Thursday, July 8, 2010

And then there were thirty-five

Sigh...So Mirabel died, though it had nothing to do with the incident that caused her to lose sight in one of her eyes. She ended up dying of heatstroke - the first of my chickens to die of such a thing.

I found her shortly after it happened. I had been in the backyard pen collecting eggs not long before she died and saw nothing out of the ordinary. Since the backyard birds are usually confined to the pen, I always make sure they have shade and water in there. In fact, Mirabel was sitting in the shade when she died, just a few feet from a full water dish.

She'd only been dead a short time before I found her so I was able to salvage the meat. Since I had Couchsurfers last weekend, this meant I was able to provide a tasty meal of chicken curry to my houseguests.

I've been slowly working on integrating the backyard and front yard flocks. The hens all get along fine but the two roosters, Bart and Pasha, still hate eachother. But it's getting better. They now seem to be able to share the hilltop (and hens) without trying to kill eachother. Today will be the real test as I will be gone for most of the day and they will be unsupervised for the first time.

The fact that the hen with the bad leg is still living on the front porch just adds to the chicken chaos (though she usually spend the daylight hours in the grass behind the house).

Of the three chicks born this spring, at least two have turned out to be roosters. The jury's still out on the third, though I suspect/hope that one may be a hen. If so, it will be the very first hen born in Frankencoop. Not counting the very first batch of chickens I hatched and raised by myself over three years ago (of which four remain), every chicken born here has turned out to be a rooster. With three full grown cocks in Frankencoop and two at the house, I don't need anymore roosters. Guess there'll be more chicken curry on the menu this winter.

What might not be on the winter menu is a lot of vegetables. In the last month, I've gotten about half an inch of rain. I've watched plenty of storms pass close by - some dumping rain just a couple miles from my place. Lots of stuff just withered and died. For the second year in a row, the corn is toast. Been working overtime to make sure the tomatoes and hot peppers survive. Even the kudzu is starting to wilt.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the old pear tree. So far, this has been the best year for that tree. It's chock full of hundreds of almost ripe pears. I'm thinking about pear wine...

Gonna be another hot one today. Forecast calls for triple digit temps - not a drop of rain in sight. It's only quarter after eight in the morning and it's already 85 degrees inside the house.

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