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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Poultry Food, Carrots and other

Lets start with the weather. 10 degrees C this morning and then the day heated up to a comfortable 27. I'm sure the cool nights and mornings affect seedling growth.

The routine in the mornings is to go out and put a little Lucerne out for the cattle. Martinique, (whinging) Warren and Hector. The dogs love going for a run and line up at the gate out to the top paddock. Once the gate is opened they charge out running back and forth across the paddock smelling all the nights activity.

Nikki, Lisa and Bill
Martinique , Hector and Warren
The cattle look glossy and healthy despite the dry conditions and little green feed but we don't skimp on the Lucerne. Better they stay happy and healthy. No one has to pay their way at HHF. We share the property and our good fortune with everyone.

We've been saving our Carrot tops in a plate with some water and when the tops have started to shoot plant them out. It is a very easy way to propagate. 

Today we also did a little seed saving. A stand of Coriander has dried well. Some will be kept for seed but as there is so much we will keep the bulk for cooking.

Coriander perfect for harvesting

Some Rocket has also set good seed.

Gradually the different varieties of Garlic are maturing and being harvested, dried and stored. In the past it would start shooting before the next lot was ready leaving us with a barren period and reliant on shop bought produce. Thanks to the suggestions from another blogger (who I can't recall and would like to have paid attribution) this year we are freezing part of the harvest as whole cloves to ensure all year round availability.

The bag at the back of the tray contains the larger cloves set aside for planting next March.

Between the two of us we managed to lift the wind fallen Dragon fruit upright. Temporarily supported by the cloths line post. Some steel posts have been hammered into the ground to provide permanent support. Two steel pickets brace the wooden post it grows on from different angles and are screwed on with bugle head screws. Bugle head screws are incredibly strong we use them in post and rail fencing. There is a backup brace of four steel pickets strapped to the upright with fencing wire. Belt and braces approach. Should last forever.

The damage from falling over seems minimal and we have heaped cow manure and silage mulch around the plant to help it send down more stabilising roots.

Chicken Feed

Normally our chicks get Wheat, a little Corn and some Black Sunflower seeds as a nightly meal. Usually soaked in whey from the weekly cheese making. This is purchased from Wadwells near Raymond Terrace who fill your recycled feed bags to order. Occasionally the Norco at Dungog will have a mixed grain on special and we get a some bags as it always contains a few diverse grains.

Recently to expand the variety of feed when getting the wheat etc from Wadwells we also bought some Milo (Sorghum) and cracked Lupins. The Lupins so as to increase the protein levels for egg laying. Well they liked the Milo but completely ignored the Lupins.

The next experiment was to buy an organic mash at great expense. A little picking but mostly ignored. Tried mixing it with whey. No change. Tried milk. No change.

Bought a bag of layer pellets. Almost completely ignored.

Tried keeping them locked up until midday to make them eat the layer pellets and scratch the mulch silage and manure. They stand at one end of the coop waiting to be let out. "can we come out now? can we come out now? Can we come out now?"

As soon as they are let out they rush off to the nearest patch of green grass and madly peck away.

Fussy buggers are our chooks.

Our new routine each morning is to mow a strip or two of green grass from around the house garden beds and spread the fresh green clippings in the pen. And the result is at least they stop pressing themselves against the cage and racking their tin mugs against the mesh.

The bedding is now getting scratched and we have scratched trying to change their feed.

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