Busy month, spring is so close!

Well, I apologize for taking sooooooooo long to touch up on this thing!  My computer has been in detox/repair a couple of times and so I have really gotten behind!  Plus, it’s planting season and baby chick season and I have been so terribly busy.  We got in 10 Ameraucana pullets (that’s females in chicken speak) and 10 Buff Orpington pullets.  The Buff Orps aren’t mine, but I’m holding them for my friend, Suzie.  One of them is a real B, if you know what I mean. If you put your hand in the enclosure, which I have to do at least 2 times a day, she will try and take a beak-sized plug out of your hand!  I usually call her a little buff B, and threaten her with the stewpot.  Lol.

I bought 2 Broad breasted Bronze turkeys day before yesterday.  I wasn’t sure what breed they were, but from process of elimination on the dealer’s website, i figured it out.  That is disappointing to me because they have been bred to have so much breast meat that they are incapable of reproducing naturally.  Yes, that means artifical insemination. Yes, that means they’ll probably be destined for the dinner table cause there’s no way I’m going to be a middleman in any kind of turkey sex! 

You all should research about Broad Breasted White turkeys (that is what you will get @ the grocery).  These are totally freaks of nature.  Not the real Nature, but human nature.  What I’m saying is that these birds were bred, inbred, etc, ad infininum, to make these turkeys that have freakishly large breast muscle, to keep us, the American public, happy.  They can’t even breed because they are so heavy in the breast, that the males can’t perform their, uh, duties.  Now, Broad Breasted Bronzes are the same thing, just in their natural coloration.  I am really, truly interesting in ‘heritage’ turkeys; read: natural, heirloom breeds.  These turkeys can breed normally and some raise their own young.  Other turkeys must be hatched in incubators because the broodiness has been bred right out of them.  So, in other words, my little baby turkeys may literally be our Thanksgiving dinner.  Kindof weird to say, but I don’t really need BB’s as pets.  Anyway, so I’m getting off of the soap box now, but what I was going to get into was how different turkey chicks (poults) are, as compared to chickens.

You may hear that a turkey is stupid, it will drown in the rain, blah blah.  I really hate to use the word “stupid” when referring to animals because I think, “Well, ‘stupid’ when compared to what?”  I mean, I’m sorry, but I know a great many people who could be outsmarted by a carrot.  Anyway, after doing research, I learned that poults are a little……..slow.  They move slow, their wings sort of  droop, and they are slow to learn what and where the food and water is.  However, I love them.  When I stick my hand in, they come running to peck at my ring.  Slowly, of course.  I did read to put something shiny in the water and food so that they learn to peck at it.  I grabbed a couple of beer caps for the water and a Mardi Gras bead necklace and ran it into the food dish.  It just so happens that my shiny objects are alcohol-related…don’t let it fool you; I very rarely drink and I got the necklaces for a song at a garage sale.  I didn’t have to flash anyone for them!

Anyway, these little poults are so endearing to me.  Sorry to say they may end up in the freezer, but if it isn’t them, it would be some random, saline-injected turkey that lived a miserable life in some God-forsaken turkey ranch.

I also got my 4 Cayuga ducks in, and we have 2 Snowy Mallards.  Now, ducks are a whole different ballpark.  The negative is that they are SO MESSY.  Just un-Godly messy.  Now, that is when they’re in their enclosure indoors, I mean.  I have never seen a creature consume that much water and splash it that much.  It is like trying to raise a baby whale on land or something.  They manage, within a few short hours to totally drench all of the bedding and their brooding box. I mean flooded, and totally stinky.  If you don’t like to clean, don’t get a baby duck.  On the other hand, when they are in their outdoor enclosure, that is no problem.  Plus, they run after you at super-duck speed (at least 65 MPH) and manage to try and trip you with every step.  They love to eat bugs here and there and mine also eat a great deal of sand for some reason.  Anyway, I love my ducks!

Garden-wise, I have gone ahead and planted all of my herbs.  I hope that we don’t get a frost, but if so, I’ll have to cover some of them.  Tomorrow I am going to go ahead and plant my tomatoes, peppers and the like.  This is a very exciting time of year for a gardener in Zone 8.  March 15 is our typical last frost date.  However, you all know that Texas weather is anything but typical.  I’m going to take my chances, though. Back to the herb garden…I made a little mini-fence out of American beautyberry limbs, honeysuckle vines, rattan vines, and grapevines that I harvested out of our woods.  Let me confide in you here for a moment.  I do say curse words.  Fairly frequently, actually, but never in the presence of children or company, or people that I don’t want to think badly of me (of course, my BFs don’t care, but anyway).  Well, my dears, let me tell you that ‘gathering vines’ is work.  Saying, “I gathered vines today.” sounds like something that comes out of Martha Stewart’s mouth, and certainly not mine.  Saying, “I gathered vines” is like being stranded in a boat on the Pacific for 3 months with no water, no food, while being sun-bleached and having to eat seagull poop, and telling everyone upon your rescue that, “I took a little seafaring excursion for the last several weeks.”  Ok, maybe it’s not that bad, but let me tell you, I figured out what kind of vines Tarzan swung around on.  That would be called the rattan vine.  I don’t know if that’s the proper name, but it’s a green, smooth vine that has the tendency to twist around a tree, cutting into it, and eventually weakening it to the point of death.  How befitting!  This same vine is the one that I scraped my arms, bruised my calves, and worked up a gallon of sweat trying to rip it out of trees.  I decided that if I ever made a grapevine wreath, it would go for about $435,000.  My God, I don’t know if there are anything tougher than vines.  Naturally, as I was pulling with all of my weight, one of them came loose, and I flew backwards and bruised both of my calves on a log.  And then that vine broke in half, so that added insult to injury.  Anyway, I was down in the bottom for about an hour and a half, swinging, quite literally, from these titanium vines.  But, I did manage to get a pretty good amount of them to use in my fence.  It’s pretty cool, and I’ll have to post pics soon. Oh, and back to my cursing….throughout my vine ordeal, let me tell you that the woodland creatures really must have gotten an earfull that day.  It’s a good thing that Bambi doesn’t know English.  His father would wash out his mouth and send him to bed with no supper.  It’s also a good thing that my woods are not close, at all, to anyone’s home.  Also, may I add that no children were at home that day to hear my tawdry use of language. 

Well, my fingers are tired, but I hope to get some pics and post more tomorrow.