Sometimes chickens lay what’s called a “fairy egg”…a teeny tiny little egg. A few days ago, I discovered that quail lay fairy eggs too.
One the right, is a normal sized egg. On the left, is a fairy egg. It’s less than half the regular size! I found three of them in one of my pens, and since it’s normally just a small hiccup with the egg laying process, I’m not concerned yet.
When you crack these fairy eggs open, there is no yolk, only white.
The quail are still laying up a storm, but several of the chickens are now molting, and thus not laying. My favorite girl, Ellie, is at the really cute stage of her molt: The Fluffy Butt.
She hates it when I photograph her during her molt. Shhhh….don’t tell her I put her fluffy butt photo on the internet! She would be so mortified!
In the garden, the Blacktail Mountain watermelons are doing really great. I might actually get three this year. This is the biggest, and I think it’s getting close to full size.
The millet is doing SO well. I continue to be deeply impressed.
I’ve started harvesting a few of my dry beans. These red ones are so pretty, and I can’t remember what they are. I’ll have to check the tags, once the bean forest dies down a bit.
I’m getting a ton of ground cherries as well. I was hoping I’d like them for fresh eating, but although they are sweet enough, it just isn’t a flavor that I’d care to eat fresh by the bowl. So I’m collecting them, and I think I’ll try a batch of jam later this week.
They are pretty cool looking in their husks.
And when you peel back the husks? A pretty yellow!
I still LOVE making jam. My favorite so far is Stonefruit jam (peaches, apricots, and black plums) with vanilla. I made a few test jars awhile ago, and last weekend, I made a bunch more.
The pantry is starting to get stocked up!
The pollinators are enjoying my sunflowers.
And Dandelion and Daisy are prepping for Easter. They found this basket on their own, and it’s become one of their favorite places to sit.
Mom uncovered a nest of baby rats in the far garden. They were so young their eyes weren’t open yet.
Let me tell you…I was tempted to save their lives by adopting them. They were just so cute. Too bad the last thing we need is more rats in the area. We don’t even put food out for the birds anymore, and are super careful to keep our animals’ feed where the rats can’t get into it. It seems to be an ongoing problem for the whole city though – even the public library I work for has had an issue with rats invading. At least it’s gotten much better since the city finally tore down the abandoned house that was Rat Central.
This week, I worked on cleaning out some of the vegetables that were going to seed (saving a few to collect next year’s seeds from) and planting some more kale, lettuce, cauliflower, and beets for a late fall/early winter crop. I still have some planting to do, but everything is mostly in. This weekend, I’m planning on building some raised beds, including the raised beds that will become the rotating vegetable and quail system. Also, I am taking the strawberries off the big quail coop roof. It’s turning out to not a good place for them. I might put cantaloupe up there next year.