Yeah, she's definitely got that broody thing going on! She's not all the way there yet, because she laid an egg today, and let me take it out from under her without too much fuss. But, she has 'assumed the position,' is no longer going to her roost at night, and not eating much. So....do I try to keep her from going broody (aka 'break' or 'break her up') and still get eggs, or do I let her go broody and put a couple of fertile eggs under her to hatch out?
I've been wanting 1 or 2 more hens. The rabbit cages I'm keeping them in are large - plenty big for 2 bantams each, especially the Cochins, that are smaller than Abigail the Brahma. After the pecking incident last week, maybe Abigail would be willing to share space with a chick she hatched out? Or she might ...........but we won't think about that.
Dolley hasn't started laying yet to take up the slack.
In choosing breeds for my situation - bantams, docile and calm, friendly, tolerating cooping easily, there are about 4 choices: Brahmas, Cochins, Orpingtons (not at all easy to find) and Wyandottes. I thought the Wyandottes might be less likely to go broody so frequently as the others, and one of the top breeders of Wyandottes lives about an hour away from me here in KY. But then I read on the Backyard Chickens Forum, that their girls go broody just as often as the rest. I have faced the fact that to get the birds I want, I won't get as many eggs.
Fertile eggs could be shipped to me at a fairly reasonable price, saving me the drive somewhere to buy started pullets. Definitely a factor as my car gets older and older (like me). There is even a woman who is part of the CLUCK group on Facebook ('Coop'erative of Lexington Urban Chicken Keepers) who said she could provide me with fertile black bantam Cochin eggs, if I decide that's what I want. The downside is, if I buy a few eggs and they all hatch, of course I may get no girls, and have to re-home a bunch of roosters, and that is not always easy. At least if they were large fowl they could go into the stew pot! That is, if I could do that!
In the garden.....I'm discovering that the squash in pots have to be kept evenly moist - otherwise the squash start to shrivel, and when watered again, they rot (like blossom end rot in tomatoes). The pole beans have taken off, but no blossoms yet, or on the Pattypan squash planted at their feet. The Roma tomatoes have lots of green fruit, and the German Pink tomatoes have lots of blossoms and are big enough now they need to be tied up. The Jalapeno and Cayenne peppers are loving the heat and bearing lots of peppers. I have tried digging around with my hands in soil around the potatoes, but haven't found anything yet. If I don't get amy potatoes again this year, that will be the end of that experiment for me. I could use the deep containers for something else that needs to be hilled up, like leeks perhaps.
The dehydrator has been going all week, drying chard, kale, peppers, some herbs, and some baby portobella mushrooms I found on sale at the store. I need to buy more jars!
Here are some gratuitous photos of two of the Mini Rex, because I haven't written about them in a while:
'Rion is looking good, and is full of personality. I would like to find a show that's close-ish, where I could take him (and maybe Juliet) mostly to be evaluated.
I don't know about Juliet. She was the one that took the longest of all my rabbits to warm up to me, and is still a little skittish. She has grown into her ears for the most part (she looks more balanced when she is 'posed' and they are thrown over her back) but I think she looks like a jackrabbit - long and lean. She is still young, but she does not seem to have the depth in her body I've read about.
On an exciting note, I may have the opportunity to talk to some Vo Ag/4-H kids when schooI starts back up in the fall (actually mid-August here) about raising rabbits in town. I was told some of them got pretty excited when they found out after KSFF that I raise mine in a townhouse. They are townies themselves and are looking for livestock they can raise in the city for their 4-H projects.
I would so love to see rabbits (and wait until I throw in that I have house chickens!) promoted in this area!
Until next time, from Wren Cottage ......