Friday, October 31, 2008

wee ones

a few shots of the wee ones at the hippychick farm
- sweetie pies each and every one -

Thursday, October 30, 2008

protecting the ladies

here are the photos promised days ago. the protection of the chickenchica ladiegirls.

alfie decied to set herself up high on the roost for the photo - thank you alfie. if you click on the below photo, you can catch a bit of a glimpse of the hay bed inside. it keeps the ladies safe and warm plus they love to scratch it up here and there and nestle in closer to the concrete pad on those days that prove a bit hotter.
we'll start at the front. here you can clearly see the strategy. bails of hay slightly elevated for good air flow and to keep moisture from building up and spoiling the hay or causing mold to grow which would be bad, bad, very bad.

here is the view traveling north around the corner.
four bails of hay, elevated and covered with 6mil plastic sheeting and a drop cloth as protection from blowing rain.

keep traveling north then head west around the next corner and you can see big north wind blockade. you can the large drop shade used in summer for cooling with an extra over-layer of 6mil plastic to really insulate the ladies while sitting on the roost. again i've placed bails of hay below protected in plastic from the elements.

here's a more flat on view, you can see the space beneath the bails to allow for proper ventilation. and yup, that's the baby chicken tractor in the front.

there you have it. insulation for the ladie-girls part one.
once the weather drops to the next level, i'll place additional plastic sheeting on the west side.

it ain't rocket science but i think it will keep the happy coos cooing.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

greens for the goddesses

i had another great harvest of greens this morning - enough for all - neighbors, hippychick herself and a big big helping for the triumphant trio chickenchica goddesses of the hippychick universe. oh yeah, everyone is happy.

it's been a while since they had a chance to enjoy fresh cut greens but now that the weather has cooled, they'll be enjoying greens on a much more frequent basis.

here is a peek at the "greeens!" fest.
first off, alphie, curious at my entering the run but thinking it best to blend in with the environment thinks "maybe she'll not see me."
i am invisible. i am the waterer. i am the waterer. she cannot see me. i'm blending, i'm blending. i'm scratching, i'm scratching.
oohh! oh! greens? is that greens? it is greens! hey ladies, greeeeens!
it was a matter of seconds before everybody joined in. pretty soon, i was the one feeling invisible. who needs me when there are bails of greens in sight?

one for you
one for me
one for you
three for me

then i got to thinking, why not prepare a greens patch right next to the girls and specifically for the girls?

well folks, it did not take me long to make that happen. i grabbed my trusty fork and my ever clever rake and got to work. i hammered in a few rebar posts around it's perimeter and marked the area with some pvc pipe i had hanging around.

i then tossed out some seed - a varied cut and come again salad mix, a cold hearty mix of garden mustards and a few calendula seeds for pretty pretty eat the flower tops sake. i'll have to get my hands on some more chard seeds knowing it's their absolute favorite.

forget the kitchen garden
this is the chicken garden!

i wonder will it drive them crazy watching the greens grow?
stay tuned in to find out more.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

- hanging on the dark side - new moon tonight -

What exactly is a waning or waxing gibbous or crescent Moon?

A first, gibbous refers to the shape you can see when the lighted surface of the Moon is bigger than a crescent shape; the crescent shape is defined by the distinct points on the lighted sliver. The Moon moves in these phases: new Moon, waxing crescent, first quarter Moon, waxing gibbous, full Moon, waning gibbous, last quarter Moon, waning crescent, back to new Moon. So waxing means the moon is on its way to being full; waning means the Moon is on its way to being new (the phase you really can't see).

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everything is doing just fine

i slept in until 7am oh my and woke up cozy warm under a bevvy of blanks and cozy quilts with mr. t, supercat purring at my side. opera was calling from the enclosed porch and peeking at me through the screen door.

where are you mama, it's time for our morning check in on the goings on?

i looked at my watch, oh my oh my, well hey, that's not too bad. it's nice to sleep in a bit every now and again. i got myself up and out to the porch and gave opera his morning mama hug until he wanted down in order to partake in a bit of breakfast before heading out. mr. t decided his best option was to shift over to where i had been in bed and make the best of the body heat and/or to keep that space warm for me upon my return. ha ha.

once opera i were out, the crisp air woke us both with a happy start. already though i could feel the day warming. i looked in on the ladies, all was well and freckles was already on nest ready to lay her egg for the day. saffron and alfie were still on roost. aha, alfie is roosting with her sisters again, good good.

opera was out and about, running and jumping and causing his usual morning terror on the once happy and jaunty morning squirrel goings on. he keeps them sharp that's for sure.

i lowered the protective north side shade a bit lower in order to give even more shelter from this day's cooler winds and i thought that maybe i ought to install a layer of protective plastic sheeting on the west side of the coop thus protecting their roosting area from evening's cool. i will pick up additional bails of hay this morning - insulation, the natural way.

a walk around the garden proved to show that each and every fruit and veggie fared just fine. no damage, no blackened leaves and no seedling wee ones knocked down from the chilly evening and all this without the protection of a row cover. even the heat loving eggplant pulled through without a scratch, great. i do swear by a good drink for all plantypoos before a chill really helps them through it. i'll spray the seaweed mix today to give them an extra oomph.

now it's time for a bit of warming up myself. warm coffee sounds quite nice as the golden sun rises.

cheers and good day to all!

Monday, October 27, 2008

going to get chilly tonight

i've got the girls tucked in tight with fresh hay all around.
tonight the temperature drops. it will warm up again in a few days.
let's see how we all do.

i have to work late so i'll not be able to cover up the plants before tonight. i made sure to water everything in well so as to keep things hydrated and better ready to handle the temperature shift. it seems like a good time to consider a good seaweed foliar feeding - give those veggies a good dose of vitamins and trace minerals - make them strong like popeye.

a teeni tiny crescent moon tonight - should be beautiful

9pm

53°F

Feels Like
51°F
12am

46°F

Feels Like
45°F
3am

42°F

Feels Like
41°F
6am

37°F

Feels Like
35°F
9am

46°F

Feels Like
44°F
12pm

61°F

Feels Like
61°F
Today Tonight