Homesteading Updates: Chickies! Veggies! Photos!

homesteading, speckled sussex, cockerel, chicken

First day out on the pasture. This is one of my two speckled Sussex cockerels. He was the first to come and greet me when I went out to check them.

The cockerels, which are immature roosters, have settled in nicely out at their outdoor abode.  I let them out in the yard for the first time on the 11th.  I wanted to be sure they were big enough, and that they associated their tractor with home.  Being as they are heritage breeds, they don’t grow as fast as those broilers I had last summer, and certainly not remotely as fast as the Cornish Cross supermarket bird.  They are 10 and 11 weeks old as of this posting.  Within the same breeds (I have two of most of them) I can see the size difference one week still makes.  If these had been Cornish Cross hybrids, they’d be already dying of heart failure in the heat, and would have bad, breaking legs by this point.  They just grow too fast for their own good, and typically end up slaughtered anywhere from week 6 to week 8 of life.

Homesteading, cockerels, heritage chicken breeds, delaware

The white one is a Delaware, and he’s my largest cockerel. The lighter brown one is the lone New Hampshire Red, and the one waving its nether regions at four o clock is a Welsummer.  At seven o’clock we see a buckeye.  

There are 14 cockerels all told.  I’m working on deciding which breed or two I truly want to focus on, because my goal is to breed them up and try to further those specific lines.  (I’d still keep a coop for whomever wants to be in that space…)

Feed:  MannaPro Organic Grower Crumbles.  Plus kitchen scraps (not necessarily organic), dried mealworms, scrambled eggs.  Free-range nibblies and grasses and (please, please) ticks.  Eat ’em ALL!  Lots of water.

homesteading, chicken coop, buff Orpington, Orpington, broody hen

Idril is broody once again!!!! Buff Orpington.

Over at the hen house, Idril has gone broody again, as of early last week.  I am allowing her six eggs to hatch and rear.  Now, this could be way too many chickens for this coop and run  (I’m counting  them before they hatch….?) if they all survive, but we will cross that bridge later.  I do know people in town who are interested in re-starting their own flocks after predator decimation, and that’s a possibility.  We will see what develops.  (Assuming anything develops.  But it’s warm enough out now that if Idril leaves her nest too often, it shouldn’t really affect the eggs much.

Homesteading, chickens, baby chicks

Chickpea. F1 Silver-laced Wyandotte x probable buff Orpington. Chickpea’s foster mama is Yin, black Australorpe.  Born May 28th.

Speaking of which, here’s little Chickpea, Yin’s sole fosterling.  I’m still working out chicken genetics, but the mother has to be either a buff Orpington or possibly one of the buckeyes.  I do know that other clutch members were either going to look like Chickpea or look like the black Australorpes.  This chick is too devoid of color to be the result of my Wyandotte roo mating with another silver-laced Wyandotte – I remember what the pure heritage chicks looked like!

She (or he??) is thriving quite well in with the hens and roo in the coop and run.  I don’t let her out yet, but the others do go and forage when I am home.

I wrote the above 4-5 days ago – as of two or three, Fimbrethil, another buff Orpington, is also now broody.  I’m making them share eggs.  Six max from both together, and one of them also gets the ceramic egg… 

And now, we come to the vegetative section of this blog!

homesteading, apple orchard, William's Pride

Three young apples on my William’s Pride. I’m proud of him! (Yes I need to weed here, and I need to plant him a companion, ASAP. Lucked out with the fruit.)

For some reason, my William’s Pride apple actually bore fruit.  All the other mini-apple trees planted in his cohort died the first winter.  However, there are elderly apple trees that semi-line the outskirts of my field – possible a good wind blew enough pollen over that this little guy now has three baby apples growing here.

Raised Bed Gardening

homesteading, nightshades, tomato, peppers

One red cherry tomato plant. Three varieties of peppers in the second region.

homesteading, potatoes, growing potatoes

Taters. Yukon Golds, to be specific.  Need to start hilling them.

Nightshades.   Way late in the season, so I had to purchase existing plants with regards to peppers and tomatoes.  I picked some with fruits already forming.  For the peppers, I’ve three varieties.  Having had peppers decimated by wildlife in the past, I’ve decided to surround each plant with Milorganite.  No idea if this will keep everything away – but when I tried that Irish Spring soap thing back a decade ago, that was an epic fail.  At least, deer should be deterred with the Milorganite…  Hopefully more critters.  So far, so good.

The tomato is a red cherry tomato variety.  I know I can grow the cherries.  We’ll start the real things NEXT year!

The only potato I truly enjoy is the Yukon gold, although there are also other good gold varieties.  I bought about half of the above, and the other half came from things that went to sprout in my root cellar.

homesteading, pumpkin, squash, growing

Pumpkin squash.  Probably too close together but I will be spacing them out.

homesteading, delicata squash, fennel, growing

Delicata squash. There’s more delicata than depicted. Oh, plus a fennel plant to the right.

Squash family veggies.  Yes, I saved seeds from both my delicata squash, and a pumpkin a neighbor gave me last fall.   I’m realizing, seeing what his pumpkin plants are already doing, that they’re gonna have fun taking over their bed!  I think in future years those guys won’t be in a bed, but will have their own ground level patch elsewhere.

homesteading, watermelon, growing watermelon


Watermelon.  At a recent farmers’ market, I picked up two watermelon seedlings, each of a different variety.  They didn’t have labels on them, so what I get will be what I get.  I was subsequently told that watermelon is hard to grow, but we shall see.

homesteading, basil, growing basil, seedlings

Various varieties of basil seedlings. I will be thinning just as soon as the seedlings reach acceptable microgreen size, probably later this week.

Basil seedlings.  Yes, I got a combo batch of several types of basil.  The row to the far right is tulsi/holy basil, followed by purple basil, followed by Thai… and so forth.  One row looks pretty anemic.  I am letting them all grow a little bigger, to “microgreen” foodie size, and then I’ll thin quite a few into my salad…

Leafy greens.  I can’t find my seeds!  SO I just went and ordered more from Baker Creek.

I do hope I find them sometime soon, I had a lot of good things that will have time to grow and produce! But if I don’t… ordering is insurance.  The items I ordered are all quick growing greens, or they are hardy into early winter vegetation.

homesteading, raised beds

Overview (prior to most of the plantings)



Linking to:  Farm Fresh Blog Hop #10!!  Fiesta Friday #285!! Homestead Blog Hop #249!! 



About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
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4 Responses to Homesteading Updates: Chickies! Veggies! Photos!

  1. It’s starting to look like a real homestead!

  2. Sunshine says:

    Looks like your raised beds are getting a nice start! Better late than never!

    I’m glad to see you planting holy basil. My husband planted a ton a few years ago, and our whole backyard smelled heavenly. I love all basils. Longing for the day I get my garden area fixed up again!

    Thank you for sharing at the Homestead Blog Hop!


  3. Pingback: Homesteading Updates: Chickies! Veggies! Photos! — Of Goats and Greens – Rexton digital

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