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Enjoying the modern conveniences of life in a sustainable manner through technology, resourcefulness, and Zone 8a (North Texas) Gardening.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Meet Diamond


What have we done!?


We think that Goldilocks is a Cochin. Cochins aren’t very productive egg layers; laying about two eggs per week. The Rhode Island Red will lay about five eggs per week. We were hoping for closer to 10 eggs per week so we can share. So the only solution is to buy another chick. A third chick won’t cost much more…right?


We decided on a Barred Rock; which gives us another 5 eggs per week. We named her Diamond; see the diamond shape on her head.

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She looks to be about a week younger than the other two, so I was concerned about putting her in the brooder with them. I left her in the box that she came in and placed that in the brooder. Within a minute, she had flown/jumped out of it. Sandie and Goldilocks pretty much ignored her for a while. They peaked at her a little.

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She decided to take a nap because she was tired from all the excitement. They slept apart (as shown below) for the first two nights.

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But after that second night, a nice family had been formed. Now they take care of Diamond and she holds her own against them quite well.

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Eggs? Did I mention Eggs?


Yes, I did mention in the previous post that we expect to harvest eggs later this summer. Yes, we have been thrust into the world of backyard chickens. We’ve been thinking about chicken keeping for sometime now, but never took the plunge. A co-worker ordered a few too many chicks and asked if I wanted to take any off her hands. Sure, why not? Sure, why not?! Who says that to taking a couple of chicks!


Well ready or not, here they came. The kids were so excited. We went to the feed store and got them food, a feeder, a watering dish, and a heat lamp. We also got some wood chips. $20 later, the chicks brooder box was ready. All we needed were the chicks.

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Finally the chicks arrived! Meet Sandie and Goldilocks.

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I wasn’t sure what types of chicks we would end up with. She ordered Rhode Island Reds and White Rocks. Turns out the hatchery sent some extra chicks (just in case any died in transit).  We ended up with a Rhode Island Red and one of the extras. We knew it wasn’t a White Rock because our chick has furry feet. White Rocks don’t have furry feet. We think this chick is a Cochin.

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Isn’t she a cutie.


The chicks checking out their new digs.

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Here is our setup. We have since covered the top with chicken wire and we have ‘unclosed’ the box. The box was semi-closed to get the correct temperature.

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Saturday, February 9, 2013

It’s About that Time


Gardeners are returning from hibernation, dusting off their blogs, pulling out their seed starting supplies, and rethinking their garden plans for 2013. Welcome back everyone. Welcome back.

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We’ve started our summer crops as well: tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and flowers. We’ve even started some spring crops of lettuce, spinach, broccoli, and kohlrabi. Outside, we’ve planted our onions, leeks, turnips, collards, more spinach and lettuce, and potatoes.


This year, we have mostly repeat crops, but we will be trying lots of new varieties. For tomatoes, we will do Cherokee Purple and Heinz again (our favorites from last year), but we will also try Amish Paste, San Marzano, Brandywine, Indigo Rose, Matt’s Cherry, Aunt Lou’s Underground Railroad, and Pineapple. Yea, we’ll have a few more tomato plants than we had last year. We were out of salsa two months after tomato season!


For peppers, we decided to go with jalapeno  early, Anaheim and a repeat of Fish Pepper. For our sweet peppers, we decided against the slow ripening bell peppers and will try Corno di Toro, Poblano, and Alma Paprika instead.


So, we have a few new varieties, but much of the same crops. Although, there is one new harvest that we are expecting…..What is that you ask? Sometimes around June/July, we’ll be expecting our first EGGS! You read that right; EGGS.


Stay tuned Smile.