Ok, I know it seems strange to even be thinking about fall when Summer only just started.  However, if you have any interest in growing pumpkins and gourds for Fall decorating and carving now is the time to get them going.

Last year I took the advice of a man at the nursery who said he was sure pumpkins should be started by the end of July…he was wrong.  My pumpkins were ready by December.  By the time the pumpkins were ready I was so frustrated with them I ended up cutting them open and feeding them to the goats, chickens and pigs.  The animals loved it but I felt like I failed again.

I’ve always wanted to grow a real pumpkin patch for my kids.  I have never, not even once been successful.  As you can imagine south Florida is not an ideal place to grow pumpkins but I kept trying.  I spent hours every year trying to find a real pumpkin patch to take my kids to…try to get that great photo with the kids sitting amongst the huge pumpkins and vines.  All I ever found were fake pumpkin patches that sprout up in parking lots.  Forgive me, but I wasn’t looking for liquor store and bank signs in the background of my idyllic photo.  Sigh.

Today, I started 9 pumpkin vines and 3 gourd vines.  Fingers crossed, I just don’t want to fail….again.

In other farm news, That hen that’s been sitting on eggs for what seemed like a year finally hatched out 5 chicks.  Then for some reason she decided that was enough for her and she jumped off the nest taking her chicks with her.  When I went to clear out the nesting box I found 4 eggs partially hatched with the chicks inside at way too low a temperature.  I collected these poor eggs and ran inside to see what I could do to save them.

There is a certain amount of moisture that is required to keep the chick from sticking to the inside of the shells.  The Momma hen usually takes care of this.  She quit her job and so I had to try to provide that moisture at the last moment.

I was able to get all of the chicks hatched but….unfortunately, 1 chick was stronger than the others.  He killed the other 3 over night.  It was horrible.  We named that chick Manson….after the serial killer.  That chick doesn’t look evil but he sure must be!

Now I was left trying to figure out how I would get the Mamma hen to take Manson back with her other babies.  Every time I tried to put him with the others she ran him off.  It’s way too hot outside to waste time trying to reason with a crazy hen who only likes half her own kids.  So, I did the only thing I could think of…. I grabbed up all of her chicks (she chased me and hissed then started screaming)  I rubbed all the babies together mixed in with Manson.  Then, once I figured she wouldn’t  be able to tell him apart anymore I gave her back 6 babies instead of the 5 she had.

She stood there with her legs spread wide apart fluffed up to twice her size.  I said I was sorry and tried to make nice with her….she bit me.  I swore at her….

The chicks all ran back to her and tried to hide under her.  Manson being the weirdo he is just stood there…standing out like a sore thumb!  I shoved him under her….she hissed but accepted him long enough to smell him.  Manson smelled like the others so even though she seems to know something was not the same she can’t figure out what it is.

I gave them fresh food and water (looking to buy favor) and backed away.

I checked an hour or so later to see if Mamma was still accepting Manson and of course checking to see if he had killed anyone else.

Mamma sat there with her (now) 6 chicks very happily.  I had done it.  I have neosporin allover my hands but hey….it’s better than having another chick living in my house.

Tomorrow, I have an amazing recipe for dried strawberry muffins to share with you.  They are the best I’ve ever had.  A cup of coffee and one of these muffins….makes being covered in chicken bites not so bad.

Try and stay cool out there….see you soon!

 

         

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23 Responses to Getting ready for Fall already….and a serial killer chick?

  1. Charlotte Moore says:

    Oh my goodness. That is terrible for a chicken to leave her other eggs. You were a brave one to do what you did. Seems to worked though.

    Strawberry muffins, yum!!!

    • Tamatha says:

      You would really be surprised at how often chickens behave badly. AS much as they function as a flock they can be so mean to each other. The strawberries I use in the muffins are dried strawberries. They are not freeze dried so they are still pliable. Be sure to get the natural ones…no added sugars. It makes a huge difference. I’ll show you the brand I got.

  2. Mia says:

    It’s always the quiet ones…

  3. Elsa says:

    That was a great idea you came up with. One of my hens hatched 2 out 5 eggs, unfortunately 1 chick died overnight so I brought the survivor inside for a few days, once he was a bit stronger I put it out with its mo, I was afraid she wouldnt accept him, but after some coaxing on the chicks par,t it worked out. I have another hen whose eggs are supposed to hatch any day now, but if anything should happen at least I’ll know what to do. Hope your hand heals quickly.

    • Tamatha says:

      Thank you, I’m fine now but wow….that hen was really upset with me! I wish you the best of luck with your new chicks and chicks to be.

  4. Yolanda says:

    Hi!!!! LOVE the blog!!

  5. Dianne says:

    This is the last blog I received from you. I hope you and your family are okay; I’m concerned. Just to let you know that I think of you and you and your family are in my prayers.

