Friday, June 25, 2010

Not so Peaceful Friday.....

This morning's round of chores led to a dead hen. Just one more thing in the battery of "what else" can happen around the homestead.
We're not sure what the cause of death really is, but, I'm going with heat stress. We've been over the 90 degree mark for days on end and yesterday was 99 degrees with high humidity. There wasn't any indication of physical damage to the hen - she was just on her side - dead. All six hens were fine late yesterday to the best of my knowledge, but then, I wasn't looking for signs of heat stress. I'm feeling a little less than happy with myself right now. I should have been more attentive.

Just another lesson learned in the life of a homesteader.
Since the forecast is to be in the 90's for a least another 5 days, the hubster rigged a fan in one of the windows of the coop for better air circulation. I'm hoping this helps. I'll keep checking for signs of heat stress and if I notice any, I'll do what I can short of bringing them in the house for the dogs to eat.....

Now comes to problem number two. The new raised garden bed. We are having problems with leaf curl on the beans, tomato's, and grapes. Once again it may be due to stress, but, we've been careful with our watering ratio's so I don't think it's that. We're thinking it is something in the soil. We are going to have it tested to see what's going on and if there is any residual herbicide that may be in it. We bought a top soil/compost mix from a local landscape company and I probably should have asked where the soil and compost came from. Another lesson learned for this budding homesteader.


Tomato's - it's on all varieties, whether they were heirlooms or store bought.
For now, we still have flowers that continue their cycle and bloom and bring forth color. I'm starting to worry that they too shall soon stop producing because of the heat and lack of rain.
I guess I'll enjoy what I can while they are sharing their beauty.

But, on one happy note, we have baby figs!
Things have been quite chaotic around the homestead with some emergencies that have popped up that have us down to one of us driving and doing all the chores until all the rounds of testing are completed. We're okay, just being cautious and making sure we stay okay! It's just another lesson in life to remind you that everything could change in the blink of an eye and to revel in the joy of everyday - even on the days you find a dead hen, your gardens going to crap, the excessive heat continues to linger, rain is a thing of the past, your $600.00 vacum suddenly crapped out(that's a big deal in a multiple dog home), and you're so tired from daily work and chores that your knuckles are dragging on the ground by 8pm.
Okay, whine over. Now to try and go improve my nitric acid levels and raise my level of internal joy... but, I have to add before finish, I've missed my blogging rounds and reading what everyone has been up to. I've missed y'all and hopefully after the next couple of weeks things will calm down enough that I have the time and energy to catch up..
In the meantime,
Have a peaceful weekend, y'all................


  1. Good to hear from you. Another friend lost a couple chickens, too.
    I don't know what could cause the leaf problems, but I hope the crops can be salvaged.

    Have a better weekend! :)

  2. I'm sorry to hear about your chicken, the leaf curl, and your challenging week - sometimes it seems everything happens at once, doesn't it...I wish you a restful, cooler, uneventful weekend!

  3. If you want to replace any chickens, let me know. Im going to be downsizing our flock and selling off some 1.5 year old laying hens, heritage breeds like Delaware, Buff Orpington and Barred Rocks.

    And we are going to have a big bonfire party on the 10th of July. Ill email you too. Bring your band mates, and if you can take your wage in drink and grub, we can certainly oblige. Ive invited my friend Greg and his musician friends. Music, Irish beer and whisky, and grilled meats from our farm. What could possibly be better???

  4. I'm so sorry to hear things aren't going well. As one of our past Prime Ministers said "Life wasn't meant to be easy!" Personally I think that sentiment is crap and all should sail along calmly but it doesn't so we just have to get on with it, don't we?
    But seriously I hope the health issues all work out OK, everything else is of minor importance in the scheme of things.
    We're all out here thinking of you and sending good vibes

  5. Hi Toni! I'm so sorry about your hen--I know how much your flock means to you, and your precious garden too. The heat is certainly taking its toll on everyone and everything, isn't it? We haven't had any rain or relief in this direction either, even though yesterday we had thunder and a few flashes of lightening. I hope you get the rest you need and find the answers you need to help your garden! Take care!

  6. None of your plants look heat wilted, and I've never seen their symptoms before. Can you send off pictures to your ag extension to see what they think?

    If it's fungal, try mixing corn meal with hot water, and then putting the filtered result into a sprayer and spraying everything. It's thought that the hot water activates enzymes in the corn that eat fungi. It could also be insects, but I don't know what.

    I'd be out of my mind trying to cope with everything you are- I hope things go better for you!

  7. I'm sorry about the loss of th hen, and the garden problems, too! I hope the health issues turn out ok. Take care of yourselves!

  8. So sorry about the loss of your hen Toni. These temperatures seem to be hitting everyone at the moment, even here in the UK we've had 90 or touching 90s for the past few days. It's upsetting to see the leaf curl on your veggies after all the hard work you've put in, not sure what it could be but Paula's idea seems like a good start. I'm frantically watering and watering with no sign of any significant rain any time soon!

    I hope all goes well with your health issues. Take care of yourselves!


  9. Behind every bit of bad luck there is a good lesson to be found.
    I've no doubt your poor chicken suffered from the heat and humidity and now you know what to look for in the future.
    Here we have had nothing but rain which causes the opposite to happen like root rot and mildew... sometimes Nature struggles to find a balance.
    The curling leaves are probably from the excessive heat as well, but like Paula said a quick note to an expert might do the trick and solve the mystery.
    Take care of yourself and try to stay cool.
    Susan x