Today’s Homesteading Report

You want to know what I think are just the cutest little things in the world?

Baby chicks and their mamas.

We’ve got them hatching out all over.

The hens, not being very bright at all, decided to set on eggs in the second story of the egg-laying boxes.  I didn’t know how they thought they might get their babies down from there,  so I moved them down to the first level where the chicks just have to step over the little front panel that holds the straw and eggs in the box.

Two of the hens are still there, but the one with the chicks that hatched out day before yesterday was gone when I went to check them early this morning.   She had abandoned the rest of the eggs which had not hatched yet, but luckily were taken over by another broody hen….who abandoned HER small clutch in favor of a bigger one whose eggs were pipping already.

I found the lost hen and her chicks in one of the goat yards later this morning, sunning themselves.  Luckily they chose the goat yard with only 2 lazy goats in it and not the yard with the woods pen attached that contains three bratty kids and a mean old doe.

They might have been in a lot of trouble then.

I’m hoping that out of about 400 eggs, I can get at least 20 chicks.  I never seem to have good luck with chicks raised by their mama’s around here.  They tend to drown in water buckets,  or just disappear, although  I can’t remember a single one ever getting stepped on by a goat or horse, even though they like to peck around the horse feet.

I think the horses like the chicks too and try to be careful of them.

I won’t comment on the goats, except to say that the chicks better WATCH OUT for them.

I’ve also got a guinea  setting on a clutch of eggs.  I don’t think that’s going to turn out very well.  She (or he, don’t know which it is)  has been seen inside the truck canopy under the cedar trees where the eggs were laid in a big nest, off and on, and finally she’s now mostly on.  The eggs would get warm, then freeze for awhile, then get warm again.

Plus, they’re  a mixture of guinea and chicken eggs.

Wasn’t a swan accidentally raised by a duck in the story of  “The Ugly Duckling”?  In this case the ugly duckling will be raising the swans.

Maybe it won’t turn out so bad.

The one good thing about it is that instead of roosting in the cedars above our outdoor-stored hay, she’s now setting on the eggs in the canopy all night.  One guinea can create a huge mess by morning, making morning feedings pretty gross sometimes.

I finally got jugs ordered for the laundry detergent I made in March.  It was a new recipe and I decided to let it cure for awhile before trying to use it.  I started using it yesterday and found that it dissolves wonderfully in water and leaves no residue on clothes.

If the jugs get here in the two days promised, I’ll have them available at the Lynchburg Market on Saturday.  I’m not sure of the price yet.  The jugs are just about $2.00 each with shipping.  I’ll be happy to refill your jug in the future with more laundry soap.

I also have powered laundry soap available but need to redo the packaging.  I just wasn’t very happy with it.

I’ve also got some liquid soap made, but it requires a 6-8 month cure time.  It should be ready in October.  Hopefully I can get some more made since the cure time is so long, but it also requires cooking over a low fire on a woodstove for 3 days….much to hot for that right now!

I got new herbs planted.  Basil, lemon balm, cilantro, thyme, oregano, and pennyroyal, plus some more tomatoes in orange, yellow and cherry.  I also moved some clumps of peppermint from the back of the house to the front.  Hopefully the move won’t kill them.

I’ve got tons more peppermint.  If you’d like some plants, let me know and I’ll dig some up for you.  I really have no idea if they are peppermint or spearmint and no clue on variety.  They were here when we moved in and smell wonderful.

There are tons of the stuff  in the goat pasture, but they don’t like them.  Good thing is, bugs don’t like them either and so they grow very well and are very healthy.

I’ve heard it takes a lot to kill peppermint.

And that’s just about it for today.

Happy farming and gardening!


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