Gardner’s California Homestead

Larsen Poultry Ranch

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i have one pretty good hunting cat but i dont think she can keep up. Its called the gopher hawk, got it off amazon, was reading a review about it on a facebook group im on and they swore by it. they werent wrong, best $25 ive ever spent. no fresh holes but the weather hasnt been great, they seem to be more active when its not raining.
Do you think it will work on voles too? I have some that are invading the garden. I don't have outdoor cats at my house; the voles are at my mom's too, I wonder if I transported some in the plant pots when I brought them home?? She has an outdoor cat and active dog, the dog was very excited to catch a squeaky toy a few weeks ago. It didn't squeak very long.
 

GardnerHomestead

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Do you think it will work on voles too? I have some that are invading the garden. I don't have outdoor cats at my house; the voles are at my mom's too, I wonder if I transported some in the plant pots when I brought them home?? She has an outdoor cat and active dog, the dog was very excited to catch a squeaky toy a few weeks ago. It didn't squeak very long.
i looked the reviews online and it said its effective with voles and moles.. you should give it a shot. ive been fighting these guys since we moved in. This has been the only thing that has caught any of them
 

GardnerHomestead

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I forgot to mention a super exciting addition to our homestead, for Christmas this year my husband built us a walk in pantry. :love I took some progression pics. I have put it to so much use already. Dont know how we ever lived without one

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GardnerHomestead

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Spring has sprung! Its always such a crazy time of year for our family, but especially me since I take the lions share of the garden work. I had four buck kids born at the end of February. they are all over a month old now and bouncy! What a buck year this has been. 9 bucklings, 2 doelings.

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We are all finished with kidding for the year. Boys are disbudded and have homes lined up for end of April. Im thinking of selling a couple does too but havent made a final decision on that. Currently I have 8 does, I would prefer to have closer to 5.

The chickens have been laying up a storm, fertile eggs and chicks have been flying out of the door as of recently. I have another hatch due today with some coveted Black over Lavender Orpington chicks I bought from a breeder upstate. I will be keeping all of those to improve my current orpingtons. :woot Heres some pics of my previous hatches and eggs :love

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I started about 200 seedlings a week ago, better late than never right :idunno I have a raspberry and grape vine to plant that I got for my birthday. Fruit trees are flowering. My peach has done pretty well every year but this plum tree is going to be the death of me. If i dont get a single plum from this tree i swear..... :rantlast year aphids completely destroyed it before i knew what was happening, the year before it was to young to bear anything. I've treated it with dormant oil this year. Hoping I killed the little buggers.

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This weekend ill have to get the compost worked into the soil, planter boxes filled back up, rototill the area the corn patch will go. Potatoes, onions, garlic and carrots are already in the ground. Along with the strawberry patch from last year. My husband is trying to get the greenhouse up this weekend as well, but so many other projects need to be done too. So its not on the top of the list. He just finished replacing our roof, weedeating, and building our new pig pen. Ill share pictures of that next time. Happy Spring time everyone!
 

GardnerHomestead

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Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter, we stayed home this year and did eggs with the kids. My parents came over and we did ham sandwiches and a bunch of sides. My chicks hatched earlier this week, ended up with 3 black orpingtons (carrying the lavender gene) and 3 lavender orpingtons. They are beautiful and should add some nice genetics to my flock. I also ended up with 12 mixed chicks from my own birds which i sold to a friend for cheap, and 2 lavender orpingtons from my birds that i sold to a lady that lives near me.

My husband and I took a much needed break a couple weekends ago to tahoe. We live fairly close but had never been. We have been missing travel a whole lot this past year, it was a little challenging with the masking requirement but we still had a great time.

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We had been back home no longer than 30 minutes when i looked out the window and saw a jersey cow standing in the road in front of our house. :barnie people drive fairly fast on the road in front of our house so went out to try and move her out of danger. As soon as i got out there i realized there were 3 total and they all took off running down the road, stopping traffic. I attempted to get them with a bucket of grain but they werent interested. My husband went up the road to find their owners. Eventually CHP came by with their cattle herding skills and sirens and got them into the field across from our house. the kids and I were able to keep them in the field til the owners got there. She turned out to be an elderly lady with a cane, and no working trailer. My husband offered to walk them back with halters but the woman lived almost 2 miles straight up the hill. So a little ingenuity on her part and we got the girls back home. She was really nice and brought some cracked corn for the chickens by the next day as a thank you.

