The Productive Backyard, July to Dec., 2011

A place to share garden and outdoor spaces plans and activities.
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Harriet
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The Productive Backyard, July to Dec., 2011

Postby Harriet » Fri Sep 30, 2011 5:53 pm

The Productive Backyard

Here’s a space to discuss the chores and pleasant efforts that bring something from the land into your kitchen and home.

Vegetable garden harvests,
Egg gathering,
4-H projects,
Canning/freezing/putting up,
Orchard fruits,
Composting and
Livestock appreciation!

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Harriet
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Re: The Productive Backyard, July to Dec., 2011

Postby Harriet » Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:31 pm

Fay is still faithfully laying an egg every other day. She is very vocal with us now, I suppose since we are her flock at this point!

HRH is pining away for a little flock of hens again and it is true we must make some decision. Fay is fine now but can't live by herself through the winter. Either we gift her to another flock or add to ours. (There are 3 neighboring home flocks whose roosters we can hear from here.) HRH found a pullet farm like helia's family found, that has Barred Rock for $7 each, no minimum. They also have cheaper Golden Comets, which is a cross-breed, but those are debeaked for commercial and it bugs HRH to think about that. Actually, me too :? Monday morning I may call about the Rocks, even though the sensible thing is to find Fay another home.


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Harriet
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Re: The Productive Backyard, July to Dec., 2011

Postby Harriet » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:02 pm

I have found 2 Black Orpington pullets, 6 months old, about 50 minutes away. The lady says dd and I can come Sunday afternoon. With 2 warm roommates, Fay would fare much better this winter. She would be bigger than them at first, which would be best, pecking-order-wise, but then they would grow to be her same size by mid-winter. I spent about a minute looking at shipping charges to have pullets sent from hatcheries to get the breeds I'd like and dropped that idea like a hot potato. Minimum charge of $65, and then you start paying for the birds! I haven't had Black Orpingtons since dd31 was 8 years old.

The lady has a rare type of Orpington, too, "Lavender", which I have never seen in person, but she won't sell any (another name is "blue", but I imagine they really appear gray. Here is their USA origin farm in photos.) I don't blame her for keeping her adult stock of these, although I would rather have had them (but probably can't afford it anyway). If I decide they are truly beautiful, I might call her in the spring for biddies. She would sell me biddies now, but the work involved in rearing them in winter isn't worth it, and now that I research, the origin farm will not sell at all, and a hatchery in GA wants $16 per biddy plus shipping, so this is a breeding program that is out of my league. I'll need to clean out a dog crate and make sure I have cash. I've printed out the directions.

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Nancy
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Re: The Productive Backyard, July to Dec., 2011

Postby Nancy » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:47 pm

Good luck with those Harriet!

H. sprayed the drive way and yard for weeds so come spring this should help!
They got the sprayer ready for winter.

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Harriet
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Re: The Productive Backyard, July to Dec., 2011

Postby Harriet » Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:44 pm

We traveled there today, and the lady taught me the difference between the Lavender coloring and the Blue coloring in chicken standards. She is so happy to have very good examples of both. She can show her Blue Orpingtons now at fairs, but the Lavender is so new that standards have not been set, so there is no contest she can win. In a few years, when the standards are ready for judges, she will have some great birds to show. She also has the Splash coloring, another one I have never seen before, but so few of them that I couldn't quite get the concept - kind of polka dot on the white wings. I have seen a Blue at a fair before, but not understanding what I saw, really. I think it made her happy to have someone to teach.

Anyway, my simply-colored Black Orpingtons are shiny and healthy. They are large but I know they are 6 months like she said, because their combs are small. We got 2 of them and they settled right in. HRH had the henhouse all cleared of old straw with new straw put down before they arrived. I checked on them while sleeping, and they do have Fay in between them, which is ideal, but they are all a couple feet apart. I guess it takes time to decide to sleep beside someone to keep them warm!

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Nancy
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Re: The Productive Backyard, July to Dec., 2011

Postby Nancy » Sun Oct 30, 2011 10:44 pm

I'm SO happy for you and the hens! This is a great hobby therapy for you all I think. The eggs are a blessing also our neighbor has a couple the teen aged boy got for a project of some sort and kept these two hens keep them and the grandpa in eggs!

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Harriet
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Re: The Productive Backyard, July to Dec., 2011

Postby Harriet » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:54 pm

2 eggs from the 2 new hens, first ones today - they are big and fluffy now, all grown up. They understand that we strange people mean food, now, lol, so they like us a lot better. I just wish they would all sleep together on the same roost for warmth, but they sleep at 3 different places.

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Re: The Productive Backyard, July to Dec., 2011

Postby Nancy » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:27 pm

My friend lost her last dog this fall and now has silkie chickens! She had photos to show us on turkey day they lay small eggs.

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Harmony
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Re: The Productive Backyard, July to Dec., 2011

Postby Harmony » Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:24 pm

I just looked at the chicken pictures. Those are the fluffiest chickens I've ever seen. Are the ones you got Black like those 2 in one of the middle pictures? We just had ordinary variety white leghorns except for one show rooster a neighbor gave us because he had too many. He loved to be handled!

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Lisa B.
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Re: The Productive Backyard, July to Dec., 2011

Postby Lisa B. » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:57 am

Cute chickens Harriet.

Well this is what my garden looks like after an hour and a half's rain - heavy rain fall.
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