Live Through Us at The Burrow


April 2011

Whew! I am Beat!

The tree frogs are back!  This is the first one I’ve seen this year.


Below-We use the stroller to mark our rows, works really well!  You can see the small strip of green-that’s the peas and lettuce and roots we planted earlier.  Everything else?  We just did that this morning!

My feet are killing me!  (FYI-navajo watermelon, orange watermelon, israeli melon, pumpkin, free melon seeds that came with the order-jumbo melons, summer melon mix, homestead 24 tomatoes, pole beans, golden bantam corn, and lots, and lots of field corn to hopefully use as feed.)

Betsy’s being her usual gluttonous self!  I keep wondering if she’ll ever get stuck in that thing!

Betcha Wish You Had Some

We went to the hatchery in Carthage today.  Never again.  This is a long story, but I will try to shorten it immensely.  I wanted a chicken that would brood her own chicks.  I finally decided to get what I always wanted, a Golden Laced Wyandotte.  I found a hatchery that advertised a great place


Unfortunately, they charge high prices, but do not have high standards.  The prices we were told went up at the “register”.  We decided against the ducks since they said they were 8 weeks old but looked 2 days old, and more than doubled the price at the “register”.  But, here are some of the pics from the hatchery.  I am assuming they keep the ones they can’t sell as pets or something.



The brooder and breeding pens were not photographed.  They weren’t cruel or horrible, but let’s just say I trust my first impression of people more and more these days.

We went ahead and got our 4 chicks because that breed is hard to come by and expensive.

So, Arlis’s brother told us Tractor Supply had ducks, and Arlis really wanted some (I did say I would never raise ducks again, didn’t I?), so we got two there (they only had Pekin, no Mallards.  And I really wanted Mallards), and saw bantam chicks. Bantam chicks are insanely small.  They are the size of a cotton ball-seriously.  We got 6 Bantams, straight run.  You can’t sex ducks, and the Bantams weren’t obviously.


Here are the ducklings at home



The two big yellow things are ducks, the 4 medium sized striped things are Wyandottes, and the 2 tiny striped, one grey, one white, one brownish, and one charcoal are the bantams.  The marbles help keep the ducks from turning their brooder into a swimming pool.  Since this, we have raised the feed and water onto a board to help minimize spillage.


Pesach Shalom and Other Things

We had a wonderful Passover meal of Shaun and bitter herb salad and flat bread.  Of course, the lamb wasn’t the best, but that is sorta the point of Passover dinner, is it not?  A big rush without time for maranation or decent seasonings?  (Mya has assumed the position)


(We had lamb chops tonight and it was BEYOND TENDER and tasted wonderful!!  I’m in love with mutton now!)


Festivities aside, George (Jr) looks every bit the part now,…

…but isn’t as nice as George (Sr) was. (choice words were said and a rooster might have been slightly kicked a bit)


We get around 7-8 eggs a day.  We’re feeding them to the dog, the cat, and one meal a day is nothing but eggs.  I’m trying to sell them, but everyone here already has them!

We’ve discovered the odd purple egg.  It’s Marans mix.  The Marans chicken lays a chocolate brown egg.  This chocolate pigment can be washed off to reveal a regular brown egg.  So, I rubbed part of the egg with a wet finger and…  See the lighter spot?  The brown speckles actually wash off revealing a blueish egg!

When we moved here, there was a small animal shelter in what is now the chicken run.  They don’t need it as they have their coop.  So, Arlis literally drug it with the tractor to the lower field for the cattle to have shelter when down there.

This is where it was.

Yeah, that was enough for one day, huh baby?

In doing this, we kept the chickens up for several days and completely redid the fencing.  The run is much larger and nicer now.

On another note, I used the jar of grown yellow tomatoes.  They were sweeter, and I really liked them.  Arlis did not.  Here they are on my homemade pizza crust made into a homemade pizza sauce (I love that sauce!)

I decided to go ahead and purchase more lettuce when we got some white and red cabbage plants.  Below is lettuces, cabbages, and peas to the left.  The peas have tendrils now, and all of our root crops have started sprouting!

And lastly, but definitely not least, our stove caught a bird

Mya started going nuts at the stove this evening, so we figured a squirrel fell down the chimney…nope.  He’s safely out of the house now.  (Talk about a lucky shot with the camera!)

