Monday, October 6, 2008
Speckled egg, tiny transplant, coop expansion
This is the prettiest egg so far from our hens! This one was Pauline's, but with wonderful, purple-ish spots. We are buried in eggs right now. I just gave away 18, and by the end of today there will be 24 more sitting in the fridge. No matter how beautiful they are, I can't come up with enough ways to cook eggs. 4 a day is just way too many for two people. Soon the hens should slow down and maybe even stop laying for the winter. I need to savor the feast of eggs now, in preparation for the possible egg famine.
We have added an expansion to the chicken coop, another 5 x 3 foot section. This is necessary because their garden foraging is forcing me to keep them penned most of the time now; at least until we can figure out a way to keep them out of the vegetables. We had not yet roofed the new pen section this morning, but we figured the 6 foot tall wire and relatively narrow space would be enough to keep them in. No such luck. Expresso and Lena were casually walking around the yard when I went to leave the house. A temporary fish netting roof should hold them in until we buy some roofing.
I worked this weekend on salvaging what I could of the vegetable garden. The chickens had left the broccoli as mere stumps, without a leaf in sight. There were tiny leaf buds forming, however, so I left the stumps in place to see if the plants actually recover. My husband had put fencing over one part of the garden, so some tiny new kale plants survived. I spent the weekend transplanting every other tiny plant to a space in the garden left bare by the hens. The plants were pretty small, as you can see, so I don't know if they will survive.
I have high hopes that, despite all the setbacks this fall garden has experienced, we will see some very late greens. I planted some leftover lettuce seeds on Sunday, and plan to order more. Part of a row of carrots and a few beets also survived under the hen-proof wire, so they remain as well. Although the hens had nipped the tops off most of the new arugula and russian kale plants, a few retained their growing points, so I thinned out all the decapitated ones, and hope the others fill in. With the hens restricted to their new coop, there is some hope for my poor garden at last.