Quite a year for plums and Ebony becomes Broody

Basket of Shiro plums

Basket of Shiro plums

It has been quite a year for plums, at least for the Shiros. Our Shiro plum tree is consistently the best fruiting tree in our orchard.  I picked a very full basket of plums this morning (easily 10 lbs of plums) and it was just a fraction of the plums on the tree.  The one problem with the plums this year is that due to the extreme sun and heat we have been having, some of the plums are a little sunburned. Since this batch was intended for jam, it wasn’t really a problem. The sunburn didn’t really affect the taste and was just a cosmetic problem.  I simply trimmed off pieces that were too burned just to avoid making the jam too brown.  And oh, if you’ve never read the real Quite a Year for Plums by Bailey White, you should. It’s a sweet and funny set of vignettes of country life in the  summer.

Spiced golden plum jam

Spiced golden plum jam

And here is where the plums ended up.  I did my first canning a few weeks ago and decided that I would make water bath canned jam (instead of freezer jam) for the next jam batches.  It was actually really easy.  Instead of making plain plum jam, I made the spiced golden plum jam recipe from the Ball recipe book. It is a pretty basic jam made a bit fancy by the addition of cinnamon and cardamom.  Pretty dang yummy. 

You can also see a pumpkin on the shot above.  It is a Cinderella’s Carriage pumpkin that I accidentally broke off the vine.  It is quite a bit smaller than it would have been, but the color looks good so I might cut it open and see if it is usable.

Ebony becomes Broody

Ebony becomes Broody

 This is certainly not the most beautiful chicken picture you’ll ever see.  One of our lovely black Australorps has gone broody. A broody chicken is one that is actively trying to sit on a nest of eggs to hatch them into chicks.  Since these eggs are unfertilized, there is no hope that they will become chicks.  But Broody apparently doesn’t understand this and keeps trying, every day, to hatch the eggs.  We’re to the point where she will require some intervention.  She is starting to lose weight and has moulted (lost feathers) much more so than have the other chickens. As such, we’re probably going to need to start isolating her away from her favorite nesting spot for a few days to see if we can break the broodiness.

As I mentioned above, Broody has no hope of hatching chicks because the eggs are not fertilized.  That is because we have not had a rooster in residence (this would be Birds and Bees 101).  About three months ago, we bought four new chicks, three Golden Sex Links and a Golden Laced Wyandotte.  We knew for sure that the sex links would be female because they are color-sexed after hatching.  We weren’t sure what the Wyandotte would be.  Now we know.  Our Wyandotte is definitely a rooster.  Now, we need to decide what to do with him.  Aside from the crowing, which has already begun, any feedback about keeping a rooster?

Hope everyone is having great garden success this summer.


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8 Responses to Quite a year for plums and Ebony becomes Broody

  1. KitsapFG says:

    Those jars of plum jam look scrumptious! I love making jams and preserves.

    Poor little broody hen… she needs a rooster. 😉

    I vote to keep the rooster chick.

  2. Pingback: More canning, beans and pickles « The Zero Fossil Fuel 10 Year Challenge

  3. hannah says:

    maybe you could get another couple of chicks and put them under her, she’ll stop being broody straight away, have to mother them and teach them how to eat and drink and scratch. I did that with my bantam who went broody and raised some meat chooks, if you’re not squirmy or vegetarian, the flavour is amazing.

  4. magnolias4ever says:

    That plum jam looks delicious (especially this morning – just thinking how good it would be with some toast!)

    Ah, we have 2 broody hens right now too. Every day I push them out of the nest box and make them go to eat and drink. But, after just a little time, back into the nest boxes they go.

    We have 2 roos so some of our eggs are probably fertilized. But since we have a dozen chickens in total, we really don’t need any more. So I don’t want them setting LOL Plus, broody hens don’t lay eggs 😦

  5. Nuts – I don’t have that book. Maybe you can shoot me an email with the recipe?….I’m in serious need of some plum jam right now and that one sounds right up my alley.

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  7. Pingback: What to do with 200 lbs of plums? | The 10 Year Challenge

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