Saturday, May 26, 2012

21-25 May, 2012 - Soft shell eggs, Garden preps, Birthdays

We've had a lot of cool weather lately which means we use more wood.  It isn't a big deal since we have plenty.  It's just annoying!

If you keep chickens for eggs you've probably seen this before.  If not...?  Chickens sometimes have boo-boos when they make eggs.  In this case the hard, outer shell never formed so there's only a thin, membrane "holding everything in."  The eggs is still good to eat but you have to do it within a day or two because the membrane is somewhat porous and the egg will spoil after a few days.

The soft shell egg compared to one with a normal shell after breaking them open.

I had a couple of small stumps/root balls to remove so I got a some landscape timbers and made a tripod so I could use the cable hoist to pull them out.

The tops of the timbers were lashed together then, once I set it up, I looped a short chain around the top so that I could attach the hoist.  I keep a couple of short chains around for pulling stumps, posts, etc..  This one is about 2 feet long with a large ring on one end and a slip hook on the other.  The nice thing about it is that it will tighten up on whatever it's wrapped around when you apply a load.  In this instance however, I just looped it around the top to hook the hoist cable to it..

I have another short chain with a grab hook on one end and a slip hook on the other.  I made a couple of wraps around the stump and began pulling.

As it began pulling out of the ground I used a pick to knock the sod loose from around the roots.  I just kept applying pressure until it broke the roots loose and the stump was free.  I had one other to do after this one.  On it the roots were spread our over the surface more and the ground began to raise for about three feet around the tree.  It freaked to dog out and she began biting the stump as I pulled it.

Scot got up from his nap feeling hot and thirsty!  He'd emptied out his crib and taken off his clothes.  When he came downstairs he grabbed the new bottle but wasn't about to relinquish his old one!

Tristan (Susan's youngest son) and his wife (Krystina) met us in Eureka so that they could buy dinner for Susan for her birthday.  Scott was overjoyed to see them.  They're his favorite uncle and aunt.

The eggs the hen has been sitting on are hatching now.  She had two hatched and one more had broken through the shell by 6:30 this morning.  I moved her, the eggs and the two babies to floor level yesterday.  The little chicks need to be able to get water and food and they couldn't jump down and fly back up like the hen.  You can see the marks I put on the eggs to tell which ones we wanted to hatch out.  That way when I checked the eggs I knew the ones without the marks were new (and available for eating!).

So here's their new ground level home.

The other chickens and rooster aren't real happy about it.  They got moved out to the dog kennel.  I shut the doors on the hen house to keep the hen and chicks safe.  The last time she had chicks, one got out and the cat got it.  We could bring them in the cabin but they're noisy and it's a continual task to keep their box clean.  We decided to let momma hen do the hard stuff herself this time.

I got most of the garden tilled up and ready to plant.  We're still getting hard frosts nearly every night so we'll concentrate on planting peas and potatoes at first.

This patch will be planted in peas.  We have several patches tilled up because of all the stumps.  I get rid of a few every year but we had so many to begin with that I still have quite a few left. 

Emily and Stephen (Scott's mom and dad) were here yesterday.  We invited Barbara and Victor up for dinner with us and Victor, Emily, Stephen and me did some shooting.  We had a couple of 22 rifles, a 22 pistol, 45 cal. rifle and a 12 gauge shotgun so we burned up a few rounds in the hour or so we were shooting.  After that we grilled some steaks and had steaks, potatoes, gravy and corn for dinner.   It was a nice way to spend a Friday afternoon.


  1. Weedygarden from the forum here.

    When I bought my home 20 + years ago, there were many weed trees that had volunteered in the foundation and along fence lines. I took many of them down, and had to have a few taken down. The roots, OMG! The elms would grow shoots and the roots underneath were as big as if I had never cut down the top off. I dug holes waist deep to get most of them out. One tree (alyanthus--sp?) had roots so spread out that I hired it taken out and the man dug such a big hole in my front yard that you had to look down into the hole to see him. Eventually, we had to pull the stump out of the hole with it hitched to the back of a vehicle.

    20 trees later, I am planting what I want to grow--peaches, pears, etc. I couldn't have planted other trees without taking out the roots like that.

    I hurt my back a few times in the process. One time I had to crawl back into the house and it took me about 1/2 hour to go a few feet.

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