Frida Kahol chicks

Well hello so much has been happening down here on my little acre in the Huon Valley of Tasmania. Finally more sunshine, and heat. So my tomatoes are ripening and developing Yeah. Pumpkins and zucchinis are doing well for me. However the most exciting news is Frida Kahol’s chicks have arrived!

I just happened to hear Frida making the sweetest noises as I was walking to release the other hens. So I went in to see her and found the first chick. It was so wonderful. One other egg was pippin.

So next morning there were 5 chicks! Yeah. 3 yellow chicks and two darkish.

The weather forecast was for high temperatures the following day. 36dC/96.8dF. I went out in the morning and it was so hot. I checked the chicks and Frida Kahol. The chicks were standing outside and Frida Kahol was panting. I made the decision to move them all inside. As it was only 9am and it was already 26dC/79dF. The following three days were to be hotter. It ended up at 38dC/100dF and did not drop down below 23dC/73dF overnight which is very rare here.

So nine chicks. Bringing my flock numbers up to 15.. argh. I wait to discover the genders of them. I imagine if I have quiet a few females I will potentially sell them when they are point of lay which will cover the cost of raising them. My hope is there are very few roosters. Only time will tell. I am so glad that I did cull them as she would have hatched 18 chicks out of 20 eggs.

Above the chicks and Frida have been in side for four days now. I have to admit that I have to still fix the small coop for them all. I only need some nails. As I also need to fix the run as one of my neighbours said she almost ran over one of them. Not that it was an issue for them to have them over there. I just personally would prefer to have them confined a bit more and only let out for shorter periods during the cooler months. They are so delightful to listen to. I love listening to Frida just talking to them gently and teaching them.
In the last photo above note where the food container is. Inside the nesting box. I set it outside in away from the entrance into the nesting box. Why would Frida be moving it into the nesting box.

Busby was so unsettled mid morning he kept heading up to the front door and back to me. I opened the door so he could go out, but he did not. I returned to the seat where I was working and he again came pacing back and forwards. I became annoyed as I was trying to concentrate and he was just distracting me The door was open and he could go out.
A bit later I went to the loo, and as I approached (Busby was right by me) the door to the bathroom I heard distressed chirps and calls coming from inside. On opening the door I noticed one of the chicks had got through the pen rails so Frida was distressed the chick was distressed. I popped the chick back in and all was quiet. When I came out and sat down. Busby laid down and settled. Turns out he was trying to get me to go and see what was happening.

I took three of the chicks to visit a couple of my neighbours with young girls. The girls loved cuddling the chicks. The chicks were so sweet and settled with them. Frida is an amazing Mamma. She understandably does not want her babies taken or her removed from them. I decided before returning the chicks to Mamma I would introduce them to Busby. Miss Treacle was not interested.

Busby was so incredible in trying to get my attention earlier, I decided that he should meet the chicks. He did push his nose in a bit hard at first, so I gently lifted each chick up to his nose so he could sniff their bottoms. This worked well and he was so very gentle with them. The chicks did not seem perturbed by his big nose sniffing them. He is so good around the babies. He is improving around the big hens and Roopert too.

So life here at Echidna Home is full.

blessing to You, Tazzie.

Homesteading its not always simple.

I have harvested some potatoes that I was growing in containers. Whilst the weight of the harvest has been reasonable for my first try. I have been disappointed with the size. Small to mini potatoes. I have harvest about 3kgs only. Looking at weight of seed potatoes I planted was just under 1kg, It is at least a gain. I have planted more in one container, and from reviewing my method of care feel I may not have watered them enough. Time will tell.

The top left photo looked promising with potatoes. This is the third pot I had dug on the right is the actual volume of potatoes.
The two photos below are of potatoes harvested from two larger black pots a few days before. I did get two OK sized ones. They will be delicious and yes I am disappointed as I said. It is a learning curve. If anyone has any suggestions I am happy for input.


I was working on my deck and noticed a hen jump over the vegetable garden fence, it sort of looked like Fried, I had to turn the hose of and grab some shoes. I could not see a hen anywhere. I have in there for when Miss Treacle comes in to be with me but gets too hot. She goes in digs a shallow dip and lays in the shade coolness, as I work.
I had looked for her there ages ago but this time I found her. She was right up in the back and it was only that I had a torch with me I think I could see her this time.. I was so happy that she was alive!.

I then checked under her,

She was sitting on 20 eggs. She was just managing to cover. I was not sure how long she has been there. So I am not sure how old some of the eggs are. I looked at my chicken coop and my little coop I have used to have a Mamma Hen sit on her eggs and care for her very young chicks.

I have had to come to a difficult decision and that is for the sake of the chicks and Frieda as well as myself I needed to cull the eggs. So yesterday I removed half of them. Nine of which were fertile. I must say Frieda looked at me as I took the eggs, she then looked at the ones she had near her. She looked at me and settled so much easier on the greatly reduced number of eggs. There is of course a possibility that more eggs will not be fertile. Having examined the eggs I removed I feel that she has probably a week to go before any begin to hatch. However I am no expert. I understand many of you may feel that this is horrible and cruel. Yet this is the reality of homesteading. I imagine I would have buyers of them in 20 weeks if they were mostly females for point of lay hens. I would still have to cull roosters (and will have to regardless as I can only have one rooster in my coop). Roopert is loud and frustrating but he is a wonderful rooster caring for his girls and obviously good father material.

I had no real desire to have chicks this year. My small coop needs some work so tomorrow I will be fixing it up if I have the things I need otherwise it will be Monday. I shall then move Frieda and her eggs to the new single Mamma’s Home Coop. It is in the chook run. This is so that the other hens and Roopert will hear and eventually see the chicks. I have put the chick mix to help reduce risk of Coccidiosis (I do not use the medicated one but one that is more herbs based. As Frieda is not laying eggs now she does not need the same food and she can eat this mix. As it is also not a ‘medicated’ mix her eggs when she begins laying again can be eaten. Normally you can not eat eggs from a hen that has eaten the medicated chick feed. for several weeks.

