Home & Garden

Duck dwelling moved!

Duck dwelling moved!

We have moved the ducks to the front yard!  They were spending all their time there anyway and I had to chase them back to their duck house each night.  That got tedious so I decided to move their housing out front under our apple tree.  There is a culvert nearby that has a slow but steady trickle and so I dug out a small "pond" there!  It is very small, only about 2 feet long and 6 inches deep but it's working well for them, plus I don't have to carry water to them!  They go in each night on their own now which is perfect!  All I have to do is close them up.  They wander pretty far afield but always seem to manage to find their way home.  They also are sociable with our laying hens, spending time near the chicken coop.  The chickens are separated by a hoop house so they can't mix but I've read you can keep ducks and chickens together.  We'll see!

McLaughlin Garden's Wildflower Celebration

McLaughlin Garden's Wildflower Celebration

National Public Gardens Day is Friday, May 11, serving as the kick-off to the McLaughlin Garden Wildflower Celebration. Special events will take place in addition to the opening of the garden's annual plant sale. Horticulturist Kristin Perry and trained volunteers will lead tours in the garden and teach visitors about the flowers and how to grow them. A scavenger hunt will allow families to enjoy tracking down items in the garden. A special exhibit from the New England Wildflower Society will be on display throughout the month.

10 am to 4 pm Friday, Saturday, Sunday May 11, 12, & 13

McLaughlin Garden, 97 Main Street, South Paris, ME

Schedule a photographic session with a portion of the proceeds being donated to the garden.

India Runner Ducks!

India Runner Ducks!

We have just acquired three lovely India Runner Ducks, a male and two females!  Normally we buy birds that are newley hatched but this time we purchased full grown birds off Craig's List.  These are India Runner Ducks which are flight-less which is good since I don't want them to fly away but also bad since if they really need to escape a predatore they might be out of luck!  You must provide them with good housing that is predator proof and you also must provide them with enough water to fully immerse their heads.  This allows them to clean their eyes and nostrils out!  Our plan in getting these ducks is to use them for pest control.  They are very good foragers and seek out slugs specifically.  At the end of this gardening season we will turn them loose in the garden and let them root out any slugs.  This will really knock down the population for next year.  They also are laying very nice large white eggs.  I had one over easy the

Jane's Garden Part 3

Jane's Garden Part 3

Just before all the rain hit recently we did more gardening with Jane!  This time she's planting out carrots and lettuce.  Normally we wouldn't do this in the middle of April but it has been so warm we just decided to try anyway and see what happens!

Chicken Flock Integration - Part 3

Chicken Flock Integration - Part 3

We've done it!  The chicken family is now fully integrated with the laying flock!  The other night we moved their little coop over near the larger coop and then sort of "encouraged" them to move over to the bigger one!  They did this with a little bit of protesting but once they were safe inside the bigger coop I closed it up and removed the smaller coop entirely.  I then imediately turned off the light in the big coop so the laying hens couldn't see the chicks.  The next morning all the chickens came out of the coop without issue and were well behaved.  The next night the chicks and mom went right into the larger coop, no questions asked!  Yahoo!  We've done it! 

Big Garden Prep! Rotary Plowing Time!

Big Garden Prep! Rotary Plowing Time!

It's plowing time and of course I'm using my Gravely two wheel tractor!  This interesting implement is called the Gravely Rotary Plow and it is designed to create 8-10 inches of fine tilthy soil for planting in.  It has taken me a long time to tune this plow and make it work properly but I think I've got the hang of it now.  This thing is sort of like a post hole digger but with a shorter shaft.  It really did the trick!  Check out the video!

Chicken Flock Integration - Part 2

Chicken Flock Integration - Part 2

OK so that last video was actually shot a few days ago and even though it seems like a short time the flock is now fully integrated!  I removed the hoop house and let them get at eachother.  I was surprised to see that there was no rush to get close or imediate violence from the mature hens.  I did however begin to see some sparing and pecking but nothing terribly violent.  They still have separate quarters and water and food but the laying hens are taking advantage of the feed that belongs to the chicks.  There's nothing I can do about that now, they will just have to share.  My next goal is to get the chicks and mom into the larger coop and remove their small coop.  This is another delicate task that must be done at night.  I will forcibly remove the mom from the small coop and place her in the big coop.  Then I'll bring the chicks in to her one by one.  As long as they are together they should be ok.