I shouldn't be complaining about the winter. We have been pretty blessed so far. I do need to say that I am not sure how to dress. Two days ago I found myself outside picking up things in the yard wearing a hoodie.
The holidays were good to us. It's nice and quiet with the kids coming by with the baby. I call them kids, but they are adults. Seems weird to call them anything but kids.
Mr. Awesome and I have been dreaming about Spring and changing up garden planning. Seed catalogs are already sprinkled on my kitchen table. My seed container has been filled. And we have been brainstorming ideas for combating the wild range of insects and pests that have come through the garden. When we are done with one infestation another comes and takes its place.
Lt. Dan the Wonder Goat has finally warmed up to us. I think he was mad at his other goat mommy for giving him away. He was pretty stubborn about ignoring us for about a month. Now, he is quite a character. He comes to beg for food and pets, mainly food!
In my infinite wisdom, I didn't think about the damage he would do in the garden. Now, I did have an idea but the assault on my unsuspecting Elderberry was horrific. We really need to hustle him out of the garden soon. The area we thought of has our grape vines and he has already made a nice dent in those! Farm fail?!
Fencing is HIGH on the list of things to do with him. Finishing buttoning up the house as well. We have a pretty drafty place. If the winds come out of the north the curtains move and you can feel the breeze. Mr. Awesome had the idea of using plexiglass as temporary window coverings and where he has done this the result is wonderful! We have 15 more windows to do! And before you ask, these are new windows. They are not original. They are poorly installed and caulked.
The hens have started laying. Now, by hens, I mean 3 hens and a random duck have been laying. Which is a bit frustrating for us. We considered throwing some in the pot but don't wish to do so to the ones laying. I think they are doing it on purpose.
They are smarter than you think. Which brings me to the other issues at hand... They are eating their eggs! I have tried putting golf balls in the nesting box and so far some wise hen decided she would rather play with it out of the nesting box and I found it in the chicken run. There are a few more tricks we can try. One is to fill an egg with mustard. I'll let you know how that goes.
I decided to try the "Deep litter" method over the winter and I tell
you, I am not a fan. I like the premise but I am a bit OCD when it comes to the coop. Now, I'm not talking the white glove test, just stinky and look wise. I've read there is no smell. I haven't experienced that yet and it could be due to the fact that ducks are really messy. We also do not have a poop board under our birds. I have cleaned a bit of it a few days back. I couldn't help myself! I moved about half of the litter out and placed it in a pile about 5 feet away from the coop. My hope is the pile will heat up, the chickens will dig and find bugs that were drawn to the pile for warmth and a yummy win for them!
I bought 2 bags of pine chips and tossed a nice layer on top of everyone's areas. I'll do that again tomorrow as the weather may turn into a bit of snow. Time for flock blocks too! Flock blocks are these wonderful HUGE seed and mineral blocks for birds and this helps out during poor winter weather where we may not get outside to let everyone out right away.
Did I mention I can't wait for Spring?! Do you have plans for your garden?