    If I just somehow got bumped off your list, please reinstate me.

    • Tamatha says:

      Hello Dianne, Im so sorry to make you worry. I had to step back and handle family stuff. My Mom has been having a rough go of things and has pulled my focus. I can’t wait to be back as I miss you all soon much! You would be surprised how much I enjoy sharing my world with all of you, and hearing from all of you about your world. I hope to be back very soon. I don’t want to miss holiday goodies!!! Thank you so much for your care, I needed that smile today. Hugs, Tamatha

      • Dianne says:

        Tamatha – Thank you for the personal response. I’m glad to hear that you’re alright, and I remember that your mother is having health issues. I’ve wanted to share – privately – that, even though I love your recipes for all those goodies, I’m not sure you know that cancer just LOVES sugar and things that turn to sugar, such as white flour. Yours is the only blog I subscribe to that isn’t about health, healthy living, “Traditional” food preparation and WAPF-related issues. Sarah Pope is a chapter leader in Florida for the WAPF (Weston A. Price Foundation) and her blog is The Healthy Home Economist, in case you feel like checking it out – in your “copious free time.” LOL Blessings to you and your family. :-)

        • Tamatha says:

          I know her work well and love her. I try to balance the goodies with the good stuff….I don’t write about the veggies and stuff like that because let’s face it, it’s not as much fun to write about. Making just about everything from scratch helps keep us well, or at least better than we would be if we ate all that horrible processed food. You know what is just terrible? My Mom doesn’t eat sweets hardly ever and she’s the one who ended up with cancer. Unfortunately, she carries a genetic marker and had bad luck. This has been the scariest time in my life. Thank you so much for your care, it means so much :)

          • Dianne says:

            I’m glad to hear you’re up to speed with the health thing. :-) You’re in my prayers!

          • Dianne Morrison says:

            Tamatha – I saw this this morning and feel compelled to share it. (I don’t believe in “genetic markers” – DNA can be changed.) I remember that President Reagan went out of the country to be healed from cancer. Dr. Sears is selling something, but you can scroll to the end… Basically, he’s talking about oxygen.

            https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#label/HEALTH/14ff50176a8cd890

            Also, drinking water with baking soda is a good thing to do; it oxygenates.

          • Tamatha says:

            I will go and take a look. We will consider anything to help my Mom. Thanks so much

          • Dianne says:

            Tamatha- Please forgive me if this seems like stalking! In subscribing to your blog, I think of you as a friend, and I can’t seem to let go of my concern for your mother.

            Years ago a friend called me and asked for the “magic number.” At first, I didn’t know what she meant, but soon realized that she wanted the phone number for Silent Unity. Her mother had just called her to tell her that a dear family friend had been diagnosed with lung cancer and there wasn’t much the doctors thought they could do for him.

            So she called Silent Unity, and a week or so later called me to tell me that her friend was cancer-free! The doctors couldn’t find a trace. She hadn’t told him or her mother about the call, either.

            So here’s a link: http://www.unity.org/prayer/what-expect-when-you-call-silent-unity

            The night before my cancer surgery, I called them and was prayed for over the phone. I felt so CALM afterwards.

            Blessings, Dianne

  6. Charlotte Moore says:

    Just wanted you to know you are missed. Hope and PRAY our mom is doing better. It has been so long since your last update I was concerned. Hope you have just been busy with your garden.

    BLESSINGS!!!

  7. Charlotte Moore says:

    I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving. You are missed!!

    GOD BLESS!!

  8. Charlotte Moore says:

    I am concerned you have not updated in so long. Sure miss your stories and recipes. BLESSINGS!!

  9. Mich says:

    I don’t know why but I thought of you today, I see it’s been nearly a year since you last updated on this blog. I do hope that life is treating you & your family well.

  10. Charlotte Moore says:

    Thinking of you!! My husband ask if I had heard from you lately. I miss your blog but concerned as to your not updating.

    BLESSINGS!!

  11. Karen Crosby says:

    Tamantha
    I can’t tell you how much I miss hearing from you. I think of you as my American friend that I have yet to meet. I am in Canada on the East Coast. I am so sorry that such hard times have touched your family. My family has been plagued with cancer as well. I myself am unwell. I keep you and your family in my thoughts daily. I totally understand your absence on your blog but on the off chance you will see this, I want you to know you are missed and many of us are holding healing thoughts for you. Be kind to yourself and yours.

  12. Charlotte Moore says:

    I just have a feeling things are not going well. I would love to hear from you and your family. Really miss your recipes and funny stories.

  13. Darlene says:

    It’s been quite a while since you’ve been able to post anything. Hope things settled down for you and your family. Hopefully, at some point, you’ll be able to blog again. You are missed!

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