Wednesday, May 21, 2014


The garden is coming along slowly with a late start and a too early arrival of hot weather.  The weeds are growing abundantly and we've been weeding a lot this week.
This double row of English peas is weeded on the right side while the left side shows the "before" appearance.  It's finished and mulched now!  We may not get any peas this year because the weather is so warm the peas are not flowering.  The green beans are though so we won't go hungry.

Charlie is adjusting the Farmall to fine tune his cultivation of the garden rows.  The mulched rows on the left are the two rows we've finished weeding.

Mama Hen 11; Rat Snake 2

Friday morning Charlie let the "Mama" broody hen and the 13 chicks in her care out of the brooderhouse to enjoy the day, the grass and the bugs.  These babies really know how to forage thanks to this attentive Mama's guidance.  When Jan went by the brooderhouse about an hour later she counted only 11 little yellow fuzz balls.  We searched the outside yard area and could find no signs of chicks so we guessed a snake had gotten them.  What we didn't guess was that the snake was so close by.  When Jan went into the brooderhouse to put down some fresh straw she found an unexpected "sunbather" in a corner.

Notice the lumps in this young (but large) rat snake.  Our 2 missing biddies.

Charlie caught the snake with his trusty snake catcher.  

And away we went.  With Jan driving the cart and Charlie holding the snake (who was a little angry!) we took off for the back woods on the farm and released it.  Rat snakes help to keep the rodent population under control for which we are grateful.  We'd prefer they not eat the chicks or the eggs, but sometimes one seizes the opportunity.  It's been a week of snakes.  This is the 6th one we've seen and the 4th to be caught and "relocated."

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Pastured Poultry Workshop

Our County Extension Agent invited us to host her Pastured Poultry Workshop.  It was held yesterday, May 13, 2014.  It was unseasonably hot but at least we had no rain.
We pulled 5 birds from their flocks to be used in Dan's demonstration.  They
were happy to go home again when the show was over.
Here are some photos of the well-attended, informative event.

County Agent for Livestock and Forages, Lauren Langley, setting up the registration table.
Our friend, Farmer Mike, arriving to help us with parking.
Dan Campeneau, Poultry Agent, teaching about conformation
or how to determine a good layer from a cull.

Learning about mobile housing from Charlie and Dan.

The next workshop will be held September 30th on the topic of "Small Flock Health."  Location TBD.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Triad Farm Tour

Wings of Dawn Farm is participating in the 1st Annual Triad Farm Tour.  Come and see us!
We are excited to be invited to participate. The Tour is happening June 7th and 8th from 2 to 6 in the afternoon.  Save the date and plan to tour as many of the farms as you can.  More info is here:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

New Babies!

Some of our White Plymouth Rock pullets went broody so we set eggs under two of them.  Almost all of them hatched!
Can you see 3 little yellow fuzz balls peeking out from under this mama?

Day 2 and they are out of the nest and wandering about.  Mama is clucking at the chicks and puffing up to make herself look formidable in case we get any ideas about bothering the babies.  At night we put them in a large tote with a weighted screen top to protect them from black snakes.  Snakes really like to eat baby chicks and we really like to prevent them from doing so.  There are 13 babies in all.