Garden Notes

October 30, 2013

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Last year, when I was making plans for our first vegetable garden, I had no idea we'd be getting chickens. It was something we always talked about, but we didn't know we'd be acting on those plans so soon, so I didn't bother to factor them, much less the coop, into my garden scheme. Of course, now that I've had a chance to see the girls in action, I know I'm going to need to restructure next year's vegetable patch if I want any hope of growing vegetables mature enough to harvest in my backyard.

So, over the weekend, I leveled our existing raised beds, and plotted out the areas around the perimeter of the yard and the chicken coop where I'll most likely plant in the spring. I covered those areas with old hay from the coop, hoping to inhibit weed growth, and spread some sand and new hay in the coop for the girls. Before I plant seeds next year, I'll probably install a short fence around the yard to keep the girls out of my garden beds. It'll be short enough to hop over, but hopefully it will deter the girls enough that they won't do any serious damage. That's the plan for now, anyway, but I'm open to suggestions.

Speaking of the girls, we are now down to just one egg layer. Miss Seven-of-Nine (my black australorp) has decided she wants to be a mother. It started late last week when we noticed a large pile of black feathers in the nest box. The next day, I went out to the coop wondering why Miss Seven wasn't making her usual ruckus. She's our loudest, most obnoxious chicken, after all, so it's really strange when a whole day goes by without hearing so much as a peep from her.

When I peeked inside the hen house, there she was, sitting her broody self on a pile of eggs. I pulled her out and placed her with the other girls, gathered the eggs, and closed the door so she couldn't re-enter until it was time for bed. The next day she was back in the nest box, sitting on Amy's egg, so we did the same song and dance. Finally, on the third day, she seemed to snap out of it, and she hasn't been back in since. I still haven't seen an egg from her, either, so we'll see what happens.

5 comments:

  1. Ahh,the joys of chicken wanna-be motherhood!

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  2. Chickens are so funny, you can never tell what they will be doing next. Sometimes that can be quite stubborn about those broody ideas.

    I put bird netting over the beds that I don't want the girls into and take it off later, holding my breath and crossing my fingers that they won't jump over the fence or raised beds.

    Happy Halloween to you and Matt! xo

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    1. Ooh, bird netting might be worth a try. Happy Halloween to you, too. :)

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  3. I always have so much fun reading through your posts, especially when it comes to the hens. They're such interesting animals and it's been so neat to hear about their egg laying habits regarding their breed and the care that goes into them. And hurray for gardening! My Dad plants clover in the winter because it's supposed to be good for inhibiting weed growth and putting more nitrogen (I think...) into the soil, so that when you tear out the clover in the spring the soil is nice and rich for the new season of plants. I've never tried it but he's been doing it for a few years now and it seems to be working really well for him.

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    1. Yes! I've heard that clover makes a good cover crop. I haven't been on too of things well enough this year to plant a cover crop, so I just covered the beds with hay, but Inthink I'll try clover and beneficial grasses next year.

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