Chicks not going in coop
We finally had our Mottled Java hen hatch a chick! After being broody and sitting for 3+ weeks. We usually get chicks and raise them in a series of enlarging pens and heat lamps, graduating to the small covered fenced in yard with old dog house for housing, inside the bigger chicken yard. The Mama Hen is being a very good mother, very protective, has the fear of God into the rest of the flock, keeps chick under cover when any danger is near (mainly us). The only problem is she can’t get the chick to go into the Hen house at night,so they end up sleeping under the Hen house.
We have a large fenced in area for the chicken yard but have always made sure they are inside at night, as we are on an rural acreage- sure there are predators out at night. We did try one night and forcibly put her in and then had to catch the chick. Very traumatic for them both. What do you think? Chick is only 4 days old now, I am hoping she can coax it into the hen house as it gets a little older.
Can you reach the hen and chick under the coop? If so, you might try gently picking them both up after dark and putting them in the coop. After a couple of days they should be at home together in the coop each night and go there on their own. If not, I’d probably gamble that they would go inside on their own after the chick is older. (Do they have to go up a ramp to the coop door? That may be the problem and when the chick feathers out a bit, it will probably be more inclined to go up the ramp as it feels safer when it can fly somewhat.) — Jackie
Squash and pumpkins crossing
Wondering two things; one is my pumpkin patch… I planted pie pumpkins from my seeds harvested last year. I also had a plant come up later that I kept, which may have come from a butternut squash seed that made it to the garden, but I am not sure. The fruit that came up this year were half pie pumpkins, and half pumpkin/squash cross looking things. They are shaped like a large patty squash, pale in color, but with bright orange meat. Some also look like your gray squash, but I did not plant the seeds this time. What do I have growing in the garden?
Two: May I purchase seeds from your Winter Luxury pumpkins, and the Canada Crookneck Squash, if they will grow in Middle Tennessee?
Brush Creek, Tennessee
You have just got hybrid squash/pumpkins. All squash and pumpkins of the same species will readily cross even if planted many yards apart as they are pollinated by insects. Did you perhaps plant patty pan squash last year? Or did a neighbor several blocks away? That is probably what happened, giving you the strange squash along with your pie pumpkins. For most gardeners this isn’t a problem as the resultant fruit is still very edible (but the patty pan types may not store well).
If you want to save seed however, you must pay careful attention to what species you pick out and grow. For instance, our Hopi Pale Grey squash are Curcubita maximas, Canada Crooknecks are C. moschata and Winter Luxuries are C. pepo. So you can safely grow all three in your garden with no crossing. (Be aware that there still could be some inadvertent crossing by insects traveling up to a mile to pollinate.) Again, not a huge problem. Just save seeds from your most perfect fruit; you may have some crossing but it generally isn’t much.
Yes, you can grow these varieties in middle Tennessee or just about anywhere in the country, including the north as they are fairly short season crops. We harvested in about 90 days from direct seeding. — Jackie