Shades of Ireland

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Working Girls

This afternoon's project made me break a sweat!
I have always and probably always will love chickens. I am also a free range kinda gal but..... I hate the way they just seem to tear everything up, leave me "gifts" in unwanted places and just seem to be hawk magnets.
Even though Neil built a magnificient, roomy hen house complete with a large side run for greenery as well as a large covered run, I still let the hens out to roam and eat grasshoppers every afternoon. If I go anywhere near the barn, the spoiled creatures all flock to the gate and begin begging me to turn them loose. I have hardened my heart and ignore them at least until after lunch. If I give in and let them out earlier, they lay eggs willy-nilly all over the farm. The pack of hounds just LOVES that!

Cold weather is coming and the grasshopper population has dramatically dropped. I have decided this winter, the girls are going to have to go to work a bit harder to earn their keep, My composting efforts have been pretty much a failure because I tend to forget it or procrastinate on turning it. So, I planted the outside run in wheat and closed the gate on it. If we get rain, the hens will have greenery later this winter. Then I wet down the dry inside run and began hauling my compostable stuff in there. I had opened the gate and let the hens out but they could not resist all the goodies that I was wheeling in and kept coming back into the pen. I am not done but I have had enough for today.
This is the piles of stuff from the sheep raising venture last winter and the potting soil clean up from the nursery job. Also the remains of a trash can household compost experiment that went REALLY bad..... Eventually I plan to clean out the goat barn and Holly's stall but I will need more chickens for that. Hoping the Speckled Sussex pullets will be big enough to hold their own with the older hens by then.

We sorted those chicks yesterday. I was very disappointed that out of 40 straight run chicks, I ended up with only 12 pullets. Pullets went in portable pens int he garden and the cockrels went in a moveable pen at the barn. Looks like I will be butchering chickens before Christmas.....

Need to get a shower and get ready to go in to town. I volunteer at the food bank and tonight is it.

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