We moved the teen chicks into the coop last night and they seemed very disoriented for most of the morning. They didn't come out into the sun for half the day and then when we checked on them tonight, to see if they made it back in, we found them with the new momma under the leaning board by the entrance..... her 7 chicks under her and the 25 teens all trying to get under her too... it was a multi coloured beautiful thing!
(I'm eating homemade peppermint ice cream as I type this) (mmmmmm!)
The meat birds seem to be growing, although so slowly it will likely be the end of September before we are ready to "do them in". They are eating the mixture of Wheat (20%), Barley (30%), Peas (30%), and Oats (20%) that we had a neighbour mix up for us this spring. We also give them sunflower seeds and grit and pour whey on the ration most days. The new (to us) hopper is working wonderfully. Kevin had to tap it a little to release its "bridged up" load but it is mostly dry. The only wet bit is at the very bottom and the chickens don't seem to mind eating those lumps.
The boys picked beans and came in with two ice cram buckets and the big stainless steel bowl full. Kevin and I snapped, blanched and froze them so now we'll have summer freshness in our freezer again! This was the first real bean crop we've had here as other years we had frost or some other problem. We should even have enough to save for seed too.
Kevin, Rigel and Marten are continuing with the garagemahal soffits. Its looking great! They had to re-tie the Zucca melon in the greenhouse as it was growing through the roof they had to remove to get at the area above it and below the overhang. It seems to have a mold growing on the lower leaves and the melons themselves are still very small. The male leaves came out first and then the female ones..... unfortunately I only have that one plant so I hope it gives me seed! The one seed I had that produced it was at least 10 years old. I got it from Keremeos in B.C. so I hope they are still growing them. Also the peppers (over 15 year old seed!) which were doing great are now sadly covered in aphids. Not sure what to do.
Another problem with no foreseeable solution is the certainty I have that some of our goats are wormy.... not sure which worms yet, so that may help me decide. I don't want to give them deworming medicine... but I tried the herbal stuff and they HATE it. And they aren't taking in enough diatomaceous earth to make any noticeable difference.
After our very relaxing camping trip (thanks to Lael for farm sitting!!) we now have a bit of excess milk to deal with so I guess I'll be making cheese tomorrow (after watching the boys' ultimate tournament). I'm thinking I'll try a farmhouse cheddar again now that I know I probably over pressed the last one and that was why it was holy. Try try again!
Vicky is giving about 1.5 gallons each morning and the goats are giving about 2/3 of a gallon (4 goats). Vicky's calf Xixi is very skittish and I'm hoping that soon I'll get some time to work with her. Clayton has a new friend ("Squirt") from the neighbour's Dexter herd. He's part Angus and will 1. keep Clayton happy so he doesn't get skinny at this time of year, 2. Breed Vicky next year and 3. fill the freezer after that, as we had a heifer this year and want to keep her. The only down side is he's older than I wanted (January calf) and might be a problem next spring. Maybe we'll have veal and AI Vicky again.... we'll see.
We had another wonderful woofer last week. Her name is Kumiko and she unveiled our strawberry patch from the weeds. Yeeeaaahhh!! She taught Rigel how to make origami sumo wrestlers approach each other on a cardboard box boxing ring. We are soooooo lucky to have such amazing people want to help us make this great food! Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!