It’s That Tiiiiiiime

It’s that time.  I hoed the garden for the first time this year.  Short but I am definitely out of shape.  The stove gets turned into furniture again, and it’s time to start wearing my sun hat (with an added decoration from George)

My banana tree is finally delivered

And given a home

If you’ll recall, last year’s banana tree got eaten by Priscilla.  It never grew much, and it was quite different than this year’s

As you can see, last year’s was pretty pathetic.  I have higher hopes for this year’s.

Other things of change:  Marcus wears less than two layers

It’s time to weed the blasted strawberries again (our freezer ran out recently anyway)

And my flowers from our blessed predecessor bloom

The tulips that I planted are beginning to do well (I mulch around every new one that pops up)

And we have already begun harvesting.  Cats (he sleeps in that thing and lets Marcus carry him around)

And herbs (rosemary, oregano, and parsley do just fine in the freezing spring weather outside)


I was able to purchase my basil today.  I had forgotten all about it and already stored my potting supplies in the shed…sigh.  Off to work!

Weird Eggs and Dental Floss

Have you ever gotten something stuck in your teeth and couldn’t get it out?  I’ve been in pain.  I mean excruciating give up and pull it out pain for days.  Then I looked it up.  Tie a knot in your dental floss (I had to tie two, one on top of the other), floss real gentle like, and pull it through.  Oh the relief!!  It took over an hour for the swelling and pain to subside afterwards to a comfortable level, but there was immediate relief.  Now, on to the eggs.


When a pullet first becomes a hen-first lays an egg-she has a few…mishaps.  Small eggs, no shell, weird shapes, wrong color.  Here is one with the egg-to-be for the next day attached to it.  Neither one has a shell.  Thought I would share.

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Goodbye George!  Arlis found George this morning laying on the coop floor stiff and cold.  There are no marks or apparent broken bones.  We believe it was old age which would explain the low fertility and the 2-3 inch long spurs.  He was a great rooster and almost a pet.  Arlis will miss aggravating him.  He appeared extremely happy and healthy yesterday.

The good news is that his son, baby George, looks just like him and has taken to his new role masterfully.  In fact, the poor little cuckoo marans rooster that hides in corners is acting less scared now.  Arlis’s nephew wants a few, so we’re going to sell Baby George and Crooked toe (our #1 hen) and another hen of his choice (that isn’t a red) to him.  That way we can start with new bloodlines which you need to do every so often anyway.  We’re going next week to buy some golden laced wyandotte chicks.  Three pullets and a roo.  They go broody and are absolutely beautiful.  We’re on a waiting list for them.  So, we’re down to 13 chickens for now!

We took Shaun to the slaughterhouse today.  The lady there said the sliced shoulder tastes like pork chops, so Arlis may want to start raising sheep now.  I will say he was a pleasure to have and watch, and I’m glad I wasn’t the one doing the butchering.

We also hatched and sold 11 chicks this morning.  Two needed help, and one of those drowned himself during the first 2 hours of his life, so I did not help any more out.  If the don’t come out on their own, there’s a reason. Sorry, I just realized that I did NOT take a picture of them this time, but you are welcome to view here and here for a hatching diary and really cute baby chick pics.

Now, we also are trying to say goodbye to another outbreak of carpenter ants.  At least this time, they appear to be coming from the outside, not from the inside, so we hope and pray we are winning the battle.  They came out when I put out the terro for the sugar ants.  So, I got out my Max Force and waiting for the disappearance of them all.  They prefer the terro, and apparently die from it as well, according to an online source.  Only time will tell though.  I think the terro only works if the colony is close enough they make it back alive or something.  The MaxForce is on top of Marcus’s wall as that corner is where they are entering the house from.

Goodbye diet.

And…Arlis has gated up the driveway so he can let the cows out to mow…goodbye some of the mowing.  She does an excellent job doesn’t she?

On another note, I finally got some good pictures of Booger…

and Betsy…

Doesn’t Booger look hilarious?

I know I said she was due in two weeks.  Well, they have both shown all the signs, but refuse to give birth.  But I promise calf pics as soon as they come!

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