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GardnerHomestead

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52 viable eggs in the incubator, due in 11 days. 6 chicks in the brooder. Like 100 tomato seedlings to repot, potatoes in the ground, carrots starting to sprout, bucklings going to new homes next week. Busy busy busy. My wonderful husband found time in between all the craziness to build us a new pig pen. Hickory and Maple joined the farm about a month ago. They are already growing fast.

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These girls are KuneKune X IPP cross, about 12 weeks old now. Spotted one is Hickory and she is friendlier, Maple is more reserved.

We split our bee hive, they were showing signs of wanting to swarm so we hope freeing up room will change their mind. Here they are this past winter. All snuggled in their hive.

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GardnerHomestead

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Wow its been a while. SPRING amiright? Im out working from the time i get home til the time it gets dark. Now its basically summer. Everything is so dry here already. Its been a particularly rain free year. Filling animal waters and keeping the plants watered is practically a full time job.

The flowers have really been putting on a show, my hollyhock has bloomed for the first time. I put in a lot of biennial plants last year and they are flowering this year. My lilac never disappoints.
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The chicks I purchased from the breeder are getting really big and feathering out nicely. Early guesses would be 4 roosters and 2 hens. :barnie Although I hope I’m wrong about that. I sold three laying hens awhile ago, so I’m down to 11 laying hens and 1 mean rooster. Cluck Norris has to go but I haven’t decided what to do with him yet. I have some chicks I’m growing out to sell as pullets so I’m thinking of taking all my roosters (when I know who they are) down to the auction at once. In the meantime I have like 50 birds lol. A friend of a friend ended up with 6 meat chickens by accident so she is going to bring them by this weekend for us to take. They are already 4 weeks old so she already put quite a bit of food into them. Thanks for screwing up tractor supply.
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The garden is thriving in this heat. We have green beans, corn, tomatoes (4 different varieties), pumpkins (3 kinds), squash (which isn’t doing well, I may have overwatered), potatoes, carrots, the strawberry bed from last year that has exploded, onions, jalepenos, chili, bell peppers, and watermelons. I also added nasturtiums, gladiolus, hollyhock, snapdragons, and rose campion to the garden for some color. The gophers have already started their attack. As you can see by the hole near the watermelon. :he Ive trapped a couple and a mole so far but almost everything else (besides corn and melons) I have in raised boxes, containers, and pots. I grew everything from seed this year, which im super proud of. My goal is to get 100 jars canned this fall. Of anything! Fruits, veggies anything. I got 35 done last year but mostly jellies, fruits.

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All the bucklings went to their new homes, I also sold a yearling doe with her buckling. I currently have 6 does, with two I want to sell when they kid next spring. Currently have 7 does. I was on the list for a buckling from a lady nearby. She messaged me end of April about a buckling she had born but wanted to sell as a bottle baby. I didn’t want a bottle baby (been there done that) but I couldn’t resist this face. :love So Duncan is our new buck for next year.

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Our hives are really struggling. Both lost their queen at the same time so we put an order in to get replacements. Took longer than we had hoped. Both queens were installed and we are waiting to check on their progress til they both (hopefully) gets established. Not looking good for honey this year but the main thing is that they pull through. 🐝
 

GardnerHomestead

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That’s a pretty chick, your garden is doing great, and what an adorable buck!
Thanks @Baymule ! He thinks he belongs on the porch with the dogs. We use hog paneling for parts of our goat fence so anything younger than a few months just squeezes through. Need to fix it but its at the bottom of the ever expanding to do list.
 

GardnerHomestead

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🐝 update: Did a hive check to see if the queens were accepted. Both hives accepted them! We noticed larva and eggs. Excellent news but only a small step in their recovery. Because both hives were queenless for so long (estimated 3 weeks) its going to be a struggle to keep up the numbers needed. Couple that with the drought and all the other odds stacked against bees :fl. We will feed throughout the summer and not pull any honey this year.
 
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