Sunday, May 17, 2015

Incubator envy

Yep. I definitely have incubator envy.


Because this was delivered to my house by mistake!

That is a GQF cabinet incubator! 

I have a great small incubator. 

I do not need a huge cabinet incubater. 

I do NOT need a huge cabinet incubator. I don't. Really.

On the plus side, I know where it lives and can go visit it :)

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Chicken Coop Garden

I have been working hard on a planter for the chicken coop. I wanted something tall enough to keep the chickens from eating the plants down as soon as they sprouted, yet still easy enough for me to reach every part of. I want the plants to be chicken friendly and to be tall and full enough to shade the coop.

This is what I came up with. This section runs from the door to the corner.

This is showing how the planter wraps around the corner.

I had enough pickets to do just the front section.

To give an idea of size, all three long sections of the planter are six feet each. The short section on the side is thirty inches and the short section in front is thirty-three inches. The planters range from eighteen inches tall by the door to twenty-four inches tall for the rest. The planters are eighteen inches deep.

I added twenty-four inch wide chicken wire to the top and held the bottom edge on with molding strips.

I filled the bottom with enormous rocks. They will help keep the chickens from digging out and predators from digging in. 

On top of the rock layer I put a layer of half rotted logs. Then I stuffed all the gaps with grass clippings. 

I had a bunch of potting soil left over from last year and that went in next. Then a layer of aged chicken manure. Then fifteen bags of garden soil from Home Depot. 

I will mulch on top of the soil as the plants grow.

First to get planted were Apios americana and Black Oil Sunflower seeds. 

Hopefully I can grow a lot of chicken goodies and provide them with some much needed shade.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Look who wanted to come in!

Yes, it is INSIDE the screen! Look at the size of it! Yikes!!! Somehow it got trapped between the screen and the glass.

I very carefully escorted it off the side of the deck. I try not to kill them, especially the ones that get to this size.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I threw my bird netting away.

This is why. A Black Rat Snake caught in the bird netting.

Even though it looks poised to strike, it did not even attempt biting and held relatively still the whole time I was freeing it from the net.

Fortunately I was able to extricate it. It was not badly injured. I did not measure it but estimate it at about four feet long.

I released it where it was caught in the netting.

The netting is in the garbage can. The rumors are true. Snakes will get caught in bird netting. I will have to come up with an alternative that is not as dangerous to snakes. . 

Now it better be grateful and not go after my chicks and eggs!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Easter cuteness

Totally without planning it I hatched six Easter Egger chicks between Saturday evening and Easter morning.

So on Easter I awakened to this basket of cuteness.

Six little peeps in a Cool Whip container. I love the coloring on the speckled ones.

These six chicks are all full siblings, even though they look very different. Mom is a black Easter Egger that lays beautiful pale blue eggs. My only blue egg layer, so I am sure they are all hers.

Dad is an Easter Egger-Cochin mix. Here they are together.

I gave the six chicks to my broody. She had been sitting on dirt for six weeks and these chicks were hatched expressly for her to raise. She tucked them in under her right away.

On Monday, she still had not taken them out, so I put food and water nearby. A little after noon chick number seven hatched. I gave it to her Monday night.

Tuesday she took them for a little walk and then back to the nest.

Wednesday morning she had all seven out following her around as she taught them to scratch for bits of food.

I love seeing a mother hen with chicks and she is turning out to be a very good mother.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Deer Fly Trap - Amazing results!!!

I have seen several posts on the internet about home made deer fly traps. When they started attacking me this week, I was ready! I had already bought all the supplies and it took just a few minutes to put it all together.

The supplies needed are:

Something bright blue that is disposable, I used a piece of plastic tablecloth rubber banded to a 2 liter bottle, a bright blue plastic grocery bag would work, as would paint

Tree Tanglefoot, I got mine at CFC (a local feed store), but most nurseries should carry it

Fingernail polish remover, MUST contain acetone

A stick, I used a fiberglass snow pole, must fit inside neck of bottle

Disposable gloves, or wear plastic bags on your hands

A disposable spreader, I used a piece cut from a milk jug

DO THIS OUTSIDE! It is messy! The trap should never come indoors. The goo will get on anything it touches!

To assemble mine I put the plastic tablecloth over me 2 liter bottle and rubber banded it at the neck. I cut off the excess tablecloth. I got the tablecloth for a dollar at the grocery store and have enough left for several more traps.

Slip the neck of the bottle over the stick and stick the end of the stick in the ground or  another location where you can have it stay upright while spreading the goo.

Put on gloves. Open Tree Tanglefoot and pour a good splash of nail polish remover into it. Stir the top layer around with the spreader. The Tanglefoot should become thinner and easier to apply in a thin coat.

Use the spreader to apply a coat of Tanglefoot to the top surface of the container and to about the top third of the container.

Without using more Tanglefoot, use the spreader to spread the goo in a thin layer from top to bottom. I just kept going back to the top with the spreader and pulling the goo down into a thin layer.

Believe it or not, I caught a deer fly with the very first bit of goo I put on my bottle!

Once the container is covered be aware that it is extremely sticky and bits of goo will come off on anything it touches.

To use the trap you must carry it with you, like an umbrella, with the bottle just above your head. Remember, bottle is sticky. If you have long hair and it is windy, that could be a problem. My hair is short, so not a problem for me.

In the first ten minutes I caught SIXTEEN! deer flies!! After about forty minutes the count was THIRTY-SEVEN!!!

I am now thinking I will have to make a trap to safety pin to the top of a hat so flies can be trapped hands free. The flies are attracted to motion, so just setting the trap somewhere won't catch them.

Leave the trap outside. Remember to use care with the goo.

Now on to finding solutions for our other pest problems.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

In the basement?

I have caught several creatures in the basement that do not belong there, but never before a toad.

Not a great picture, but I was in a hurry to get him outside and re-hydrated and fed. He was very skinny and dry. 

I put him in a shallow dish of water in the shade in leaf litter that had a lot of bugs in it and he was gone when I checked later. I hope he made it.

Hubby found him and hollered up for me to bring a trap. I first thought mouse and then asked and he said there was a bullfrog! So I took a bucket :)