March 8th, 2009
The incredible edible egg
For a month or so now, we’ve been watching the chickens expectantly as we’ve awaited the First Egg. Sure, the hens are cute and sure, they engage in some amusing hijinks (see photo above) but they do have a role to fulfill: the laying of eggs.
Perhaps they were distracted when Firefly, the testosterone-crazed ram, recently bashed in the side of their wooden coop. Chickens are flighty enough as it is not to have to resolve the emotional complexities attendant to such an intrusion. We made good use of Saturday afternoon by cutting and staining a replacement wood panel for the caved-in coop, so the girls were able to sleep with a bit more privacy last night.
The morning chores were uneventful but this afternoon, when we checked on the water supply, what should we find but a small, but perfect, brown egg! Our exultation was probably more appropriate for an event like discovering the cure for cancer, but you take your victories where you can find them.
Till mulch do us part
In other agricultural news, we tilled the vegetable garden this weekend with a much better idea of what we’re doing than last year. First, we had last year’s experiences to build upon and second, we had some great guidance from a book called Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening. The book was the gift of a colleague and instantly sped to the top of the Sun and Wind Farm best-read list (along with every book ever written about lambing).
Although our northeastern instincts tell us that spring is the time for cool weather plants like spinach and lettuces, the weather is much warmer here in Texas. (Today’s high is expected to be 81.) So we are focusing on some warmer plants, such as tomatoes, peppers, squash, green beans, basil, oregano, and maybe pumpkins (apparently a delicacy in the sheep world). We’ll keep you posted on the progress in the garden.
Still no lambs! In the most closely watched pregnancies since Angie and Brad, our three ewes still have not produced lambs. It appears that Stella likely had a miscarriage. One day, well before her anticipated due date, she passed a placenta. We walked the fields several times but no amount of searching could turn up any sign of a lamb. The primary unanswered question now is, does she have another lamb in the making? Shetlands often produce twins and Stella definitely looks like she’s still carrying. Page and Pixie (who by the way are twins themselves) are looking strong and healthy as they head into what surely must be the end of their term.