Tuesday, December 05, 2006

It's starting already

Last night I dreamed about bulbs. The orange tulips that I planted in October, specifically. Only when they came up they weren't tulips. They were pretty, but they weren't tulips. I think its the seed catalogs that are coming in that have gotten me thinking about spring. I've gotten a whole bunch, but Territorial has really captured my attention and I anticipate Seed Savers any day now. There are still things growing in some of the beds, but my mind is already on next years garden. Isn't that awful. As I peruse what to plant next year, I'm thinking about what worked and didn't work this past year. I'll have to make some lists of what to repeat and what not to. I'm already looking forward to those days in January when the ground is covered with snow, and somethings cooking in the crockpot, and I'm all curled up in front of the woodstove with my piles of seed catalogs and mini-post it notes.

Last night it got into the low 20s. The chickens had seriously frozen water this morning. I have to take fresh water out in a plastic container each morning. They get that dirty I'm sure by noon, but so far by that time their other waterer is thawed out. Not sure what I'll do when it just stops getting above freezing at all for days and days. How do other chicken owners tackle this? There is no electric in their hen house. I could run an extension cord out to it and get one of those warmers for their waterer I suppose. And at what temperature will they get frostbitten combs? I'm a little worried about this cold issue. I'm still getting eggs though. From 1 to 3 a day. Poor cold little chookies.


Blogger Rurality said...

Heh. I'm planning next year's chicken order already. :)

Our temp doesn't stay that low normally so haven't had the same water problems. I think you can buy a heater that will sit in a watering trough.

On the veggie front, I can't decide whether I want to request a bunch of catalogs or just order everything from Baker Creek again.

2:00 PM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

If they all had the same thing, the decision would be easy. Except they don't. Territorial has stuff that Johnny's doesn't etc. Baker Creek is a good company though. I don't think I've gotten their catalog yet this year.

3:41 PM  
Blogger wurwolf said...

Oh, seed catalogs. One of the small joys of winter. Happy planning. :o)

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Sandy said...

I got Territorial today, but haven't looked at it yet. I am making a stack to see how many catalogs I get. I mostly order from Pine Tree and Johnny's (a nice place to visit, too) so that I get short season plants. Oh, I like Vessey's up in Canada.
I don't remember how my mom kept the chicken water from freezing, maybe it isn't a problem in Oklahoma.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Judith said...

Is there any way to get a solar panel to generate the electricity you need? I was recently looking at solar energy for our garden shed. Winter is the challenge when taking care of animals. I haven't received any seed catalogs yet--only the holiday ones selling Amaryllis, etc. I can't wait to see what you have seen in the Territorial catalog.

8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm wondering about the frozen-water issue, too, here in Michigan. Both of their waterers are closed-up types. SO I bought a heated dog water bowl that'll go outside. By extension cord. Ugly, but that may be the way you want to go. Comb freezing? I would check out some MN/NH chicken folks, like GTR at http://raisingfrolic.blogspot.com/ or Steph at http://mygreendream.blogsome.com/

I also agree with you (all) about the seed-catalog shifteroo. I hate parceling out 5 checks or 5 online orders to 5 different seed vendors, but that seems to be the way I do it every year. I have been saving seeds, too, so each year it seems I order less. Johnny's, Fedco, Territorial, Baker Creek and Pinetree are my big five. But I love the stuff I see in Cook's, in Seed Savers, etc., and I tend to go a little nuts at our local feed store. Yeah, then I wonder why it is I have so many seeds.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can never have too many seeds! I usually just order from Fedco with our gardening group (we get BIG discounts), and pick up a random package from Johnny's at Agway. But this year I joined Seed Savers, so who knows?

Do your chickens need access to water overnight? I always take the ducks' water bucket away when I put them away for the night and give them fresh water in the morning (takes longer to freeze)

4:32 PM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

No they don't need access overnight, and I have been taking it inside to thaw and bringing it back out in the morning....but those days when it never gets above freezing and I'm not home to keep bringing them fresh water are what I'm worried about. The heated dog bowl is a great idea. That will work and is relatively cheap. I will check into the solar thing too. If it can keep a shock fence running, youd' think it could keep water from freezing.

12:58 PM  
Blogger EFB said...

poor chickens. how do they stay warm?

all of our bulbs got dug up by the squirrells already!

3:15 PM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

That sucks about your bulbs. You must stick to only Daffodils I suppose. Nothing likes a Daffodil. Chickens stay warm by puffing up their feathers. When I stick my hands under their wings it is like a little muffler. very warm. Plus I got breeds that are very cold hardy.

3:53 PM  

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