Monday, May 12, 2014

This Week on the Farm

This has been a good week.  The weather has been springlike.  Warm but not hot and quite a bit of rain.

My Dh gave me a dump truck load of manure for Mother's Day with the promise of another load if needed.  It came from the neighbor's down the street.  I am putting it in the bottom layer of my vegetable garden.  We'll see how it goes.  My brother has promised me another load of his aged to the point of dirt horse manure some time this week.  Should I be worried that I get so excited about animal excrement?

This week one of my big projects was to teach the chicks that it was OK to be outdoors.  I worked hard to chase all of them out of the stall and into the fenced area.

They kept trying to run back into the barn.  Their food and water was out there, but they still were 'chicken'.  They crammed against the area and the side of the barn.

Every time a car or truck went down our road, which is very frequently, they would run towards the barn like the sky was falling.  It was pretty funny to watch. They would timidly move into the fenced area and then come running full tilt back cause a car went by.

Black Jersey Giant Rooster
 It was helpful that the free range hens that roam the yard came round and presented a good example of calm behavior in the yard.  By evening they were gradually coming out.  Then we had to work to chase them BACK into the barn.  Silly birds!
Barred Rock hen
 After almost a week of this they are finally getting with the program.  They come running out when I open the barn door, they have learned to love to eat grass and dandelions, and they head back towards the stall when it gets dark.  Yeah!  Keeping chickens is pretty easy most of the time, but this was harder than I anticipated.  I probably spent 8-10 hours on these silly birds.

My DH is working diligently on building our mobile coop.  We have a deadline of next weekend to complete it as we have another batch of birds, including some turkeys, coming then who will need the bird stall.  The old chicks will need to live here and be outside most of the time.  When they are outside they are so much healthier.  They eat bugs, grass and a lot less feed!

My DH and Paul are building it out of aluminum that he has scavenged off of jobs that required demoing.  This will result in a lot lighter weight structure that will be easier to move around.

Sunday was Mother's Day!  We had everybody in the family over that was local.  We also celebrated Mom's birthday at the same time.  Michelle made a nice birthday cake for her.

Our neighbor's joined us for the celebration.  None of their children are local.  Earl is the guy who has rescued us so many times here on the farm.  They are both very sweet.  Ian photobombed it!

It was really nice to have the family together!

I forgot to take pictures during the meal.  The adults ate the desert while the children were outside playing.  It was pleasant and peaceful.  Yummy cream puffs and a slice of birthday cake.

 We were glad to have My brother's family spend the day.

Michelle and Miss President took a picture together because they 'matched'.  This is what it looks like today...

But someday they will be almost the same height!  Miss P is a tall girl also!

My DH continued to work on the coop.  The siding was given to us by a neighbor.

The coop is becoming 'Joseph's coop of many colors' as the siding was from several different projects.

The chicks are a popular place to hang out.  Elizabeth likes to study them.  She is such a farm girl already.

This is the white leghorn rooster.  Our hatchery did a really good job of sexing our chicks.  I think this is the only one that they missed on.  He is a little guy.  So far he gets along well with everyone.

Spring is in full bloom here at the farm.  We are enjoying the flowers and trees.  The garden is growing well.  The shallots are looking good and the lettuce is growing quickly.  Life on the farm is good!

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