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Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

We’re trying to get away for a few days next month and before that time I’ve got to get some garden beds going and get Duckingham Palace at least partially built. The major growing season in florida is coming up this winter and October is getting to be the very latest to start plants. I have two big beds created from cinder block border in zone 1. I am going to layer it this way: about 1 block height of mulch, then half a block height of manure and then some fill dirt/sand/top soil for the final half block height. My thinking is this, with all that mulch at the bottom there should remain a descent supply of moisture, along with the horse manure which should have nutrients and hold some more moisture and then the top layer which will hopefully provide the air layer, though with so much sand here, I may need to add some perlite to create those pockets for air. This is the start of the procedure with the block height of mulch. Underneath the mulch is a sheet mulch of cardboard to hopefully squash some of the weeds in the area. The beds are 13 blocks long and 3 blocks sandwiched into those long sides, 64 blocks total per bed. The imperial measurement of the growing area is about 3’11” by 15’7″. I have two of these situated between rows of trees in our orchard.

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Major animal loses

Recently a bobcat has started coming onto our land and over the past 5 weeks or so we have lost 3 chickens, a male duck and an unknown sexed goose. I personally caught the cat in the act with the goose on Friday the 13th. I was able to scare the bobcat into dropping the bird, so at least he didn’t get the meal and I was able to bury it for soil enrichment. The downside is, it died in my arms while I was carrying it 😦 Sad times. We are currently looking at ways to protect them.

Here is the suspect

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Duckingham Palace

The acquisition of what was supposed to be 4 geese and 2 ducks turned into 5 geese and 3 ducks with the original shipment containing an extra goose but the wrong sex ducks and a second shipment of ducks. Needless to say the original chicken tractor and roost will NEVER hold everybody, so planning for a monster concrete block structure has spawned in the brain and in Google SketchUp. It will allow for future, unplanned, but probable bird expansion. Below is start of preparation of the concrete pad area, removing vegetation (read weeds).

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We have chicks

With the death of our 2 Plymouth Barred Rocks, we decided more chickens were in order.  We got these 6 “reds” from the local Tractor Supply, though, who knows where they got them.  We wanted to deal locally, but the one farm selling Rhode Island Reds only sold straight run and I choose not to go back to the original guy we bought from, “chicken man stu”, as he rubbed me the wrong way when we picked up our first 6 girls.  There just aren’t a lot of choices for anything these days.  Sucks.

Here are photos

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We actually got them 1 week and a half ago and believe that today or tomorrow they are probably 3 weeks old.

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I finally have the nuc trap setup in a tree, about 8 feet off the ground. It is setting on a T-shaped, bamboo platform and seems fairly stable and nearly level. It is baited with lemongrass oil with the two entrance holes facing East. Fingers crossed I catch a swarm. I already saw a bee investigating.

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Well the cheap plastic railing brackets I was using to hold the legs on cracked already, currently with no bees and no load. I bought metal joist hanging brackets to replace.

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R. I. P. Big Blue.

Sad news on the chicken front. A neighborhood dog came into our yard and killed another of our chickens. We think he probably killed Lil’ Blue as well but have no proof of that. Plenty of proof from this kill, though. Sad, sad business this chicken raising.

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