Saturday, June 19, 2010

Notes from a winter duck palace.

I never have much luck with strawberries. So this year I am trying something new. That's $60 worth of new strawberry runners (30 plants) from Diggers in $40 worth of hanging pots! Now, if a punnet of strawberries costs $5 (organic) then these little babies need to produce 20 punnets before I break even. Thats 2/3rds of a punnet per plant, so it really is quite possible. They are ugly, but I hope they are productive!

After the girls had a little moult in autumn we noticed the shells on their eggs getting a bit thin and brittle. Normally I would whack some dolomite into their feed but was inspired to try the "breakfast bar" approach to providing supplements to animals who are clever enough to know what they need. The idea is based on Pat Colbey's stock lick, but instead of mixing everything up together, the ingredients are kept separate.

For cows, you might use 20 litre drums cut in half but for chookies, an old ice cube tray works a treat. Sure enough, the next day one of the chooks laid a super wrinkly thick strong egg, and then after that they were all normal but very strong and thick. The ingredients are dolomite, seaweed meal, copper and sulphur. Sometimes there are little peck marks in the dolomite especially where a little girl had as a little beak full!

I haven't worked out how to set something up for the bastard ducks they they can't fill with water.....but I'm working on it!

In other news, here are some leek and onion seedlings from the glass house.

Kiwis finally ready!

that is all.


Jacqui said...

well Duckie, that is a welcome post! Can you believe one of our girls has decided to molt now...yep, poor thing, she looks cold and hungry and miserable. I like the breakfast bar idea! We just give them shell grit but maybe some supplements like this is a good thing too.

We ummed and ahhed about those strawberry bags from Diggers and didn't end up getting them. We are ready to throw the trowel down on our gardening efforts...sigh. Hoping for some inspiration soon.

Glad to have you back... quack quackx

sherdie said...

Look at all those kiwi fruit! Amazing!

I really want one of those upside-down tomato pot hangers(and I have seen how you can bodge one up yourself) because I suck at growing tomatoes, so let us know how you go with the strawberries!

The Duck Herder said...

hello ladies!

quack quack.

Marla said...

Those kiwis are amazing.