I am growing a bit clucky myself and look forward to having little chicks about. I love how the Mamma talks to them and settles them. How they race about and she teaches them all they need to know. Fingers crossed Frieda is a good Mamma.

So my little homestead is growing.

My meal worms have all become beetles and now I wait for them to lay eggs and worms to happen. It is not a fast process.

My worm farm is doing really well too.

Wallabies are being kept out of the chicken run at evening time I accidentally locked one in one night and it was very eager to leave when I arrived in the morning. I terrified the poor guy even more trying to get it out of the gate.


We have had a lot of humid weather and more storms and heavy rain. In the north of Tasmania flooding was happening, whilst in Western Australia over 80 homes were lost in bush fires. We are a harsh country.
The weather has really played havoc with my veggie garden and nearly everyone I know who is only growing tomatoes outside is finding they are ripening very slowly.
It is an extremely strange summer here.

Though as I sit here typing the sun is just going down and we have a very long dusk. There is not a cloud in the sky and very strange to see is the green grass on the hills across the river. It is February our hottest month usually and people are ordering water tracks as tanks can get low. Instead my tanks are overflowing and there is green grass. Some of my wattles are flowering again peculiar. If it is not climate change Mr Morrison (Australia’s Prime Minister who does not believe in it) what is it?

I am eating mostly with improvement, I am probably doing half of my routine. The walking the dogs instead of me driving and them running is not happening. I have been blaming it on humidity or heat. I do walk them when we are in towns. Just not the daily walk. Showering is going well and going to bed is much better all with improvement to be made. I am happy though as I am feeling on the whole better and not beating myself up at all. I am moving forward.

I have potted up some Autumn veggies in containers on the deck and some flowers. Reorganising, feeding and rearranging the deck garden. I will share more about the deck and veggie garden soon.

I began clearing out the car port, that continues. I still have to move more of last years wood so I have room for this years delivery.

I am thankful that Frieda is alive. I am thankful that I am managing my CPTSD better than I was last post, I am thankful I am mindful of my triggers, I am thankful for full water tanks, I am thankful we have had no cases of Covid-19 here in Tasmania for ages and life is fairly good here. I think of those in WA who are now homeless. I think of those who live in Melbourne and are back in total lockdown again, and for others around the world.

I hear Roopert crowing goodnight, I too shall take my leave.

Blessings to You. Tazzie

Carrots a success story

Why are carrots so hard for me to grow? This is my most successful crop so far.
Any help appreciated . They are tasty, and enough for a meal for me. Or a good supply for lilliputians.

Seriously these were just seeds I had spread about in a few pots on my deck. I am assuming that they needed to stay in for a bit longer.

I wanted to revive the pots and sow some more seeds in them. I have been tidying the deck today. My lettuces are doing OK, one variety has gone to seed. But some others are just developing and the cos is growing, I actually ate some of the leaves of one of them recently with my wee tomatoes. Oh were they so tasty. Just incredible.

Above are some beans I threw in my half wine barrels, along with kale cornflowers and weeds. The iris (brown leaves) have been broken up for composting around them. I ate some of the bigger beans as a snack today. Lovely. I am enjoying my surprise barrels. I sit at my table on my deck when I sow seeds, and often for no real reason I just toss some seeds into the barrels. I am very delighted with what is growing at present.
I have kale, silverbeet and a calendula. These are the three pots in the most shaded part of my front west facing garden. Running along the front of the deck.

My idea of keeping the hens and Roopert in their run is failing. Sigh. It has rained and there is green grass shooting. Unheard of in February. Normally our hottest month. More rain forecast this weekend and heavy. Fuller rain tanks nothing will be the joy of this if it eventuates.

My Deck garden is containers. I am amazed at what I can grow in pots. The benefit is wallabies and possums do not get at them. The chooks can not get at them, or dig under them. Even the starlings and black birds do not tend to get into them like the veggie garden beds. I can cover them easily to prevent cabbage moth damag.

Flowers are becoming a part of my deck garden this year and perhaps more so. In with vegetables they make me smile and happy to see.

Below are my firs attempts at making apricot and peach fruit leathers. There is nothing wrong with the one in the tray it is how apricots dry when no sulpher is used. My peaches were to moist and I should have read up more on what to do but I know next time. (they dripped through) I am not happy with these trays which have not been used a lot. They are cracking. To replace them is not cheap. My dream is to save for a metal set up ie very expensive Excalibur Dehydrator which is also a square one, which is easier to put the puree on and the fruit. The temperature is more evenly spread. The difference in colour of my apricot leather the heat/air in the round ones is not dispersed so well. Lovely with some desiccated coconut. I did add a little sugar but not a lot.

The peach ones are at the front and due to their being so moist they dried very differently. I am trying to dry some hard enough no dry enough that I can then powder the peach. I can then add the powder to tea, and yohgurt. Cream ice cream even my weet-bix. It was simpler than doing a syrup or jam, and I am not a big jam eater. I am enjoying the leathers, and will be buying some seconds strawberries to make strawberry leather too.
I will freeze the plums I think.

The blackberries are ripening and so delicious. I am freezing these for muffins and yoghurt, and winter porridge.

I am thankful for the rain , as I have enough water for my gardens, I am thankful for all the beautiful things in my garden. I am thankful to Mother Earth for her wonders and how a tiny seed can grow and give us food. I am thankful to my hens for the eggs they provide for me and my dogs. I am thankful for my health and the improving of my mental health as I get back to my routine.

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