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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Rhode Island Red Chicks Move Outside (Blog 350)

It was moving day on Monday for our heritage Rhode Island Red chicks. The mother, Mary, and her three chicks moved to their new henhouse outside after spending their "youth" in a pen in the basement.  Long ago, I had named the young cockerel Don, Jr. after his father Don who resides in the adjacent run with his six hens.

Elaine finally decided what to name the two pullets, she is going with Thelma and Louise. Thelma is the more agressive of the two and is quite willing to square off with Don, Jr. Louise, meanwhile, is more timid and quite content to be off by herself when Don, Jr. and Thelma start squabbling. I imagine Thelma's days of fighting with her sibling will end in another month or two, as soon Junior's inevitable growth spurt will begin, and he will be much bigger than she is.

Here's a picture of their first day in their new home.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Stop Mowing Your Front Yard (Blog 349)

Where are these beautiful purple coneflowers in the picture below growing? Perhaps in a field or meadow somewhere?

Actually, they are growing in our front yard. A number of years ago, I decided to stop mowing  a small section of our front yard and "just let it go." The result has been a profusion of growth of wild plants whose seeds were present in the seed bank: purple coneflowers, daisy fleabane, Virginia creeper, ragweed, black-eyed susans, and many others.

My "overgrown yard" patch may look seedy to some, but I think it is beautiful and far better for the environment than those closely cropped fescue deserts presented as the norm.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Summer Locavore Meals (Blog 348)

One of the many great things about summer are all the great, simple locavore meals. The other day for lunch, Elaine and I had venison burgers (from a deer I had killed) with Cherokee purple tomatoes and onions from our garden.  Dessert was blackberry cobbler from blackberries that I had picked behind our house.

Tonight for dinner, the menu is eggs frittata (eggs courtesy of our Rhode Island Red hens) and blueberry cobbler.  The blueberries come from our land on Potts Mountain. These are true feasts that mean summer to us.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Our Heritage Rhode Island Reds (Blog 347)

Right now, Elaine and I have three groups of heritage Rhode Island Red chickens.  What we call the "Old Reds" are our Rooster Don and his three hens that are a little over two years old, the "Young Reds that are 16 months old with Al and his three hens, and the "Baby Reds" which live in the basement and consist of the hen Mary and her three chicks that are about a month old.

Soon, it will be time to move Mary and her little flock outside to one of the runs.  However, we have heard that older chickens will sometimes kill the chicks of other hens.  Mary used to be part of Al's flock, but she has been gone for a month, of course, and will not be greeted warmly, nor likely will her chicks.

We truly do not know what to do, but Mary and her chicks will soon be too big to stay in the basement enclosure, and they obviously need more outside time than what they have been receiving.  We will have to come up with an idea soon.