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Friday, September 2, 2011


HELLO & Welcome to Garden Daddy here at the urban farm! Well, my little Buff Orpington hen ended up hatching only 4-chicks out of an 8-egg clutch. Two eggs were infertile, one was not viable after breaking through the shell in the 100-degree heat yesterday afternoon and the last was abandoned too early, and appeared to need a good 2-days more to be ready to hatch. Little Mama was ready to go this morning with her small brood of 4-chicks and get out of the enclosed space for her nesting area and she got off the nest, started covering up the unhatched eggs and looking to get her and the brood out of that area and into the rabbit cage - converted into brooder run.
Below in the top photo, you will see two of the new hatches of Cuckoo Marans chicks. MOST of the time, in these Marans and some other breeds one can almost sex the chicks based on coloring as mentioned before...not always. But it appears in a lot of cases, that with the Cuckoo Marans, the lighter, more grey chicks like the one in the foreground of this top photo is more than likely a little rooster. You can see his silvery-grey coloring. This is probably true in the Barred Plymouth Rocks as well, as they are very similar in chick coloration. See the darker chick in the background...that is probably a little pullet.

In the second photo, below, you can see two darker chicks and they are most likely also little pullets. Even though, the one in back MIGHT be slightly lighter, I feel if you see it in real life/time is is still darker than the one in the upper photo.

Now in this last photo, you can see the little roo-boy (probably) in the foreground again with the 3-darker little pullets in the back...can you see the difference? You can really see the grey on him in this picture. Of course there is Mama Dorothy, the little Buff Orpington hen that did such a good and faithful job of keeping them warm for 3-weeks to get them here

UPDATE: ALL 18 NEW CHICKS ARE WELL AND VERY (!) HAPPY TODAY. I gave them a little heat last night, a 60watt light bulb hanging in one corner, as it got down to around 82 when I was heading to bed after Master Gardener meeting last night. It bottomed out to 71-degrees this morning and they were all in the heating area and warm and snug in their new digs this morning. After my early breakfast today, I went and unplugged their heat as it was already way up in the 80's by then and they were happy with the natural heat. I think once they get more real feathers grown out and less fluff in about two weeks I may not need heat if we do not get any really cool nights...though there is some talk of next week a few nights into the 50's in which case they will surely need some night time heating for a little while.

On to gardening updates...the urban farm remains in drought conditions and I am working hard to not overwhelm my utility bill again next month with watering, as we have to pay waste water even when there is none that is going into the pay a percentage of what water you use as in most city utility systems. But then again, if I want ANYTHING left to either freeze or eat I must do some watering. Not wishing ANY bad luck or problems on anyone, but we sure could use SOME of the rain from the east coast and what appears to be heading to NOLA from the Gulf. If you earlier followers remember, I moved back to Tennessee 5-years ago after a 2-year stay in Pensacola, Florida, and that was because of the 4-hurricanes and 2-tropical storms affected the area so much both housing cost and rentals and insurance made it nearly impossible to remain in the area and have anything left to live on! I am hoping we get a break in this late summer heat and drought we are in again this year. As for the community garden, it has been a disappointing season there, with many external issues stemming from the area of town it is in and the community we are working so hard to help and teach gardening skills to. We have been able, between this urban farm and the community garden, give to our local soup kitchen at least a small amount of produce, mostly squash earlier in the summer, and some tomatoes and okra and peppers as well. Not as much as last year of course. Most ended up coming from this urban farm and I am glad I planted some 34-tomato plants and was able to share with neighbors and the RIFA Soup Kitchen as well as enough for my freezer and some even went to an assisted living facility in Millington, TN, and to some employees in Humboldt, TN, at the TN. State Veteran's Home there. So even though the community garden ended up this season not as I had hoped it would, my own garden was able to assist many and that in itself is well worth the effort.

I will leave you followers and newcomers then with our ongoing gardening affirmation in mind: "URBAN FARMING: ONE EGG AT A TIME!"

(I apologize, but my spell check here on this site is not working properly today so forgive any misspellings you might find in this posting...I will check it later and correct any errors!)

1 comment:

  1. I bet they are much bigger now. Any new pics? They are so cute but much cutier outside than in the house like mine!!! Take care Mike....