Monthly Archives: August 2013

Jasmine went broody July 2nd,  We tried ice packs and then just pushed her out of the nesting box.  She would stay out for a while and then run back in.  She lost a lot of weight and her comb is a sick looking pale pink, not the red that it was.  After 40 days of this I decided after everyone else has laid their egg for the day, I would push Jasmine out and close up the coop.   This worked. Or, she was just ready to stop. She was broody till August 18th, 48 days.  She is now eating better and not broody BUT, she is molting.  Jack had destroyed many of her feathers so this should be a good thing, but, she isn’t laying yet.  She needs to produce feathers not eggs at this point.

Broody and molting, two more things, I didn’t know about.  CHICKENS!!!

August 4th was the First anniversary of our first egg. Care of Jasmine.  The total number of eggs produced from our 5 hens for the year is……………..1675.  That is a lot of eggs.

I posted a mystery flower picture,, in this post and no one made any guesses.  With that success I will do it again.  Anybody know what this flower is?



I made a very short video of Ini when she was in the big house after the fox attack but I don’t know how to post it.  Will ask for help and try again later.

I don’t always read all of the information about things, like directions or seed descriptions.  I ordered an organic cucumber seed this year called Silver slicer or something like that.  Well, after cucumbers started to form I wondered if they were alright, they didn’t look right.  So I went back and read the seed description.  This is what they look like.

Silver cucumbers and one regular pickling cucumber.

Silver cucumbers and one regular pickling cucumber.

They taste fine.  I made my cold cucumber soup with them.  These leeks, the first of the year, were also used in the soup recipe.

Leeks 8/21/13

Leeks 8/21/13

I got a late start with my squash seedlings this year and didn’t know if I would get any.  The summer squash didn’t do very well, two Patti pan squashes and no others. But my pumpkin and Butternut squash look real promising.

Butternut  8/21/13

Butternut 8/21/13

Pumpkin 8/21/13

Pumpkin 8/21/13

That’s enough for now.



I let the chickens out yesterday at noon, went in and had my lunch, then checked on the chickens and went back in.  Then they started squawking.  My wife and I ran out, a fox had one of the girls, Miny, pinned to the ground.  We must have scared the fox enough because Miny broke free.  I then was down from the deck, saw 2 chickens running behind the run with the fox right behind.  I started screaming and running after them.  The fox didn’t seem to care that this mad-man was closing in on him.  He finally turned and saw me but just trotted off keeping ahead of me. He’s gone into the woods, I’m trying to catch my breath and waiting for my heart to stop pounding.

I can’t take this DRAMA.  So, the chickens are in lock-down.  I’ve been very lucky, 3 recent attacks and everyone is still here.  BUT, I need to be much more protective.  I am about to go from being known as “that guy down the street that has chickens” to ” that crazy guy down the street that stands watch over his chickens with a pitchfork in his hands”.  I’ve been called worse.

Miny is fine, lost some feathers.  I think I lost a couple of years off my life.


P.S.  Why didn’t Jack attack the fox??  I thought that was his job.  He does sound the alarm but rescuing the fair damsel, not so much.

Ini is fine. End of post.

Ini is fine.  She spent 4 days living in the Big house, getting homeopathic medicine twice a day and having her wound rinsed with a homeopathic solution 4 time a day.  It was my job to hold her while my wife forced 3 tablespoons full of medicine down her throat, an eyedropper full at a time.  Took about 30 minutes each time. How many directions can a chicken move her head??

Ini in the big house after Fox attack 8/7/13

Ini in the big house after Fox attack 8/7/13

Ini laid eggs 3 of the 4 days she was in the house. She is such an amazing creature.

After the fox attack, my chickens are getting less free-range time.  I now don’t let them out until almost noon and watch them like a hawk.  Well, not as good as a hawk.  Last Tuesday, Mini was attacked by a HAWK.

I let then out just before noon and went in for lunch. I’m eating my last cookie when Jack (my rooster) starts squawking very loudly.  I find him by the side of the house but no ladies.  From the pile of logs I have that need to be split comes the squawking of one of the ladies. As I run toward the pile a HAWK takes off.  I find Mini tucked into the pile squawking her head off.  Carefully I move some logs and get her out, take her to the run and she goes up into the coop and squats down in a corner.  I then went looking for the other 4 hens, can’t find them anywhere, there is a small pile of feathers by the wood pile but no ladies.  After a while Jack shows up with 3 of them, I’m missing Mo. She finally comes out of hiding, they are all safe.  Mini did come out later in the day and join everyone. She doesn’t have any wounds that we can see and is out acting like a chicken.

After the fox attack I was asked if I was rethinking my decision to free-range. Wasn’t then, I am now.  Plans are being made to increase the run from 72 square feet to 288 square feet. They can’t help it, they just taste like chicken.


I have TOO many things going on in my world, somethings have shifted to a lower rung.  My blogging is one of them, to my 3 faithful followers I apologize. I will try to update how my garden has been doing first.

These pictures were taken on July 28th, I meant to post sooner, just didn’t get to it. My gardens have suffered from lack of attention also, the weeds are larger than the tomato plants.

