The weather was great this week at The Welcome Homestead, temperatures generally nice and warm which enabled some outside work to get done. Winter predictions have run the gamut from a short, warm winter with little snow to a long, cold, snowy winter due to El Nino. We try to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best.
One project that has been a long time in coming is the compost screener. This was completed on Tuesday and now allows for the screening of compost to ensure a consistent product and remove any bones and unfinished material. The beautiful black compost that is the end result is amazing and fluffy and is easy to spread out on the gardens. A couple of screws and small pieces of metal were also removed in the screening process so there is a bit of a safety aspect to it too. Oh, we’re also keeping an eye out for a paddle for the bread maker that a certain Grumpy Truck Driver left in a loaf of bread that ended up in the compost so we can use the bread maker again.
Another project that got underway was the pop can solar collector. It was finished and installed on Friday. Saturday was partly cloudy so a test wasn’t able to be completed but Sunday was mostly sunny so a test was done for part of the day but the results were inconclusive. It was constructed quickly and poorly so some more work needs to be done to seal it better. This will likely be covered in it’s own post at a later date.
A couple more worm bins were harvested and new bins started with the worms that resulted. Due to a couple of years of neglect by the above mentioned Grumpy Truck Driver the worms are mostly small and unhealthy but when introduced to a properly maintained bin with fresh food and bedding they should grow into large, mostly pink healthy worms. Worm compost is a very healthy addition to any soil and can also be made into a tea to spray on the plants to add beneficial bacteria and nutrients.
Fred and Lucille Bunnyrabbit still haven’t had a litter yet but we’re keeping our fingers crossed. There is a black doe out there, Lucille’s sister who had the chewed up litters that we might give another chance to, since discovering the rats here this summer may have absolved her of the blame for the chewed up kits.
Dawn has gone broody again for the third time this year. After taking eggs out from under her for the last two weeks and having to put up with a cranky hen it was decided to give her some eggs and see what happens. She is now sitting on about eight eggs and appears to be a lot happier. It’s very late in the season for the hens to be hatching chicks out in the coop but if the temperatures continue to be mild it may help. It will be interesting to see if her behavior toward the chicks would be any different in the colder weather and if she pays more attention to keeping them warm. It’s quite possible that we could have chicks in the house over the winter however we’re curious to find out about hatching chicks in the winter and hoping it will work out.
Three turkeys are still left out there but we’re almost finished our last bag of feed so they will be gone soon. Freezer space was made this week so they will fit in there if necessary. We are currently at 268 pounds of turkey processed from the nine birds done so far with three to go.
There are two young roosters that will be invited for dinner soon along with a hen that has a leg injury. It looked like it was getting better and, from a quick examination, didn’t appear to be broken but she can’t seem to put any weight on it at the moment so it’s best if she gets the dinner invitation too. One very small egg was collected on Saturday so the hens that were hatched in the Spring appear to be starting to lay which is a good thing as a lot of them are molting now and hens usually stop laying when they molt.
We wish everyone a safe and productive week.