April 14, 2014

Wow. With the advent of the good weather, we have been so busy we are having trouble finding time to blog. We are trying to finish up the produce stand. 16 new raspberry plants arrived and we planted them in a spot with some shade (due to this being North Carolina) to try to get them to do well. It has been our experience that they did not do well in full sunlight here. We are finishing the deer fence and have two extra layers of wire on the outside three sides so far, bringing the height up to six feet so far. We are trying to clear up some brush that has been left since late December’s pond building. My husband has spring break this week, so the solar hot water heater is on the agenda for this week as well as finishing all the planting. My project of trying to hatch eggs has not gone well. I read the directions, turned them daily, adjusted the humidity per the directions and the results were that we had one chick hatched a day early that did not absorb his egg sack (and doesn’t look healthy), one egg that looked liked it was pipped but didn’t reault in a chick coming out of the shell, and none of the other eggs hatched out of 30 eggs. I have no idea what went wrong. Although, these were eggs from our chickens, so we have no idea which ones were actually fertile. We did not candle them at 7 – 10 days to get rid of the ones not developing, we have one rooster (about 2 years old) per 14 hens which may be a little low, we didn’t hatch the eggs that we think are from the two Rhode Island Reds (lighter in color than the others), even though they are clearly a favorite target of the rooster due to the way their feathers look (or lack thereof). Still, it is rather heartbreaking as we do try to be careful with all life. Yesterday was day 21, so we will give it a couple more days since black Australorps are a large breed. Our bees seem to have absconded from the hive. We were feeding them sugar water intermittently, even though we thought they should have had a good supply of honey due to the fact that we did not harvest any last year and it was heavy in the fall. So disappointing. Farming is sure about learning. . .


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