Friday, June 7, 2013

Expanding our Borders...

We are busy making changes around the farm.    I apologize (yet again) for this blog becoming so sporadic... but as I have told a few people, we're just too busy with life to record all of it!

We got our garden planted- we're trying to expand this year to greens, lettuces, and spinaches.   What we don't eat, the turkeys and chickens will love!

We're expanding our chicken coop!
Our "apartment" as we called it just didn't get enough morning sun to keep the chicks warm, so we decided to turn our front run into the "apartment" or baby isolation run- we haven't really decided what we're going to call it.   We had our "teenage" chicks in with the babies, but they decided that they were too cool for the little ones, they were literally crying (read: tweeting incredibly loud) and trying to fly into the windows of the coop.  They wanted to be at the adult table.  So we let them back in to roost with the hens. We would like to incubate again, but our rooster will be "retiring soon".  We now have to isolate him before we feed and change the water- he's on full out attack mode all the time.  He went after our middle boy- who has no intimidation of animals- and got his leg and then flew up and got his head and neck in a few places.  His last set of chicks are turning out so pretty.  We have 7 baby chicks and they are all so pretty and each one unique, including Coal- our little black cheep pictured above!  All in all- including the Admiral our rooster we have 15 chickens. 
After a few chicken massacres, we've decided to reign in our free rangers just a bit.  The hawks are bad out here in the country as well as the random fox or coyote.  So we're building them a larger open air run and employing our first guardian dog (not Honey-- although she looks very eager-- please hear her internal voice more like that of Lennie Small, from Of Mice and Men- except she's obsessed with loving on chickens not rabbits- until their heads fall off-- and for the record Sadie, our Aussie mix- is definitely, definitely George).  

We'll be picking up Bub, our new Great Pyranese Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD), next week along with some locally bred and hatched turkey poults!  We're going to raise Royal Palms exclusively this year.  Last year, we ordered from out of state and raised Royal Palms, Red Bourbons and Spanish Blacks.  Hopefully we will be able to winter some this year and keep a sustainable flock.   Bubby will guard the chickens until the poults are ready to go outside.  We hope that Bub's presence will take down some of our attrition issues.   We are so excited to get him!!   The husband is building his dog house today!

So like I said, a lot going on around here- this hasn't even scratched the surface really- I'm preparing to join our local farmers market with my yarns and dish cloths and other homestead-y type stuff.  The boys have started their summer science course on botany (loving it!) and they are each growing so fast. 

But there's life at hand right now- in fact the husband just went out the door and said "You can keep blogging about work- but I'm actually going out to do it"-- which is his way of telling me to get off the computer and get outside :)

More to come (sooner or later)