Monday, June 11, 2012

Lost strangers, tricky hens, and rabbit kits

So, the first week of deliveries was certainly challenging, but also very rewarding. As with any first rounds, there were a few snags that will undoubtedly sort out a bit moving forward.

It took us longer than expected to pick, clean and pack all of the veggies. We need some additional infrastructure for prep, including a sink in the greenhouse and a hanging scale. We had a rabbit kindle Saturday morning. She is a first timer (named Barbara), and kicked two of her kits out of the nest. So when we went in for morning rounds, we had to resuscitate their tiny little bodies under heat lamps. She seems to be caring for them now, so we are keeping our fingers crossed. Mysteriously, her neighbor doe, bred on the same day has yet to kindle. I'm pretty confident she is bred, and won't be worried unless we don't see any kits after Wednesday (31 days).

Our polish hens (the ladies with large fancy feather hats) decided that on Friday, they would begin an annual molt. Which means they stopped laying eggs, and won't resume for several weeks. We had enough eggs to make the CSA orders, and bought in some more hens. But we've got to do all of their health checks now, and get everyone regulated to laying again. So we aren't offering eggs this week. This was unpredicted (it couldn't have really been expected honestly), and we're not thrilled. This afternoon I have to put off some planting in favor of boosting the size of the hen pen and adding some roosts. We're trying to reduce stress with the latest additions, and prevent any onset of illness amongst the flock.

Yesterday we spent some time trying to get our personal affairs in order- by this I mean cleaning our damn house which looked like we had been farming indoors and buying in the groceries we don't grow ourselves. After evening chores, we ate dinner and sat down to relax before 7pm for the first time in over two months. We were indulging in some missed tv episodes when Harper, one of our dogs started sounding the intruder alarm. We thought it was about a neighborhood wild turkey at first, but when I got up to shut the curtain and send the dog away from the window, there were two strangers on our porch.

We live literally right in the middle of a huge state park. Hiking trails surround us, and these two were horribly lost and ended up cutting through the farm access road through the hay fields to land right on our doorstep. They had been hiking since 1 that afternoon, and it was after 8. They had this war torn looking map which only trails on it, no local intersecting roads. After some quick google searching, we realized their cars were still over 10 miles away- in Massachusetts. We ended up giving them a ride back, it's way dangerous to hike for that long without the right supplies, in mountain lion territory, after dark. I'm sure we were a sight, in jammies, looking all kinds of worn out and in need of hair cuts. But they still seemed grateful.

Alright, back to outdoor work!

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