Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Our Garden in Summer and Freedom Ranger Chicks

It's summertime here in Florida and the heat has officially hit! Two weeks ago, we cleared out the garden taking down all nylon trellesis, clearning out most vegetation and the rest we left up to our second flock of laying hens. These are a mix of Barred Rocks (a bit larger breed) and Dominiques (smaller breed, but look the same pretty much). We officially have a rooster again. See if you can spot him! These hens are approximately 3 months old and in another 3 months, they should be laying eggs and taking the place of our current laying hens (Americaunas, Rhode Island Reds and 2 Dominiques). We get about a dozen eggs a day give or take. In 3 months, we should be getting double that, hoping to keep up with our egg demand locally.

The garden is very brown and dry, but we do water every now and then for some plants we keep out of reach of these little darlings. We've been getting some rain lately and that has helped sprout grass and more weeds for the chicks to partake on. The past few weeks, we've been using our indoor "garden" shelving system to sprout wheat grass from organic wheat berries. I currently have 8 trays going and we take out a tray a few times a week to give them some healthy grass. The grass sprouts VERY quickly (4-5 days and it's ready), so it's easy to keep going. They still get flax seed, grass that Rob cuts with the mower and weeds and other veggie and fruit scraps (they LOVE watermelon!) to give them other nutrients. No corn or processed foods though.

See what I mean...dry and boring. I have to be honest that I've enjoyed the little break, especially with the heat and being pregnant.
More empty beds and an orange tree. :)

Our rooster is in the center of this photo with the most red on his comb and waddle. He's actually a lot nicer than "Jack", our last Rhode Island Red rooster that wound up being a Thanksgiving feast for an office party. (gulp!)

Our new Freedom Ranger chicks foraging. We've had them in a large bin for the last few weeks, but they're hopping out of it now and ready to be free-ranging in the yard. They are quite cute as in the mornings, they hear us come out with food and they all flap their wings and come running. These chicks will eventually be processed (we have 13), cut up and frozen in our deep freezer. Avonlea doesn't like talking about it, but understands that this is where food comes from. Lincoln, on the other hand, is ready to butcher any day now and wants to help!

Avy with a Freedom Ranger chick.


Taking a ride in Lincoln's truck.

No comments: