Saturday, October 16, 2010

First Frost

Well, all of a sudden the nights are COLD, and we had a really sharp frost last night. It went from being 8-10 degrees C at night to less than zero the next night. Yuck. I am decidedly NOT a winter person. I am already starting to count the days until we start getting more light again. I am not liking this 'get dark by 7 and not light until after 7 thing. And it gets worse before it gets better.

We have had some really, really gorgeous days this month... I have finally been getting off my butt and doing stuff in the gardens again. I cleared a bunch of beds (mostly by just smooshing everything down) and put a layer of hay on them for the winter. This should start composting, and by spring I will have some water-retaining, earth-worm loving, beautiful soil. I am not doing fall rye again this year. What a pain in the butt that was this spring. Trying to dig it in, then it just pops back up and keeps growing while you are trying to plant, and then a bunch of it went to seed, and I'll never get rid of it now... hay just seems so much easier! Hopefully I'm right about that.

My Cochin chickens are not having a good time of it. The male, especially. No matter where I put him, he gets picked on, plus I worry he doesn't get enough food. So, the other day, I had a 'brilliant' idea. There is an old rabbit hutch on the property (it came with a rabbit when I first moved in, but Maggie killed it within about 2 minutes of being on the property). Anyway, it's just been sitting there, getting all overgrown with grass and weeds, so I decided to put the Cochins in it. They are not happy there, either. They refuse to go out the little door to the 'outside' area of the hutch, and are just staying crammed in the little indoor area. I even put their food and water outside, and they will reach out with their necks to eat and drink, but won't go right out. Then, earlier today, I found Maggie had opened the hutch door, and had her head in the coop. That's it, I thought.... those Cochins are DEAD. I got her out, and checked... miraculously, they were still alive! And seemingly unharmed.
Then, a while ago, I found her in the hutch again.
I got her out again. Checked. My Cochins were still alive! Maggie was sticking her head in the coop to eat poo. Not eat chickens. Wow! I was floored. Not that eating poo is a good thing, but it's a darned site better than mascaraing my chickens! She had ample time to kill them, and chose not to.
Am I a proud doggie mama, or what??!!

But, obviously, this hutch isn't working, either. So, tonight, I am going to try moving the Cochins in with the meat birds again. If I have them as a pair, instead of the male by himself, maybe they will do better. The meat birds will only be there for another 2 or 3 weeks, so hopefully they can make it work until then.

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Flooded Driveway

Flooded Driveway
Too much RAIN!