My Edible Garden

I've been gardening for most of my life and have been a devoted fan of organic gardening the whole time. It just makes so much more sense to work in harmony with Mother Nature than to fight her. Besides which it is better for the planet and better for our bodies. Here you can see what I'm planting and harvesting, with gardening hints and resources thrown in for good measure.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Visitors & the Chicks go Outside

snake in the garden
Yesterday while working around the yard I saw/heard something move really fast. It was a different sound than the lizards make running across the dry leaves and a different motion. It was this long thin snake. I think it's the kind we used to call 'racers' because they move really fast. Certainly not a poisonous type. I told it was welcome to stay and eat rats and mice, that I wouldn't begrudge it the occasional toad or lizard, but it best stay away from the eggs & the chicks!

The hens check out the new chicks on the block
The morning I finished fixing up an old cage and rigging up a small pen inside the bigger chicken pen so the chicks can live outside and not in my living room. They aren't quite fully feathered but with day temps hitting 100+ and night temps not below 60 I think they are going to be just fine.  The hens & the rooster all gathered around to check out the chicks when I put them in their new home. When the chicks get bigger I will fix the end of their cage so that they can go in and out, but the hens won't be able to get into it. That way if they are getting picked on too much they will have a retreat.

Mr. Roo
The rooster is not too sure about these goings on. While working on the chicks pen I didn't get the gate shut all the way and Mr. Roo and a couple of hens made their escape. I shooed Roo and a hen back in and shut the gate while chasing the last wayward girl. Roo was running up and down the fence scolding; whether at me for making the hen fuss or at the hen for not getting back inside I"m not sure. When I caught her and put her back in tho, he was still fussing at her and pecked her on top of the head.


  1. Hi Mary, I hate snakes. I know some are good but they can do their good elsewhere! lol So far at this place I haven't seen any. Your chicks must keep you busy! How many do you have? Nancy at Cozy Thyme Cottage

  2. i don't mind snakes too much, except rattlers; they are just plain mean tempered! Most other snakes will just slither away from you. Rattlers sit and rattle and threaten!

  3. We're introducing new birds to the flock too! We tried to put them together too soon. Boy that was a bad idea. One bird almost lost it's eye. It's been several weeks now. They seem to be getting used to each other. I really hope they can get along.

  4. @jody, mostly I just wanted to get them out of the little rabbit cage in the living room. They really are too small to mix freely with the others right now. In fact at the end of the day one had a bite out of her tiny little comb; I presume from a hen pecking through the wire. I won't let them all together until the babies are at half the size of the grown ones and are able to get away from the bullies.

  5. Always excitement to be had in the garden! Woot!

  6. I love snakes, but they do go after eggs and baby birds. In fact, that may explain the sudden appearance of the snake if it coincided with moving the birds outside. You will most likely have more slithery visitors, and they can be both sneaky and stubborn. (I'm beginning to sound like Dr. Seuss!) Do your best to protect your eggs and chicks from the snakes, but please do not use the stale, cruel recommendation of forming a barrier with broken glass. You may want to contact a snake expert online for advice. Love your blog!

  7. Thanks Darla; since I live in the last house on the dead end dirt road, surrounded by many acres of desert foothills, snakes are a fact of life; generally they are one of the less annoying ones.

    I had been letting the chicks run out front, where I saw the snake, but now they are moved into the chicken pen, surrounded by chicken wire and electric fencing for predator protection. If snakes start getting in there then I will do something about them. In the meantime I'm live and let live as long as you are not a rattler. Being poisonous and mean tempered I"m afraid I won't let a rattler hang around the house. Just too easy for one of my grandkids to blunder into one and get bit.

    And I'm trying to get rid of the broken glass around here, not create anymore! Never heard of that, but suppose it would work. In Italy I saw walls around gardens with large shards of glass embedded in the top to keep people from climbing over.