More Snow! We got more snow this week, this time it was about 5 inches and it stuck around for a couple of days. It was pretty and we enjoyed being cozy by the woodstove through it. But this continuous rain and snow pattern we have had the last 3-4 weeks has made the barnyard into a gooey mess and leaves the animals with few places to stand that aren’t mucky. Hopefully things will dry up a bit in the coming weeks.
The day after the storm a flock of wild turkeys marched through our property. They used to not live in this area at all, but in the last few years we have been seeing them occasionally, which is fun.
I finished another project this week. It is a balaclava for Little Miss. I made three of these last year, one each for Little Miss, Braveheart, and Mr. Smiles. They absolutely love them and wore them all winter. But Little Miss’ head has grown and hers doesn’t fit her for this winter. So I made her another one for Christmas. I love the color of the yarn, it is Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick in the colorway Wild Strawberry. The pattern is the Bailey Balaclava. It is a super fast knit, and it is fun to knit something that I know will get so much use.
I am really enjoying the “Fish Lips Kiss Heel” pattern and method. I plan to do a review on both the heel and the method in a future post. For now, I have made it to the leg of the sock.
The Problem With Roosters
Because we have 5 kids and the kids love being involved in the farm, it is very important that the animals we keep are not aggressive. Whenever we raise up breeding roosters we let them mature and then pick our favorite two (taking into consideration conformation as well as behavior). Then we let those two mature even more and cull the most aggressive one. That usually leaves us with a nicely tempered breeding rooster. But every-so-often it doesn’t work, and here is why…sometimes when there are two roosters with the flock and one seems nice and sweet and the other is the boss and aggressive, when you remove the aggressive one and the sweet one is left all alone to take the dominant position in the flock, he all of a sudden decides he needs to be aggressive because there is no one else filling the job.
Unfortunately, that has just happened to us. We have had two roosters for a couple months now and one was significantly more aggressive than the other. So we butchered the more aggressive one this week. The next morning all seemed fine, but the morning after that, when we opened the coop to let the chickens out, the previously submissive roo blew right out of the coop and attacked me. Most times when a roo gets cheeky with me if I go after him aggressively with my big black muck boot he backs off. Not so with this guy…he got more upset and attacked me more when I tried to get him away from me. He is acting even WORSE that the one that we butchered earlier this week. 😦 And he is the only rooster we have left. Sigh. Sometimes homesteading just doesn’t work the way you hope no matter how hard you try to plan and prepare for it to go well.
Soooooo, I don’t know what we will do now. At least for the time being no kids will be allowed in the chicken pen.
The hens on the other hand….are doing beautifully.
Alice and her 5 chicks are doing well. We are hoping to move them to the lower coop soon, so they can have some fresh air and sunshine. We are just waiting until we feel like the little ones can handle the steep ramp that the lower coop has. Maybe this week…
One of our other Partridge Chanteclers is wanting to set now too. We don’t normally let them set in fall, but we decided to go ahead and go for it, especially since we might not have a roo soon. So we put 10 eggs under Ava today, and in 21 days will hopefully have another set of chicks running around.
We are finishing up the garden year. We have beets and turnips still in the ground under the frost fabric tunnels, but everything else is done for the year. I am hoping to get around to tallying up the harvest amounts this week.
The Gooseberry bush is turning a beautiful purple/red/brown color.
And the strawberry leaves are turning red and starting to lay down for the winter.