new clucking

Today we are welcoming this year’s new group of egg laying hens! I just finished unloading these girls and they are busy exploring their new surroundings.They will be staying inside the chicken coop for a couple of days, and then let outside to roam about. Staying inside at first will allow them to make the coop their new home and eventually come back into it on their own when night arrives. Can’t wait to crack into some new fresh eggs!

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squeaky clean and ready for hens!

Spent the day spiffing up the old chicken coop and getting ready for a new group of hens…

Another great reason to keep chickens

After giving the ground a good hoeing I was now in search for some mulch and fertilizer. I glanced over to our chicken yard I realized something I had not thought of yet. Over the winter I had put out a couple of old hay bales in the chicken yard to give them something to scratch around in and for a wind break. The chickens scratched and pecked the hay for a few months, breaking it down into a fine organic substance. I raked it up and used it as a mulch on our garden beds. Mulch keeps the elements from destroying the soil, as well as suppressing weeds and nourishing the beds as it gets rained in. The chickens are great at breaking down organic matter so that it is more easily absorbed into the earth. I don’t think I could have found a better substance at any garden store if I tried! Now all I need to do is teach them how to plant and harvest the vegetables!

Got wind? Build a shelter!

The recent weather has turned colder and quite a bit windy now, so it was time to assess whether our hens had enough protection from the elements. I found a great piece of metal from the old silo, and it made for a great wind break! Now they can get out of the cold when they choose, which makes for happy hens and great eggs! 🙂

chilly chicken yard

what a nice frosty morning it was today! thought it was a great time for some pictures of the chicken yard. the chickens don’t seem to mind the cold too much. they always crowd the door in the coop awaiting it to be opened… then they all fly out into the yard like cars in a race. i give them treats first thing in the morning, and they all make a wonderful “coo cooing” noise as they eat them. farm life is full of simple pleasures that I am discovering every day

Farm Update – October 2011

In the fields: we are mulching, fertilizing and planting cover crops and Garlic for next year’s harvest. Near the Barn: our new Pump House is now winterized and ready for the cold season ahead of us. Repairs, maintenance tasks, and tidying up the farm before Winter hits. Also plenty of pruning, chopping, splitting and stacking firewood going on… Busy busy busy! Stay tuned… J

out to pasture…

Today was moving day for the Broiler Chicks…onto greener pastures outside in the custom built ranging pen.  The pen is moved twice a day so the birds always have fresh grass to roam.  The chicks are now 2 1/2 weeks old and already seeming to love exploring the grasses in the field.  It is so nice to see them outside in a more natural environment.  The only concern was today’s heat (36ºC)! I was worried about the chicks over heating but with the shade and breeze they stayed comfortable (perhaps more than we did).  Tonight as I watered the garden…again…I watched the sunset across the sky over the chicks new home and listen to them peeping away.  A nice end to an eventful day! -Julie 🙂

June is busy

All the hay that was cut has been dried and baled. I stored it under cover for safe keeping. Weather has been hit and miss as far as haying is concerned. The forecast says rain next week (yet again!) I’m glad and thankful to get what I had in so far. Our sweet corn is looking good, and the beans have come up as well. It will almost be time to harvest that Garlic plot I planted last Fall. The leaves are starting to yellow, and scapes are now emerging. Next week is also time for the meat chickens to be processed. June is busy!

“go time” is starting again..!

Here we go again with another busy season! Seems like everywhere we turn there is something to do these days around the farm. Whether it is to get ready for our new plans or just keeping up with the ones already in place, we are on the run with many fine projects. Seedlings and hatchlings have begun again, and I’m glad to see my custom brooder box finally up and running. I am hoping things grow well this year!

April update

well Winter is finally on its way out and our laying hens are glad to be out and about, picking and scratching the earth. This month we have been ramping up for Spring planting, getting the garden soil ready for this year’s growing season. I had a mission this year to build a better composting system, so I decided to make a simple 3 stage compositor, all out of recycled things around our farm. Didn’t cost a thing, but is worth so much to gardens! Compost is the magic solution to so many gardening/ farming challenges, so I thought I’d better get something that can support our land requirements. The garlic plot is doing very well as the new plants have now emerged from their straw mulch. I have also planted some buckwheat in our fields as a green manure crop, instead of using chemical methods.