Thursday, June 7, 2012

Homestead Braindump

...because I'm too lazy to make multiple posts outta this stuff.

  • When we got home from vacation, we noticed Kung Pao was spending a lot of her time in the nest box. Eventually, we realized she was spending ALL of her time in the nest box.  She got all puffy when you got near (good thing she wasn't a RIR, or we'd never have been able to get to the eggs!), she had plucked all of her tummy feathers and was VERY warm.  From what I've read, the 2 best ways to discourage broodiness are to lower their body temperature and to make them as uncomfortable as possible on the nest.  First, I hoped stealing her eggs would work, then I moved her off her nest several times a day, then I put an ice pack in the nest box, then we started dumping her in buckets of cool hose-water.  Nothing.  She is now quarantined in an elevated dog crate in the yard.  It's drafty, uncomfy and at the very least will hopefully keep the broodiness from spreading.  Although, nick said he spotted another of the girls without tummy feathers.  ugh.  This is definitely affecting egg production.  

Get away from my nest!

Do I look comfortable to you?!?

Monday, June 4, 2012


I am pretty darn far from a master gardener.  As a matter of fact, Nick does most gardening because I KILL PLANTS.  But, one thing that is my task around here is pruning all of our trees and the raspberry and rose bushes.  Growing up, my parents had this really old, hardy rose bush  and every "dormant season" (late fall to early spring) my dad would cut the thing to the ground, nothing left of it.  And every year, it would grow back just as healthy as before and it would blossom all summer and well into the fall.

We moved in the winter and in the spring, upon seeing a rose bush, I dutifully cut it down to nothing.  It grew lovely, tall stalks... too tall to support their own weight, but there was not one blossom.  The next year, I refrained from cutting it and it blossomed beautifully, but it looked like this: