Archive for the ‘chickens’ Category

Summer bounty!

If I had a choose word to describe my summer, it would probably be uncertainty. Between transitions in my job and missing friends and family in San Francisco, I felt a little out of control. For an ESFJ/Capricorn/Type A person like me, that is not a very comfortable place to be.

Although work and life things felt up in the air this summer, when looking back at my photos from the summer, I was struck by the predictability of the garden. Sure, there are hiccups and changes based on weather, but there is definitely a pattern.

First comes the fruit.





We had more plums this year than I knew what to do with. Most were cooked down into a compote and went into the freezer.

After the fruit, comes squash and cucumbers.



More squash and cherry tomatoes.


Once the days get long, the chickens start going into egg production overdrive. We have had a ton of double yolked eggs this summer (below are two cracked into a bowl). So yum.



And in August, the tomatoes are practically flying out of the garden. I roasted most of them and put them in the freezer for stews and sauces this winter.




The very last of our San Marzanos were cooked down into a sauce with wine, garlic, and basil. Delicious.




Now that summer has come to an end, we fall into our fall and winter routines – switching to flannel sheets, roasting root vegetables, baking pumpkin bread, and catching up on HBO. Although work and life still feels uncertain, I’m finding stability in the changing of the seasons and the knowledge that the world keeps on turning.

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Summer garden

Here’s a few photos of our garden this summer.

Ryan added a little run for our chickens on the side of the coop. They love it!


Early summer.



We also added a trellis for green beans! They climbed up all the way to the top!




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Hope you had a lovely weekend!

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Life via Instagram
























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These chickens are super cute!






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On Wednesday we had one little chick hatch, and by Thursday afternoon we had all five (one of the fertile eggs was actually not fertilized). We ended up with two Barred Rock, two Silver Wyandotte, and one Rhode Island Red. Not sure of the sexes yet, but it’s fun to try and guess based on their behaviors.

Ryan set up a live feed of the chicks, so if you want to check it out, click here.

Here are some pics of the babies!

That’s one of the Silver Wyandottes under mama Zuni.

Rhode Island Red.

So snuggly!

Silver Wyandotte

Barred Rock (It’s hard to take a picture of a wiggly chick!).

One of the little Barred Rock chicks was experiencing a little “pasting up“this morning, so I just cleaned him/her up with a warm and wet paper towel. It can be life-threatening, so if you are going to get chicks, make sure you are able to check on them often.


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I am just 33 sweet days from being done with graduate school. I can’t wait to resume life (and blogging)!

A few weeks ago we noticed that Zuni was acting a big strange. She started sleeping in the nest box (all three girls share the nest box for laying eggs) and acting cranky. About two weeks ago we realized that we had a broody hen on our hands! She refused to leave the nest box, and got pretty agitated when we tried to get her out.

So why do hens go broody? Both the farmers we talked to and the internet say that it just kind of happens. Broodiness is when a chicken has an overwhelming desire to have baby chickens.

We didn’t have any fertile eggs (no rooster at our house), so we tried to get her to snap out of it.

At the advice of our local urban farming store, Livingscape, first we tried tossing her out of the nest box and ruffling it up. It didn’t work.

Then the weather got a bit warmer, so we decided to try the infamous “Chicken Dunk.” Since broody hens have a very high body temperature (to help the eggs hatch), many people will try dunking them in cold water to snap them out of it. This also didn’t work.

Our final options (before chicken dinner I guess) were either to put her in a wire cage for a few days (or weeks) so that she would be uncomfortable and eventually stop brooding, or to have her hatch some eggs. Um either annoying squawking chicken in a cage or baby chicks?? I think the solution was pretty clear.

We picked up 6 fertile eggs at a local farm store, stuck them under Zuni on the night of May 5th, and should have babies on May 25th or 26th. When you put eggs under a broody hen, you want to do it at night so there isn’t too much disturbance. After we put the eggs in, Zuni took her beak and arranged them underneath her. Animal instincts are so rad.

We had to make some adjustments to the chicken coop so that Zuni could chill in the nest box without the other girls trying to lay in there. Ryan rigged up a second nest box, and blocked Zuni’s area off with cardboard. In the morning, after the other two have laid eggs, we open up the cardboard so Zuni can get out to eat and poop. She usually comes out once a day – so I grabbed a few photos this afternoon.

Eggs lined up neatly in the nest box (sorry for the blurry photo!) – this was all Zuni’s doing.

Zuni stretching her legs.

The other temporary nest box (yes, those are golf balls. Chickens like to lay eggs on golf balls). Also we were out of hay, so grass clippings it is!

View of Zuni’s little area.

In other garden news, we have been busy planting!

Ryan’s got plans to build a fence around the garden and add a new chicken coop as well.

We are adding tomatoes/peppers/cukes this weekend if the weather stays decent.

I also planted a borage plant that is starting to bloom! These remind me of when I worked at the UC Davis Children’s Garden way back in the day. And the flowers are edible!

That is probably the most text-heavy blog post I have ever written. Hope it was helpful!

Now back to papers, logic models, presentations, and job applications.Whew!

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