Archive for July 2nd, 2012

New Rooster


Over the past few weeks we’ve had CRD (Chronic Respiratory Disease) spread through the flock. We lost Priscilla, our Light Sussex. She went in a matter of 12 hours. After this we started giving antibiotic shots to the chickens when they showed severe symptoms (difficulty breathing and rattle in the chest). Several of them also had goopy eyes, sometimes to the point of being glued shut. We tried to let their own antibodies deal with the illness, if possible. Several of them were able to do this, but more than half required shots.


On Tuesday Barry (our Buff Brahma rooster) started wheezing after a few days of minor symptoms. We gave him a shot. That day the weather hit 109 degrees. Between the illness and the heat it was too much. My daughter found him dead at about 3 in the afternoon. In hindsight, we should have brought him inside, but it’s our first time with chickens, and especially with illness. We were very sad to lose our rooster.

New Rooster

On March 6th of this year, our first chick hatched. We weren’t ready to deal with a chick so we brought it over to a friend of ours who raises chickens. She was kind enough to raise the little guy. After losing Barry, we decided to finally go pick him up. He’s not crowing quite yet and doesn’t seem to know he’s a Rooster, but he’s fitting in well. It’s nice to have Barry’s son as a replacement. He is half Buff Brahma and half Rhode Island Red.



Read Full Post »

Okra and Amaranth Bed

The amaranth is doing really well. Last year I tried growing from see outdoors and they never came up. This year I tried indoors and you can see the results.

Red Okra

Clemson Spineless

Clemson Spineless Okra has done really well. The red variety has not had great production, and does not pickle well since it turns the liquid an eerie red color.

Tomatillo Bed

I’ve never had much luck with tomatillos. I know you need more than one for pollinating. I’ve tried 2, 3 and 4 without huge success. This year I devoted an entire bed to tomatillos, and planted 6. I’ve had my best production ever.

Chocolate Pepper

Ozark Giant

Although peppers love the heat, they don’t love the Texas sun. Last year most of me bell peppers got sun scorched before they full ripened. This year I put up shade cloth on the west side. I have been very successful with the bells and have only lost a few high hanging ones. The emerald giant and ozark giant are huge, great for stuffing.

Chinese Five Color

Filius Blue

As usual, my jalapenos have not produced well. The habanero hasn’t either. The serrano has done pretty well, but the starts of the show have been the Chinese Five Color and the Filius Blue. These have produced way more than I can possibly eat. They are also stunning to look at. I will be planting both of these in my flower beds next year.

Lemon Cucumbers have produced well. The others have not.

Bolita Beans

The Bolita beans are thriving. The romano beans did well early, but have been taken over by spider mites. The rest of the beans have been stunted and non-productive. I’ve got to figure out why I have no luck with beans. I’m thinking it may be the nitrogen. I ran out of rabbit poo before getting to the bean bed.

Dr. Wyche yellow tomato did well early, but doesn’t like this heat. I don’t think the plant will make it through the summer.

Emerald Evergreen

Emerald Evergreen is my new favorite. This tomato has produced better and in my humble opinion tastes superior to my previous favorite, Cherokee Purple. I’ve finally had luck with the Zebra this year. I’m not sure why, but I’m happy!


The seed company threw in Risentraube free for me to try. It’s a cherry tomato variety and it’s doing really well and is very tasty. It seems to be able to handle the heat, so I’ll be adding this one to the rotation.

Yellow Pear Cherry

The Yellow Pear, Black Cherry, and Isis are still good. The Fox has become really leathery in the heat. We’ll see how it does in the fall. The black cherry is good, but the production is quite a bit lower than the other three.

I didn’t get around to puting tomato cages in one Roma bed. I decided to give them a try since it’s supposed to be optional for them. Not a good idea. One of them snapped in half and the others have been much more susceptible to caterpillars and other critters.

Path near the entry

I still had two unused weed mats. I hadn’t put them down because the ground is too hard to put in staples. The bermuda has become so unruly though that I put the mats down with rocks to keep them in place. Once we get some good rain I’ll try staples again.

Read Full Post »