You'll notice I'm not saying what we're growing/picking. Old timers here at the Little Blog know that's the way it is; for the newer folks- if I told you what we're growing, it would be too big a hint as to my "real" identity; which I would rather keep separate from the blogosphere for the moment.
The guineas are fine- but we're not quite at Part 3 yet; that will be when we start releasing them into the free range world. Another week, I think. Meanwhile; Part 2.4:
Trying to get information about when to release off the web has been very frustrating. I tried every variation of "when do you set them loose" I could think of; and basically got no numbers, anywhere. My guess is because for most established poultry operations, it's kind of a non-issue; if you have juveniles, and adults, and multiple opportunities for experimentation, it just kind of happens when it happens, and things are fine.
But we have no other poultry on the place; no adults to show them the ropes. I'm hesitant to dump silly teenage guineas out into the hawk/owl/cat/weasel world. They're quite adept at flying already, but there's more to escape than just the ability to fly.
The guineas, and the evil temporary pen are working out so well (of course it has shade, RC! Always did; actually 4 different kinds- heavy apple shade after noon; and there's a nice leaky tarp you can't see in the video providing good morning shade-) that we went ahead and ordered some chickens. 10 each, straight run; Buff Orpington, Black Brahma, and Dominique. The concept- we'll wind up with 15 or so good "setting" hens, who we will put to sitting on guinea eggs, mostly; and we'll let the hens take over the work of raising the keets next year. We hope.
The chicks will be here Friday; more fun and cutesy pics.
We have to squeeze the photo sessions in with harvest, though, and it's not easy. And the other bits of life off the grid do not stop either, just because of harvest and teenage guinea fowl.
Last night we got home from an urgent trip to town for harvest materials to find the electric system in the house was down- no AC power, only DC. Computers and DSL modem need AC, at the moment- they could be done DC, but it's considerably more tricky than just plugging them into the 12V battery - since the computers need 18VDC.
Also the answering machine. So all my plans for this morning (hyper urgent plant chores) got put on hold, while I ripped the battery bank and inverter connections apart, looking for the problem. Answer, as I suspected, just time and corrosion in the connections; clean them up, reconnect tightly, and everything works again. But it still took 2 hours and way more personal energy than it sounds like. I find working on the house batteries exhausting- probably because of the constant potential for burning the house down if I drop a wrench in the wrong place, or finding the knife I'm using to scrape connections welded on between two hot battery posts, with big sparks and melting steel dripping all over...
No, I've never done that. And yes, RC, all my tools have insulated handles, so theoretically, none of this is possible. :-) But the images kind of stick in your head; the power to do it is there, right in those batteries- it's just one of those jobs with zero tolerance for any "oops" experiences.
Exhausting, for me.