June 28, 2019

June In The Bird Room --- Month by Month Journal

(This journal entry has been added 7/2019. Sorry for the delay, but I am returning to keeping the Bird Room Journal up to date!)  

The weather has taken another turn!  The last three weeks in June have been rainy, cold, and dark.  
The cooler than normal temperatures has helped me in the bird room... by putting less stress on the hens on nests, and the weaned youngsters are very comfortable.  I decided to postpone S76 treatments (to prevent mites that may be a problem during warmer weather) until July.

I am beginning to watch the youngsters.... watching their behavior, and observing their shape/health and color/song.

My advice:  don't wait until later to chose which ones to keep for next year! 
I firmly believe:  early maturity is a trait to SELECT FOR!
As breeders, we have a responsibility to IMPROVE our stock.We should be selecting for correct type, good color, strong health, AND early maturity.

So, don't 'take a vacation' from your bird room this summer!

One of my goals for this year was to do more 'local' harvesting of wild greens.  
Last month, I took these photos while washing and cleaning dandelions. I found a few shortcuts:  
  • It was easier to pull the whole crown, even though I do not feed any part of the root to my canaries.  It just seemed to keep the leaves together, all laying in the same direction.
    (See root in photo below.)
  • Those plants I pulled in our own pastures did not need washing and were much easier to store in the fridge.  If any plants began to wilt, I set the root in water, and the plants revived very quickly.
  • After slicing above the root, I pulled out the bloom stems, while loosely holding the bundle of leaves.  I did not feed the stems or blossom/seed heads.  Remove any black, dried, or damaged leaves.

The dandelions are now beginning to toughen and shrink, at least here in Montana.  The wet, cool weather has prolonged my harvest, but the plants have bloomed, gone to seed, and are feeding their roots rather than producing top growth.
Off to find other wild greens!