It wasn’t an overly exciting week at The Welcome Homestead but with Summer winding down and Autumn taking over there is a lot of work to do to prepare for winter’s coming wrath. There have been many conflicting forecasts for this winter due to an extra powerful El Niño and the forecasters seem to be at a loss as to which way the weather will go. Forecasts range from a long, cold, snowy winter to a short, warm winter as predicted within the last couple of days. The Homestead would, of course, prefer the latter which would make the Grumpy Truck Driver’s chores a lot easier but we would be prudent to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best.
Today the air conditioners were removed from the windows and the storm windows installed. The yard was cleaned up and water barrels emptied so the valves won’t freeze. The outside water tap was closed from the inside and the outside valve left open so the tap outside would not have water in it. Garden hoses will have to be blown out to make sure they’re clear and the gas cans filled so there is fuel for the snow blower.
Pidgey was put into the coop on Thursday, along with the seven chicks who were hatched from the refrigerated eggs and the chick that was found with it’s head caught between a nest box and the side of the coop who, happily, made a full recovery and seems fine. They have been having a terribly hard time of it since then which seems to be standard procedure when introducing new birds to an established flock. After a few days they will sort it all out and, aside from some constant pecking reminders, will have found their place in the coop. It’s called a pecking order for a reason! The first night some of the younger chicks had to be retrieved from under the coop and put inside but the last two nights all were inside by dark so that relieves the Grumpy Truck Driver from crawling about in the chicken poo under the coop. This leaves Andre and two other chicks in the basement for another couple of weeks until they’re a bit bigger and then it’s their turn to run the gauntlet as their initiation into the flock. Here’s Pidgey looking kind of forlorn on the INSIDE of the fence:
RATS! Yup, still catching them. Rat number seven was caught this week in the feed shed. This is the first year since moving here 11 years ago that rats have been part of the equation and that’s not a good thing. From all accounts they are difficult to completely eradicate so some more intense effort may have to be made to take care of the problem. Maybe a doggie would be part of some future plan.
The rabbits are not behaving like… well, rabbits. Lucille started off with back to back litters of 11 last Spring, then another litter of 11 of which only five survived due to her apparent negligence in the first couple of days then a few weeks ago she had a litter of three of which two survived, the runt only lasting a couple of days. Last week she was due for another, pulled fur and built a nest but no babies. Fingers crossed and hoping something will happen in the next few weeks or other plans may have to be made. There is still a black doe available but hasn’t been bred due to her having chewed up babies but, with the addition of the rats the possibility is that it was the rats that chewed the babies and not her. She may yet get another chance.
We wish everyone a safe and happy week and hope everyone can get out to watch the Fall colours explode in their fiery glory as Nature prepares the land for the sleep of Winter. The days get shorter as the shadows lengthen, gripping the countryside with their long dark fingers and the trees lay a colourful leafy blanket on the ground in preparation for Winter’s snowy comforter. The land will rest from a busy summer bringing forth Nature’s bounty and wake again in the Spring, refreshed and ready to give life to the land once again.