With a Chick-chick Here and a Chick-chick There…
Six weeks ago one of the hens became broody. For those who may not know what that is, it is when a hen relentlessly sits on a clutch of eggs in the hope of hatching chicks. Since my hens are getting old and the egg production is dropping off I decided to try an unorthodox way of increasing the flock. I went to a local nursery / farm and bought half a dozen eggs at the total cost of $7. While the merchant couldn’t guarantee that all were fertile, it seemed to me that I had at least a 50% chance of three of six fertile eggs. Bringing them home and placing them under Blackie, my broody hen, time would tell how many eggs would be fertile. Sho’ ‘nuf… 21 days after placement two of six eggs hatched out… and now we have a pair of little peeps following under a highly protective mother. The other hens seem to have taken them in stride and I witnessed little to none of the so-called pecking order being enforced on the helpless chicks. Meantime, having raised quail via an incubator and then a brooder the presence of a natural mother hen makes a world of difference in care and upkeep. Nature always knows best! …and why shouldn’t it, it is God’s own handiwork; and the Grand Designer built it with perfection. It was only man’s rebellious Original Sin that perverted it. Yet, there is the presence of God in nature. This becomes increasingly evident the more I work with the natural world. However, I digress!
With the addition of these new little fuzzy charges we now must wait for a brief period to determine if we’ve got hens or roosters. This is the drawback to straight run eggs and chicks… it is a guessing game as to what sex they might be. Hopefully they are hens and will go on to replace the lost egg production of the mature hens. Meantime, it is a delight to see them interact with their foster mother, the other hens, and even my dogs who are fascinated with them.
In the rabbitry, I’ve once again bred Anna. This will be the 4th and last attempt. If unsuccessful I will have to see what options are available. Whether to by two more Florida White Does and cross breed them with my bucks, or mate brother and sister to further the Mac Stain of Florida Whites; most breeders would say that this is too close a relationship and consider it inbreeding. I’m reluctant to do this but since domestic rabbits are largely inbred to one degree or another, this may yet be an option.
In the gardens I’ve managed to at least get some control over the weeds. Using a hand scythe I was able to knock down the weeds to a more manageable size. Since the spring workload has slackened to some degree it should be easier to maintain the gardens on a regular basis.
I’ve also gotten to the tuning up and maintenance of my power tools, (long on my To-do list), specifically the weed whackers and the chain saws. In the past when time was more limited than money, I would simply bring my power equipment to the commercial shop. Over time I came to notice that while the equipment was clean it did not perform as it should despite sending to a professional 2-cycle mechanic. These past two summers I’ve been servicing, tuning, and maintaining my own equipment and I’ve noticed that the tools are much more reliable and almost like new in their performance. It is true that many items for service can take much time to maintain but the rewards are much greater in satisfactory assurance of all working on demand. That said, I have two power tools that are posing significant problems. One is a cheap extended hedge trimmer, used to get to the top of my ten foot hedges on the pool perimeter. This was designed, essentially, as a disposable unit and I’ve had at least three of them over an 8 or 10 year period. They are the epitome of immoral planned obsolescence. They are largely not consumer serviceable and the cost of replacement parts is nearly the cost of a new unit. The other power tool giving inordinate problems is an old 2.0 McCullough Eager Beaver ©. This handy little chainsaw is convenient for small limbing jobs or as a backup to my more powerful Husqvarna © which I use for tree felling and cutting firewood. The Eager Beaver is used to free-up the larger saw if it is pinched or otherwise hung-up in a stout limb or branch. This Eager Beaver, however, is notoriously infamous for being hard to work on because of its compact design. Most of the components are only accessible after taking much of the machine apart. When new it was always completely reliable, when old it is a pain in the… neck. Production on it was discontinued back in the late 1980’s exactly because of this. For many years this machine has given great service. Though in the past I’ve managed to get it restarted and functional and even recently gave it a complete tune-up it still is hard starting. I will try one final time using a starting fluid, composed of mainly ether, to see if I can bring it back to life. After which I have to consider the point of diminishing returns and give up on it. In the decades I’ve owned it I’ve gotten adequate use and I’ve certainly gotten my money’s worth, but this time it may have given up the ghost.
So as the troubles of the world are magnified, here at Hunny-Bunny Farm is a bit of sanctuary, a retreat, if you will, where the world’s problems and threats are, for a time, forgotten. Many may have noticed that I’ve increasingly detached myself and CRS from disquieting news, whether worldly or religious, and this is with reason which, I may relate in a future article. This however, does not mean that I’ve given up the fight but simply have changed tack. I now rely almost solely on the promises of Our Lady of Fatima, the last recourse for a disturbed world who increasingly abandons God.
Pray the Rosary for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary …it is our only hope.
Richard of Danbury, D.S.G.