The Broody Banty Experiment

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I have a very determined little hen who has her heart set on hatching out some chicks this year. I don’t really need more chicks right now, but I’d like to see if she can do it.

All the chicks I’ve raised so far have been by artificial brooder and I’d love to watch a mama hen take on the job. I think it would be even more entertaining to see a bantam hen hatch out full sized chicks and boss them around even when they get bigger than her!

There’s always a market for chicks and layers around here so I think I would probably end up selling them unless I see one or two I like. I don’t want any expensive eggs for this, just some barnyard crossbred mutts are fine. I think I’ve located a source of fertilized eggs at $10 per dozen and that seems a fair price.

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First I’ve got to make sure she’s really serious about this. I know she’s serious but she has to be SERIOUS. For this, I’ve brought out the big guns. Fake eggs. These are some ceramic eggs I ordered off eBay some time ago and they look and feel exactly like real ones. I set them up in the nestbox for her and she was on them in minutes. Once she’s good and settled for a few days I’ll move her in the evening to a small seperate pen with everything she needs and give her the real deal. Then we wait!

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End of October Garden

DSC_0100Just wanted to share a few photos I took in the garden today.

Unbelievably, I actually have purple cauliflower! I wasn’t expecting these guys to survive the slugs but somehow they powered through and have formed a few small heads. The variety is called “graffiti”. I planted orange cauliflower at the same time, “cheddar”, but somehow they decided to do this:

DSC_0102Oh well. The ducks and chickens sure enjoy them!

DSC_0004These are arugula seedlings that were planted last week in a few big containers recently vacated by tomatoes and cukes. They seem to enjoy the cooler weather and if I can keep them growing for another month or so I’ll be super happy because I love using it in salads and sandwiches.

DSC_0001My neighbors have a giant English laurel hedge that borders on my property. Since I’ve read that it roots well as cuttings, I decided to take a few so I can plant a hedge next year that will eventually grow to hide a chain link fence and a view of the train tracks.

DSC_0002And here is the first little flower to appear on the yacon plant. I wasn’t sure we’d get any flowers this year as it was in a container, but it seems determined to bloom before it’s killed off by frost. I love the symmetrical leaves on this Peruvian tuber.

DSC_0003And last of course is adorable Tiny Chicken, who is my faithful gardening companion. She is always full of advice on any topic and makes sure to dispatch any worms I might dislodge.

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