Recalcitrant chickens

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No matter how many times we put the chickens in their coop, we always have a few who decide to make their home in other parts of the barn. It’s not a problem and they are apparently immune to predators so I leave them alone. It’s just funny how chickens do their own thing. Here are two chickens roosting on a hay rack in an old horse stall.

I’m back

It’s been a few days since I was able to post. I’ve been in Troy, NC at Montgomery Community College taking a class to learn some new skills I’ll be sharing later. Although it was nice to be gone, it sure was nice to get back, especially when I had great helpers for my first trip to the farmers market.

The rooster in this video is Red, our first rooster. He lost an eye to infection and now lives as an outcast. We make sure his outcast life is actually the good life, always getting the best of everything. He actually spends quite a bit of time at the house, eating the dogs food and hanging out. Not too bad of a retired life.

Thanks to Miguel and the inmates for keeping everybody safe and full while I was gone.

Something besides cows

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Besides our morning cow routine, we also collect the eggs every morning. We aren’t getting the eggs we would expect from our chickens. We seem to have a goodly number of chickens who have passed their prime and need to graduate to the stew pot. I have to do some testing to figure out who is laying and who is not before I can select though and that’s a task I haven’t gotten to yet. The good thing about a farm is there is always something to do.

Ewww!

This morning when Spork and I went to tend all the critters we discovered we had inadvertently created a roach motel out of the chicken feed bucket.

Problems are just opportunities, right? So what to do? After the heeby jeeby dance we decided the beef chickens could use some protein.

We didn’t have time to wait around to see what became of our critters. But this is what we found when we got back.

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Chicken tractor redux

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The “beef” chickens (our meat birds) got a new chicken tractor because yours truly cannot perform simple geometry and made the first one too small. They now have a true Joel Salatin style tractor with much more room. They are definitely happier with some space to stretch out. We are retrofitting the original tractor to make it more suitable so all is not lost.

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Also, it may be too early to have a party over this but what you are seeing in this photo is some dog fennel which has been eaten by the beef chickens. They were out of food when I got to them this morning so it may have been desperation but I will take any success I can get.

New chicken tractor

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So we have begun experimenting with Joel Salatin style chicken tractors. This is the first small scale unit, it’s 1/4 the size if the ones Joel uses but we just have a few laying meat birds in here for now. So far so good. The tractors keep the birds protected and moving. Now that I’ve seen they can survive a few days, I am going to park them over some dog fennel and see if the chickens will strip the fennel. If they do, then these will be my new fennel elimination machines. Fingers crossed.