Sunday, June 9, 2013

Oodles of Chicks

     Linda and I got home this afternoon from a weekend in the Tri-cities visiting relatives. There was a Jochen Family Reunion of Saturday afternoon at Howard Amon Park in Richland. I also got to visit with my sister Mindy and my brother Mike. We had a nice room at the Red Lion Hotel right next to the park where the reunion was scheduled to take place. It was actually pretty nice to have a bit of leisure time and of course, I always enjoy a road trip with Linda. The reunion was nice. There was lots of food and the weather was perfect. Being next to the Columbia River, Howard Amon Park is probably one of the most pleasant places to hang out in Richland. It was a bit of a struggle to recognize some of Linda's cousins I hadn't seen for many years.

We have lots of cute chicks at our house.
      I've had chicken eggs in an incubator for the last three weeks and I knew they were due to hatch out this weekend.  Fortunately, they don't have to be fed or watered for the first few days after they hatch. It was actually not a bad time to be gone. I checked the incubator right after I got home and found one tray to be pretty full of baby chicks.  Out of 39 eggs I had about 25 chicks hatched. Some were still in the process of hatching so I will give them until tomorrow morning. I haven't done a head count because everyone knows you shouldn't count your chickens before they're hatched. I also have had 15 duck eggs in the incubator for a week  I'm going to candle the duck eggs in the morning and transfer all of the viable eggs to a smaller incubator. That will allow me to move all of the baby chicks to a battery brooder and shut down the big incubator.  I will put the remaining chicken eggs in the smaller incubator as well so they can have one extra day to hatch.

Some of our tomatoes have already started to set fruit.

     The weather has been pretty dry the past week or so. I was a little worried about leaving the garden, but I just tried to get everything watered before we left town. Everything seems to have survived, but some things definitely were ready for some water. I planted a dozen tomato plants this year. I hadn't intended to do any tomatoes this year but a bee store friend literally left these plants on my door step. I guess I'm a sucker for foundling plants.  I'm going to make a sort of low hoop house to cover the plants in order to give them some extra heat. That will also protect them from the evil "Late Blight", the bane of all gardeners who try growing tomatoes in Western Washington. The tomatoes are a serious mixed bag in that I only have one plant of any one variety.  Some of them are rather obscure heirloom varieties like "Green Zebra" or "Chocolate Cherry". However, I also have one Roma paste tomato.plant and four different varieties of beefsteak tomatoes.  I already have fruit setting on 4 or 5 different varieties.

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