So I had the young turken chickens in the pheasant pen for four days. I had to teach them to roost in the shed, but they figured it out. Despite my initial dislike of them, during this time I became quite attached to them. They are sweet birds. I started to think of them as canaries (as in coal mines). I decided I would spare them from the butcher if they are hens in repayment for their tasks. Here they are after four days. I had to put a kennel in the shed to help them get into the roosts.
So I decided it was safe, and I moved the remaining 15 McMurray hatchery chicks in there as well.
In the meantime, Tom pulled out some unused gates to put in the Meridian auction. The white turkeys were terribly interested in this.
The young chickens survived their first night fine, but I had to show them where to roost. But last evening when I went to check on them they were roosting on the fence and on top of the net gain. I moved them into the shed but only counted 16 total. I just figured one had gotten out with the odd roosting they were doing and since it was dark I couldn’t find it. I didn’t see any evidence of carnage.
But this morning when I went out there were only 15 total. And it was my Bielefelder rooster that was missing. So I caught them all and moved them back into the crowded weasel proof pen.
And I found this hole into the pheasant pen that hadn’t been there in the 5 days prior. So I do think it is a weasel. I should have listened to Rita of countrygirllifeonthefarm as well as my husband. I was swayed in my decision by the fact that the other free range chickens are fine, that we have never had problems in the peasant pen in almost 20 years of using it for a variety of poultry, and my reading that weasels prefer rodents to chickens (and we have plenty of rodents). But I was wrong and two more chickens are dead (including my favorite). I am trying to give these chickens a nice life and am failing miserably.
In other farm news, the pigs are immediately soiling their water as soon as we replace it. It is so frustrating.
But yesterday I caught Starsky drinking from the tube waterer. So at least I know they are getting some clean water anyway.
The garden is finally starting to produce. We are picking and freezing lots of green beans and blueberries. Plus I was surprised to find lots of cauliflowers. They were hidden by the leaves.
I decided to make Golden Cauliflower Quiche. This is a favorite from my vegetarian teenage years.
I made it without the crust to save on carbs. I used cheddar instead of Longhorn cheese, and I wasn’t very good at slivering almonds. But it is yummy and a good used of our eggs and cauliflower.
We are also getting lots of Neon pumpkins and zucchini. I am feeding the pumpkins daily to the pigs and poultry who seem to like them. I made zucchini noodles yesterday to go with the beef stroganoff that Tom was making. They turned out well. My dehydrator croaked. (My blender also broke). This is especially sad because I like to make zucchini chips with it. I may have to break down and buy a new one I usually make cauliflower rice. So I will need to find the time to do that as well.
The other thing I have been doing recently is smoking salmon. The salmon is from Tom’s son who caught a huge king salmon last year. He gave me quite a bit, and it has been in our freezer. Since Tom doesn’t like salmon, I has just been hanging out mostly except when we have fish night with salmon for me and halibut for Tom. Now halibut is quite pricey so this doesn’t happen very often. So twice now I have smoked some using this Cedar Smoked Salmon recipe. I use it on my Caesar salads I make for lunch with our abundant Romaine lettuce from the garden. Here is the smoked salmon I made yesterday. It is so good!!!
In non-farm news, I went to the Skagit County Fair this afternoon. It appears to be at full capacity again with the pandemic hopefully winding down. This was my favorite grange display (some were pretty lame INHO).
I was disappointed that they didn’t have any poultry. I was really looking forward to that.
The fair rarely has the breeds of animals that we have. But they did have some Nigerian Dwarf goats like this cute named Maple. They had a couple of Shetland sheep too.
I loved the ears on this mini Nubian.
On the way out I noticed this Zipper. I didn’t realize they still had this ride. I had a bad experience with it, a hot dog and orange soda as a child. I will not get on a Zipper again.
So that’s the news. I am still feeling horrid about my poor poultry decision making. The young chickens and turkeys will remain in the weasel proof pen for quite a while. The only change I see is when the turkeys become large enough to go in the pheasant pen but that will be a bit.