Saturday, November 20, 2010

First three egg day + fish deaths

Today has it's ups and downs. It was the very first day that we got three eggs meaning that I am now certain each chicken is laying. As a reward, I gave the girls their favorite treat of meal worms. I had a feeling which egg belonged to Scabby- one of them was much smaller and paler and was an odd shape. Chickens tend to have oddly shaped eggs when they are beginning to lay. I was researching if there was anyway to tell which chicken laid each egg and found out that if you put a dot of food color on the bird's vent (yes the vent is what you think it is) then the egg will have a touch of that color. I decided I didn't care that much.

Sadly though we had a first animal death on the urban homestead. Five of the yellow perch were sunk on the bottom of the tank when I went down to feed them this morning. When we bought the fish, the farmer told us that we should expect to lose 10% due to stress of the new environment. Since it had been a week to the day since we bought the fish I thought we were home free but, I was wrong. Unfortunately I didn't buy a fish net so I had to get the bodies out by hand (gross!!!!) I wanted to have a burial at sea (toilet) but Jeff pointed out that they would be great compost so their final resting spot was in the garden under some of the leftover bedding from the chicken coop. With all the chicken poop and now the fish, next year that spot in the garden should do great. I called my dad to let him know the news and got made fun of for having pets not livestock! I had to laugh because he is right I need to be careful to not too grow attached to the fish or chickens. After doing some research, I have also decided to buy a aquarium plant. Eventually the roots of my greens will handle the filtration issues but for now I want to add an established plant and hope that helps. In case this was a nitrogen not stress issue.