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This Week on the Homestead 6/21 – 6/27/2020

It’s been HOT here the past week. With the temps being 100 degrees F or higher, we’ve been spending a lot of time trying to keep our chickens cool. We know that we live in Arizona, but 108 degrees F is higher than normal for this time of year. Some of the ways we’ve tried to keep them cool:

We hope to write a post later this week about how we cool off the chickens. There are also a number of other things we would like to use. For example, a misting system that we can turn on during the hottest part of the day.

I was kind of afraid that the heat might keep our chickens from laying, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Cheetoh, one of our Speckled Sussex hens, started laying on Friday. Unfortunately, her first egg cracked. We aren’t sure if she cracked it by pecking at it.

Cheetoh the Speckled Sussex hen
Cheetoh’s egg is the tan-colored egg. The rest are Peckachu’s.

Josh did find a Cheetoh egg on the floor of the coop after we got home from church today, but that one had also cracked and it looked like it had been eaten. So, we may have to do some chicken training!

While I was out taking care of the chickens one day this past week, our rooster, Smoky, started sneezing. It was such a funny sound that I recorded it on video. Cheetoh did not appreciate Smoky’s sneezing though and chased him around until he stopped! I haven’t heard him sneeze since then, so hopefully he is okay!

Poor Smoky. He was so hot one day that he stood in the chicken pool and took a nap.

I wasn’t sure at first if we should keep Smoky since he’s a rooster, but he’s pretty entertaining and I’ve seen him warn the hens before a hawk flies over. I was telling Josh that I guess he is useful.

Mitzi, our kitten, is growing fast! She is already too big to fit in most of the places that she would play or sleep when she first came home with us.

She also reminds me a lot of my toddler! They both do much of the same things that will get them into trouble!

Mitzi, watching me from a stool at the island. She knows she isn’t allowed on the island but tries to go on there all the time anyway.

I do know that if Gavin and Mitzi ever become good friends and partners in crime, I will be in big trouble! For right now though, they seem to be good frenemies.

Our saguaros have begun producing fruit! Unfortunately, when to pick saguaro fruit is not easy to research on the Internet.

Josh says we probably missed picking the saguaro fruit by about a day. We are hoping that next year Josh will be able to take a class at the Desert Museum about how to harvest saguaro fruit. Josh did go pick one saguaro fruit and we tried it. It tasted good and reminded me a lot of dragonfruit.

Last night, Josh went out on the back deck and almost stepped on a frog!

Actually, it probably is a Couch’s Spadefoot Toad, not a frog. We are hoping that sighting these means that monsoons will come soon!

The Bighorn Fire in the Catalinas has been burning now for 23 days. Rain would definitely be a blessing!

Sunset over the Silverbell Mountains June 24, 2020


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