Monday, April 4, 2011

Chickens/veggiebeds and the woodfire

I am slowly starting to suspect that Chick Chick my little chick born late last year from Rocky the Hamburg and Henry the Cochin is actually not a hen but rather a little cockeral!! Last week we noticed the chickens had scaley legs and Id not treated for worms for a while either or mites so I teamed up Ken Jordan and once it got dark for easy access to the girls as there are all roosting and I prepared a syringe with garlic water, Ivomectin in another syringe and a massive tub of Vaseline and lavender. One by one we plucked Henry and his girls off their perches to be given garlic via their mouth, Ivomection on the back of their necks and have Vaseline smothered all over their legs. This suffocates any mites that might be there.

I noticed at the time that Chick Chick had awfully long rear feathers and seemed to be beginning to grow leg spurs. Also saw on Henry he's snapped a spur off and the other one is literally inches long! Thank goodness he's a friendly Rooster! So Chick Chick's days here will be numbered unfortunately as we did try having 2 Roosters once and it was just too noisy, I would love to be tough enough to eat him that is real self sustainability but we can't eat our pets so usually with any Roosters I breed I find homes for them they also won't eat them. Last time Henry's son went to a lovely couple out at Stawell who were vegetarians and had a large property with many Roosters and hens all free ranging. Hopefully I can be lucky enough to find another such family.

In the veggie garden I have completely removed everything bar a few celery plants for the rabbits from the beds. I plan to order some sheep manure they sell large bags up here for around $3.50 per bag the bags are the 40kg feed ones, I was planning on this during this week but unfortunately Ken has started lighting the fire on these cold nights and my Saturday paper with the add in it has been re-used! I will smother the beds with this and then leave for a couple of weeks before planting Winter crops hopefully sometime around the end of April.

We have been busy buying up wood, there was also an add in the paper about cutting your own for about $12.50 per trailer which is very good as we are paying $65m2 for common wood and about $100m2 for redgum and box, we need those thicker slower burning woods in mid-Winter up here because it gets so cold.

Speaking of wood and burning I am always looking for ways to light the fire without having to use firelighters. We use pine cones, gather any small sticks on bush walks and also stuff our toilet rolls with the lint from the dryer and the shredded paper from the fax and scrap paper.
But recently I pulled all the Sunflowers out of the ground and had them all stacked on the trailer and Brahma my Rhodesian Ridgeback pup got to one and must have chewed the stalk and either his throat go irritated or some got a bit stuck because he had a cough for 1 day. In researching the plant and if anything could be dangerous for him I came across a site that mentioned all the uses for Sunflowers there are quite a few and one was that you dry out he flower heads and use as firelighters, of course the seeds are full of Sunflower oil which is going to be pretty flammable so off to the trailer the next day and Ive cut all the heads off and am in the process of drying them all. Can't wait to see how well it works, very hard to store thought as EVERY critter wants to eat them from the bugs to the mice!

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