Sunday, June 11, 2006

Updates on the poultry and the garden

It's Sunday afternoon and normally I'd be out working.

But the temperature outside at the moment is almost exactly at the boiling point of human flesh, so I thought I’d goof off and update the blog here in my cozy air conditioned office.

I did postings for each batch of chickens when they arrived as day old peeps but have not mentioned their progress.

I also mentioned when I planted the garden but have not done an update on that project either.

First an update on the garden.

This is not a regular vegetable garden; it’s a small-scale field crop experiment. It is a very basic planting.

I know zip about field crops, my experience with plant agriculture consists of watching the occasional houseplant die of neglect.

My goal is to replace some or all of the feed we buy for the livestock. This should be possible for the sheep at least, because they don’t need much feed beyond the forage that we have plenty of. The chickens are a different story.

I planted corn and cowpeas.

Peas alone, corn alone, and corn and peas mixed. Corn was planted in rows about 30 inches apart, cowpeas down the middle of the rows.

The peas did fine on thier own, the corn and peas mixed did well. The corn alone did poorly. The soil here is not very good, beach sand with very little else in it.

The laying hens.

Today I started the process of mixing the young laying hens and the older ones. They have been next to each other since the young ones came out of the brooder separated by some poultry netting. I joined the netting so they are now in one big enclosure but I left both pens inside for now.

This was done after the nearby picture was taken.

I added roosting space to the hoop house and will remove the small pen sometime soon.

Chickens can be rather vicious to strange birds, best to do the integration gradually.


These birds are the radishes of the animal kingdom. They start out tiny, grow huge and are harvested in almost no time.

I just raise these in a scaled down Salatin style pen that I move to a new patch of grass each day. These are about halfway between the egg and the dinner plate.

1 comment:

Mark Disher said...

Hi Jim, down here in south australia, we grow corn each year and co-plant green runner beans, which use the cornstalks to grow up. being legumes, the beans fix nitrogen in the soil which helps the corn, we also plant snow peas around the edges of our asparugus patch to similarly aid soil nutrition and squeeze a bit more produce out of the available space. check out our chickens at:
Enjoyed your blog