID. We have three of the kind you said might be Bourbon Reds! If that is the case, and if they are not all one gender, then they'll be the ones we keep to breed!

  4. That's what I'm thinking with the Royal Palms we got in our barnyard combo - to keep them for breeding. However, Charlie just got a new client who has some blue slate turkeys and lots of interesting ducks she's willing to give away, so things may change :)