Another busy week on the farm. We spent the earlier half upgrading animal living quarters. We decided on giving our chickens about twice the recommended outdoor spacing, which meant twice the work, with the dimensions ending up at 55ft x11ft. We plan on adding some strong fruit bushes and a few different seed producing flowers as well for the birds to forage from. While we continue work on the duck pen, we have been filling up a pan of water for them to bathe themselves in. See, water has a strong aphrodisiac effect on ducks, and in the picture above, I am convinced our pekin is smiling as Thomas sprays them with the hose.
The chickens really seem to be enjoying the extra leg room. The many stumps that we added give them areas to hunt for bugs and things to climb on, which keeps them from getting bored. A bored chicken is a bad chicken, and that is the reason factory farmed birds have their beaks removed. Without the mental simulation of their natural environment they will begin incessantly pecking each other to the point of causing serious injuries. They will also try to eat their own eggs as well. With the extra thought we gave to providing a stimulating environment we can eliminate later headaches from these common problems. We still have a bit more work to go before it is completed. The posts need trimmed, and a roof will need to be added. We have a very large hawk population which rather necessitates the extra precautions....after all, "An ounce of precaution is worth a pound of cure."
The kittens have become quite rambunctious lately. They have also finally grown into those giant heads! How cute is Mr. Stripes sitting in a quart harvest basket? I've never been a cat fan, but this little guy has sure changed my mind.
There is seldom a week that goes by that some preposterous doesn't happen to us. This week was no exception. I had just come in the house and started taking my shoes off from putting the chickens up for the night. Suddenly, I see a spotlight shining on the wall. Looking out of the window I recognize it to be a police officer, and in the road, another 4 police cars with lights flashing. It turns out one of our bulls had busted through an old part of the fence, and decided to go for a walk down Winchester Road. We rounded him up pretty quickly into the neighbors field while we made repairs. The next day we brought him home by cutting the fence separating our property lines. It was nearly as bad as I had planned.
Somehow we managed to actually take a day off. It was nice to not think about work for a few minutes, and to catch up with everyone. There is a saying that when it comes to family functions farmers are either always late or miss them altogether. This has been quite true for us, and I am glad that we are finally making an effort to break that habit. Seeing Thomas with his nephew in the tractor for the first time was completely worth the effort. Good food and good company...there isn't too much more you can ask for in life.
I think I will end this weeks note with a cute picture of Marshmallow because, why not? This little guy eats out of the food bowl while sitting in the water bowl.
Until next week...