Can you believe it’s the last day of January?? I spent the morning do normal indoor chores like, sweeping and mopping the floors, making the bed, two loads of laundry and other minor jobs after having breakfast with the Mister! I got pork tenderloin out of the freezer for dinner and then saw that the temperature had risen to 40* and no wind. OUTSIDE I GO!!!
We’re still in for some cold weather and hopefully some snow because our pastures, yard, hayfields, just the earth in general needs a good soak before spring really appears! I knew I had some pruning to do on some fruit trees but the grapes needed it worst than the others.
A tangled mess of four vines that have been planted two years and I’m expecting big things from this year.
In order to get those beautiful grapes they need to be pruned each year. Grapes grown on new stems each year!
This end of the arbor holds grapes that we started from an old vine on the farm. They are blue, not real big but so sweet. The vines usually provide a lot of grapes!
I use some wonderful little hand pruners on all of the small vines, trees and my rose bushes. It’s very important to sterilize them and I use just plain old rubbing alcohol. It took about an hour but they’re all trimmed and now we wait! While waiting we pray for no late frosts to kill them.
Hubby thinks I scalped them but from past experience I know I’ll have more grapes and if Mother Nature cooperates they’ll be bigger grapes.
They’re thinned of their old bearing branches and the only thing left to do is tighten the arbor lines that we made from plastic covered clothes line. It tends to stretch each year but is easy to tighten.
After I finished pruning the grapes I went around the garden and trimmed suckers and water sprouts off the green gage, peach, pear and blue plums. The big job will be trimming the apple trees which seem to get less attention each year but I’m going to get what I can from the ground and hope for some help with the higher branches.
I am so ready to start growing something!!!
Gyp was such a cute little puppy and full of life. This was her in April at seven weeks old. She loved torturing the cat and the cat returned the favor.
Gyp watching Annabelle in the yard while I prepared her bedding.
Gyp playing on her cushion witha green frog.
She is a little over six months old now and killed her first coon on Friday night. The following pictures were taken Friday evening and you can tell how much she has grown.
WAiting for someone to come out and play.
Come on, give it up!
Beautiful plott pup!
Talking to the man.
Who couldn’t love that face!!
My chicken yard is growing in leaps and bounds this year. I lost two old hens and decided to let the broody hens have their way. The first lady to hatch is a bantam and I took her eggs away from her and replaced them with eggs from my larger hens. I only put six eggs under her because she was so small and she hatched four of the six.
Miss Black Hen and her little ones
These little guys grew up fast and there was one hen and three roosters. I don’t like this ratio!! Notice the tall combs on the gray and the back red one. My little hen is on the right of this group.
The teens are now three months old and pretty much stay to themselves. They’re usually the first out of the henhouse each morning and the last to go in. I just wish they were all hens.
On the other hand, my little guys that are three weeks old, are also growing like weeds and the majority of them are hens. There’s thirteen living out of eighteen and they are ferocious eaters when they free range with mom. Look at the difference in three weeks.
One day old chicks sticking close to Mom.
From little bitties to these youngsters.
The little girls like to stay close to Mom at night and they gather under and around her in the nesting boxes.
This Mom has eight and the other one has five.
These little ladies should begin laying just about the time that my older hens shut down production during the winter. Don’t you just love the different colors??
On another subject, I experimented with a the eggs I set with the last two hens. I read a post on the National Poultry Blog that if you want to produce hens instead of roosters, you should make sure the eggs you set are more oval and not pointed. From what I can tell now, it really works. I don’t think I have but one or two roosters from the thirteen new babies. That’s what’s called a great “ratio”!! We’ll test it again next spring when my broody hens start up again.
Here she is at two months:
Wrestling with Cuddles
Wrestling with Belle
Wrestling with her frog!
Here she is at four 1/2 months yesterday:
Hubby has big training and hunting plans for her this fall. Our little munchkin is growing up fast!! She’ll soon be as big as the rest of the hounds.