A Day in the Circle of Life

This morning I sat and watched the humming birds draining the nectar from the feeder in the red maple tree out front. Of course when I tried to get a good picture of them the shots came out blurry. Or they had already flitted out of frame before the shutter closed, the fast little buggers.

I need to remember to bring the good camera out next time!

I can tell that my wasp traps are working, though, because I noticed that they aren’t buzzing around the humminbird feeders now, so that’s good news. The bees are still abundant, so that’s even better news.

I also noticed that the apple tree is losing apples, and I’m not sure why. They are just… disappearing! None are on the ground and the ones still growing look perfectly healthy, so I’m guessing something is running off with them?

The neighborhood squirrels would be my main suspects. It’s the first year we’ve noticed squirrels in the area and they mostly seem to be living across the street in the neighbor’s pine trees but I’m sure they are not going to pass up a free apple or two (or ten) if they can sneak over when I’m not looking.

You would think they’d be nibbling on the lettuce or carrots, too, though?

I’m going to set up a camera in the window facing the trees to see if I can catch whatever it is because obviously they know exactly when it’s safe to come thieving.

It’s almost time to break out the butcher block and fill the freezer. Timing wise, they will be ready any time between now and two weeks from now. We’d do it this weekend but the forecast is calling for rain and thunderstorms for the next few days so hopefully by next weekend it will be back to being sunny and warm.

Or, rather, sunny and HOT.

We’ve been keeping the flocks separated out from each other because we’re feeding the ones we’re butchering differently than the ones we’ll be keeping as laying hens. Plus the Wyandottes (big black ones) are so mean to the littler ones, we have to keep them separate just to stop the bullying.

I feel a bit bad because the Cornish cross (white ones) are super friendly but they will die of natural causes soon if we don’t butcher them, so in the freezer they’ll go. I can’t wait to just have the Buff Orpingtons all to myself soon anyway, they are such sweethearts!

After debating for some time, we decided we are probably going to get rid of the pheasant altogether soon.

Now that we have the quail I think we’ll just focus on them, the ducks and the chickens. Pheasant are delicious but they eat more since it takes them longer to be ready to eat, they don’t lay as many eggs a year and they require a lot more space in order to keep them happy.

Plus, they aren’t good mothers so we have to incubate their eggs, which takes time and electricity. The quail are the same way but we can hatch almost twice as many of them in the same incubator and unlike the pheasant, we’re having a lot of success finding buyers for our extra quail. Which makes them much more cost effective in the long run.

Ah, the continuous circle of life (and death) on the homestead goes on….

3 thoughts on “A Day in the Circle of Life

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