Saturday, October 20, 2012

Still At It

In some ways, the busy summer season just doesn't seem to want to end this year.  I'm still dealing with putting up peppers, trying to avoid the dirty looks I'm getting from the apples not yet turned into applesauce, and sorting the already-ripe from the not-yet-ripe tomatoes on the counter.

We've been in a wet, gray period weather-wise which is very good in that it has brought us some much needed rain, but it has also kept me from doing outside chores in the garden before feeling I have it ready to be tucked into bed for the winter.

Our temperatures that were hovering in the low 40s during the day and freezin g at night have flipped up into the 50s and strangely, aren't fall much at night.  Great for our wood supply, but creating a vague uneasiness.

Deer come out of the woods to graze in our small hay field each night at dusk.  Could there be new growth sprouting out there in this mold spring-like weather?  Most likely they're just chowing down on what they can find before killing temperatures turn it all brown and crunchy.

The chickens, joined by a small flock of wild Mallards who have moved in for a visit, are busily out and about every day even in the rain stoking up on whatever gourmet chicken vittles are still available.


Our Golden Laced Cochin Mama Bantam and her four little ones are right out there with everyone else all day long.  I get such a kick out of her babies; they are still about the size of newly hatched standard sized chickens but they're completely feathered out.  Tiny miniatures of big birds.


Will they ever grow bigger?  Obviously, they'll make it to full-grown bantam size like their mom and pop, but in the meantime it sure is comical to watch these little wind-up toy chickens.

Our adult hens are moulting which means a drastic drop in egg production.  I incorporate so many eggs into our diet that it makes me nervous not to have several dozen as back-up.  Our eggs are also for giving to friends and neighbors and bartering so being low on them isn't a comfortable situation.  But it's the normal cycle for chickens and, as usual, we'll survive this ugly chicken/meager egg supply period with no real problems.

The forecast today is for sunshine although it doesn't look to be that way so far this morning.  I'm hoping it clears and I can get out into the garden for some clean-up duty.  Then maybe I can start to think about heading into a slower, hibernating period like a big, old bear.  I'm ready for that, how 'bout you?   

19 comments:

odiie said...

These temps are great for getting things done. Today promises to be warm and perhaps some sunshine so I'm out to do chores and clean the yard.
Your chickens are adorable, I'm jealous.
This big ol' bear has too many cubs, no hibernating for me. Someday.

Sunnybrook Farm said...

We had tons of peppers this year and I eventually ran the mower over the plants to avoid any possibility of seeing another pepper until next year. Bad attitude but enough is enough. It has been a good fall so far, I could handle this weather all year or at least in the winter.

You Can Call Me Jane said...

Your chickens are beautiful. It's funny how we get so used to looking at our own chickens that everyone else's chickens start looking exotic. Have a great weekend, lovely lady!

Carolyn Renee said...

I LOVE little chicks!
About half of my hens are moulting and boy, are they U.G.L.Y. looking!

fullfreezer said...

It looks like a chicken exploded inside my coop, there are so many feathers about. But I hear you on the short egg supply. We've got friends coming over today wanting a dozen eggs and I've got a coworker asking for some. But I've only got 3 dozen in the fridge. AACK!
We've had the same grey, wet weather. Although I love, love, love the fact that we've had close to 2 inches of rain all told in the last week it is keeping me from clearing out the garden- which considering how long ago we had our freeze- was something I really had hoped to have done by now.
Enjoy your weekend.
Judy

Tombstone Livestock said...

Even the chickens want to take a break for awhile. Too bad there are not breeds of chickens that lay eggs at different times of the year. Would be nice if they would take a clue from sheep where some are seasonal breeders and some are year round.

Mama Pea said...

odiie - I had to chuckle at your "this big ol' bear has too many cubs . . . !" When you're in the midst of them, the years with kiddlies home and growing seems to last forever. But when they're over, that time last a looooonnnng while!

Mama Pea said...

Sunnybrook Farm - You gals are giving me plenty of smiles today! The picture you painted of mowing down the pepper plants was hilarious. For all the angst planning and caring for our gardens causes us for most of the season, it's kinda perverse that at the end we gladly yank the darn things out by the roots!!

Your attitude isn't bad; just sensible! Enjoy the rest of your fall.

Mama Pea said...

I'll Call You Jane - I feel the same way every time I see a picture of other breeds of chickens . . . "Oh, we should try some of those!" "Wow, look at that gorgeous rooster!" "Let's get some chickens with more color!"

Good wishes to you, too, for a great weekend! Try to squish in a little R & R with all the To Dos on your list!

Mama Pea said...

CR - I know! They look like they had a fight with the chicken plucking machine . . . and lost.

If only half of the eggs you incubated this past year had successfully hatched, you'd be UNDER little chicks now! (Oops, maybe I shouldn't have brought up that bad memory. Sorry.)

Mama Pea said...

Judy - We didn't get close to 2" of moisture but we're glad for what we did get. Seems weird this warm weather now after a couple of killing frost, eh?

Mama Pea said...

Tombstone Livestock - So, in your spare time (cough-gak-choke), why don't you work on developing a strain of chicken that would lay while everyone else is moulting? 'Twould be a winner!!

Akannie said...

Had to laugh...I'm the same way when it comes to the eggs. The Irishman promised eggs to like 5 people last week, and I nearly put him to rest! He doesn't have any idea just how many eggs we use, and they are moulting now and the days are getting shorter...and and and ....I told him he is NOT to make plans for my eggs ever again. lol

Susan said...

Ditto on the lack of eggs here. I have been getting "one" from my flock for the past three days. I am trying to stay calm, but it really can get to you! I love your little banty chicks - they are so adorable! Our temperatures and weather are pretty much the same - rain, rain, gloom, sun (yipee), rain, rain, gloom. Hope you get to go out in the garden this weekend.

Kelly said...

Your baby chicks are soo cute!!! I started letting my five babies run with the bigs, they are a hoot to watch!

Mama Pea said...

Akannie - And the truly awful thing is IF you actually have to BUY some eggs because your hens aren't doing their thing, the store bought eggs are so bad compared to the freshly laid ones we're used to! I don't even like to use them in baking let alone for breakfast type meals!

Mama Pea said...

Susan - I got out in the garden this weekend but it sure wasn't the nicest weather to work in. Oh well. At least it wasn't ice and/or snow yet!

Mama Pea said...

Kelly - Good to hear your little guys are integrating well with the mature birds. Ours are pretty good about that, too.

Erin said...

Those chicks are so cute! And YES - I can't wait for winter/hibernation mode!