I harvested my garlic on July 28th and as usual it was very successful.

Garlic harvest 7/28/13

Garlic harvest 7/28/13

Beets needed to be thinned, this is a second planting, the first planting did not survive.  So this planting is in the other garden. (I have 2 main vegetable gardens on each side of the driveway).

Beets needing to be thinned

Beets needing to be thinned

This is old news now BUT back in July is was BIG.  I have ripe tomatoes.  I don’t have any pictures of my Black Cherry Tomatoes because I eat them before I’m out of the garden.  Maybe later on when there are more of them.

First tomato  8/28/13

First tomato 7/28/13

I also have tomato worms.

First Tomato worm 7/28/13

First Tomato worm 7/28/13

My first planting of lettuce has gone to seed and I have pulled them, maybe I planted too many, the wheelbarrow is pretty full.

Pulled bolted Lettuce 7/28/13

Pulled bolted Lettuce 7/28/13

I did get a picture of my Black Cherry Tomatoes. Actually this was my salad last week.



I missed 1 of the tomato worms and didn’t go looking for him until I noticed not only chewed leaves but the actual stocks of the plant were being eaten.  Found him.

Big Guy,  8/14/13

Big Guy, 8/14/13

That’s the update on the garden. Next post will be Ini’s update.

This is one of the things that I have been busy with, it challenged me and was a joy to work on.  It is a free-standing cabinet made in Walnut and Carpathian Elm Burl.  Very pleased with how it turned out.DSCF0002




When I decided to get chickens, I did a lot of reading,  I needed to learn a lot.  One of the things I saw mentioned many times was that if you have chickens, you need to be prepared to lose some to predators mainly.  I made a very secure coop and run for my chickens, my biggest fear was from hawks when they free-range.  I wasn’t too concerned about the four legged predators because I didn’t let them out until mid to late morning and they are not allowed out unless myself or my wife were home.  We didn’t stand watch over them but would check on them periodically .

Yesterday, Saturday, I was out working in the yard, the chickens were out a scratching and a pecking, my wife, Lil, was on the back deck watching us. About 11:00 am I went in for a drink, Lil, screamed and was running off the deck. I ran out and Lil said a fox had grabbed Ini.  There were a small pile of feathers by the screen house and I followed a trail of feathers into the woods and out back to the field, where I lost them.  Fox and Ini were gone.

Lil had secured the chickens in the run and had picked up the feathers. She told me later this was for the service.

Ini's feathers  8/3/13

Ini’s feathers 8/3/13

My chickens were a lot noisier before this attack, why didn’t I put them in the run??  They sensed something was wrong.  I’ve lost my first chicken at 16 months.  My wife and I were heart-broken.

Well, it is still Saturday and I have errands to do.  Drove downtown, didn’t even turn on the radio, just kept playing the morning over and over in my head.  Told a couple of people what had happened, Laura, who also has chickens was very sad for me.  As soon as I got home I went to the run to see how everyone was and one of the chickens is out, running around the run.  The door is closed, there are chickens inside, how did you get out?????  I’m ashamed to admit, but I have a hard time telling the ladies apart, I didn’t know who was out or why.  I lured her into the run with sunflower seeds and then counted heads.  SIX!!!!  1 rooster and 5 hens, INI IS BACK!!!  the fox didn’t get her, Lil’s scream must has scared the fox.

I yelled for Lil and we checked out Ini. She had a 3 to 4 inch long slice on her left side, it looked like just the skin had been cut open but she needed to be stitched together.  Lil sews beautiful quilts but din’t feel qualified to sew a chicken back together.  Me, out of the question,  so we took her to a vet. A holistic vet in the next town.  Dr Margo Ramon of MASH (Main St. Animal Services of Hopkinton)  her phone number is 508-435-4077. I don’t know which came first the phone number or the name.

Ini is home, stitched up and living in the big house for a few days till she heals.

Ini in the big house after the fox attack 8/3/13

Ini in the big house after the fox attack 8/3/13

Earlier in the day, Lil had asked me what my plans for the day were.  This was not what I planned.



My Tiny Brood of Backyard Chooks

chooks, hens or chickens?


Writing, Family and More


Helping gardeners get the most bang for their BAWK!

Laura Rittenhouse's Gardening Journal

Keeping Track of What's Growing When, Where and How

Karma on the Trail

"'That's good for a beginning,' said Frodo. 'I feel like walking.'"

My Hike, 2014

I don't want to get to the end of my life and regret that I didn't do this


The Adventures of a Girl Without Her Cat

Finding Faeries

My continuing mission to explore ... magic

Adventures with Spice

From the Trails to the Cities, Find Beauty in Everything

Fiesta Friday

Food + Friends = Fun


my backyard garden in holliston


Writing from the heart of Somerset


Just another site

The Chick Roost

"Ain't nobody here but us chickens"

The Hillhouse

The Journey of a Mother and Son

Willow Creek Farm

High Altitude Homesteading

Life at Brookwood Shire

Living with Nature