Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fish Mani

Grow bed #2 is all set up and looking good with romaine lettuce, manoa lettuce, a mustard mesclun blend (we scattered seeds), basil, cayenne peppers, zucchini and tomatoes.  

 The fish started out skittish and shy but not anymore. Now they nibble on our fingers.

The mustard blend is delicious. We've been having them as a baby greens salad every night. One of the purple types tastes especially good - it's like eating dijon mustard.

I planted some peas and beans around the chick pen to trellis them up the chicken wire, thinking it would be simple and would end up looking really pretty. As soon as I planted them, though, the hens came running over to dust bathe, flinging peas and beans all over the place. I used some twine to make a little fence and they hopped right over it and started scratching around and pecking. In a last effort I used some of the extra bird netting from the top of the pen to stretch over and block the soil. It's possible that planting seeds right around the chicken coop was a bad idea...

The failed twine 'fence' with sunflowers in the pots. Today we let the chicks out for a bit when the chickens weren't around and they jumped right into the sunflower pots, of course.

Speaking of chickens, I think our hens have mites (*edit* they are lice, not mites). I was petting Denise today and I noticed a tiny white bug on her face. I've been doing some research and the solutions range from some pretty toxic stuff to putting your chicken in a bag of diatomaceous earth, holding her by the neck and shaking her around. Seriously. Shake without the bake (yet). 

"What the WHAT??"

Ryan finally ate his portion of the rabbit after I threatened him with the amount of guilt I would feel if the bunny went to waste. I'm not so sure that he enjoyed it, but he did eat it. Maybe farm life is making him want to become a vegetarian.


  1. Love the mustard greens!! We had our first harvest from the hoop house of baby arugula and mustard and some asian greens. What type of basil are you growing? Love the fishies...

    White bug on chook is lice, not mites. Mites are tiny dark brown/red beasts who don't live on the bird but will infest coops etc, and yes we had to use carbaryl on them (scary) they leave awful scabs on chooks. Lice are awful too--and not surprising that you have them after how strangely hot it's been on the island. The regular poultry dust will work, I believe it's a permethrin not pyrethrin---you'll want to wear gloves, goggles and a dust mask. I've tried the bag technique but it seems like more trouble, longer handling time and more stress on the bird. You can tuck the bird's head under your arm so you have the rear end accessible, and they will quiet down if you cover their head with a towel, it can be hard to part the feathers belwo the vent since it's so fluffy there but you need to look right down to the skin and check for the white egg masses (they are laid at the base of the feather shaft in white clumps--the eggs are smaller than grains of sand) Problem is the powder won't kill the eggs, and the eggs are so stuck on you can't scrape them off. Some feathers can be plucked but it's painful, and you can VERY easily tear a giant hole in the skin, so I don't recommend it. So you are stuck with treating repeatedly to make sure you get them all as they hatch. You don't have to dust the whole bird--I start with the rear and legs, and sometimes over the lower back by their uropygial gland. If you get the dust right down to the base of the feathers you are golden--dusting the outside of the bird is not effective (the bag technique) You'll see the little awful creatures squirming and crawling out of the feathers. Eyew. If the ladies are not keen on handling or put up a fight I'd just wait till they are roosting, grab them when they are torpored and treat them then. Also you'll have to vacuum out their coop and start again with fresh bedding.

    Oh and it's good to rub DE on perches and on the coop floor but I would caution use of it where the chooks can breath it in--and you too--it's extremely irritating to skin let alone sensitive resp. tissues as you know.

    oh and I feel your pain with the gardening thing...chooks love any exposed dirt so new plantings are doomed if left without protection. It's like having 2 yr old kids running around (or puppies) destroying everything lol.

  2. oh and def not holding a chook by the neck!! scary internet advice!!

  3. Thank you for the info!! You are better than google.