Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Yard Work

Can you envision a freshly mowed spring lawn covered in the white, soft seed heads of dandelions? I’m not talking about one or two just ushering the new warmth of spring, but so many it just ruins the look of yesterday’s effort.

Well now keep that same image in your mind, except substitute the fluffy balls of the dandelions with over 60 fluffy white Texas A&M quail! Yeah that was kinda what it was like around here this morning. When we decided last Saturday to move the breeders from their winter sanctuary in our garage to their new summer home I broke one of the doors on the colony cage. Due to pending darkness, I didn’t really take the time to fix it. Instead, I just used some wire to keep it closed until Wednesday when I was going to construct permanent summer housing; after all, what were the chances they would even find the vulnerability let alone exploit it? Come on! They have all they could ever want and need: fresh food and water twice a day, lots of room, a deep wide dusting tub refilled with sand once a day and nice tin roof to keep them dry. They just don’t appreciate all the effort we go through for them. LOL

The only bright side to the whole adventure was ……….. (sorry I had to look over my shoulder to make sure I wasn’t going to get slapped in the back of the head) ….. I was in the house while Malita and Archie chased, caught and put the escapees back in their pen! Before everybody starts booing me, I did catch two of them and put them back up. After I got home this afternoon I spotted the sole hold-out and Archie quickly cornered her and returned her to the pen. Now if this same event would have happened in the winter with snow on the ground, they would have had a better chance of staying undetected and actually had a real chance of getting to NASA.

How do I know that is where they were headed? Because they must have seen it written in the stars last night that their eggs I sent to Mars were going to hatch today and they wanted to be there!

Congratulations to The Martian Chick and her newly hatched babies from all of us here at Rich Heritage Farm!

Y’all Come Back!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Gone Quackers

Here's our little flock of ducks, 8 Khaki Campbells and one Silver Appleyard. Well Lucy, Lunch (both Campbells) and Oscar (Appleyard) have been giving us an egg a day each almost everyday since Feb.

Oscar was the only duckling we had to hatch from our fist attempt at hatching. We just figured Oscar would be a boy because of all the aggravating things it did, but we were wrong and she is named Oscar. The Campbells came from Ideal and two of the males have crest. I guess the crest look can kinda grow you; however, I don't think I would ever order them on purpose. If you order only crested they will only send crested, if you just order ducklings they won't guarantee you won't get crested ones mixed in the order.

Having more drakes than hens is a bad thing as they chase poor Lucy and Lunch all over the place. We are not exactly sure the males have ever had their way with Oscar. We haven't ever even see them try. She's too busy being the boss and also quite a bit bigger then even the males. Her eggs may not be fertile, but we put a couple of them in just to see.

Hopefully in 28 days we will be back in the duckling business.

Y'all Come Back,

Monday, April 6, 2009

Quail --- The Perfect Livestock

The quail egg business boomed yesterday. I made delivery of 18 dozen eggs to a fellow guardsman Sunday at Guard Drill, plus another guardsman picked up another 8 dozen Sunday afternoon. It was great to see them all go, and the best part was I didn’t have to ship them although they are going to homes in Middle Tennessee and Central Kentucky.

As I type these numbers it seems like such an impressive amount of eggs, but it’s not even a full five days worth. My hens are laying an incredible amount of eggs, my 84 hens are laying at least 70 eggs a day with the highest single day lay of 79 eggs. It is absolutely amazing how they lay so many eggs for such a relatively low cost. If the many urban homesteaders who cannot raise chickens could learn about the quail, they could have a cheap very nice alternative for amazing numbers of eggs and an absolutely delicate meat source. The greatest advantage of the coturnix quail is they start laying eggs at six weeks and reach their maximum size by ten weeks. If your looking for the perfect livestock for your homesteading give the quail a long look, you won’t regret it!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A&Ms Hatched and Strawberries Blooming

Outside of the fact I missed everything today because of Guard Drill. Rich Heritage has continued to produce. The strawberry plants from my FIL's patch started blooming today. The Tristars we ordered are putting on some leaves and actually look like plants now. I believe two of them are goners but we'll just have to wait and see.

On the quail front, we have 33 new additions so far. They are in a small Rubbermaid tub right now awaiting more hatch mates. I was lazy and didn't' set up the brooder cage last night and get everything prepared like I should have. So Malita and Archie set up the tub while I was gone today and it will do until tomorrow after I get back from Drill.
Y'all Come Back!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Our Three Fruit Trees Arrived Today

I have a weakness for green apples. I honestly start scavenging the trees when the apples are no bigger than a golf ball. The more sour they are the better I like them.

We received the beginnings to our little orchard today from Stark Bro's. nursery.

1 Stark Lodi Apple
1 Starkspur UltraMac Apple
1 Starkrimson Sweet Cherry

The Lodi and the UltraMac are supposed to be good pollinators for each other and the Sweet Cherry is self-pollinating.

I know we want be able to go into the fruit stand business with this few trees, but is being just a tad bit selfish in just this one area so bad? LOL!

They sent six lilium asiatic mix bulbs as a free gift. I couldn't find them on their web site, but on a google search, I found them and they are very colorful flowers. I'm sure we will be able to find a place for them.

Y'all Come Back!