People did warn me … chickens can become addicting … 😉 Have to admit that I get real pleasure out of just watching our five cavort around the paddocks. I have been eyeing their run for a while now … wondering just how to make it more ‘weatherproof’. Weather being rain – or snow… Well, we decided to go ahead and tackle that challenge. Thanks to Heidi (friend down the road) we now have a set of windows that could make a wonderful southern wall come snow season. That was the perfect jumping off point. After dreaming up – and then jettisoning – three big ideas – we settled on a plan.
The chicken run was draped with bird netting. It had proven effective at keeping hawks and most of the grackles at bay. It was open and airy … and well shaded in the summer. It faces south and gets lots of sunshine in the winter. But … it also gets lots of SNOW in the winter. Last year I kept creating a trail for the chickens by laying down a straw path.
Here is the newest version – a tarp covered ceiling over a large airy run. Now come rain, shine, hail or snow … all of the chickens have somewhere nice to go! They quite love it and have spent a lot of the last two days roosting here while we worked around them. There is lots yet to finish. There are gaps between the roof and the walls that need to be wired in. There are sections of the roofing that need to be screwed down into support posts. But it is coming along! Little by little!
Ede swears it looks like the Millenium Falcon from Star Wars … Hopefully, come the bad weather, the chickens will see it as ‘Home Sweet Home’.
They enjoyed spending a good chunk of the morning down in the front paddock with us all. There is lots to scratch at down there. The Tweedles have caught the hang of grabbing bugs – a rather tricky proposition with their poorly trimmed beaks. They also have learned that peanuts are a great treat well worth scrambling for. 😉
Dottie has discovered a climbing vine that is delicious is growing on the fence line. She worked her way along – sorting through all the green growth to find the little shoots that tasted good.
Even if May tried to call her away – she just kept chowing down!
Meanwhile the others kept grazing ‘the desert’. The feeding program is going well. Every so often my heart struggles with the frugality of it all … But then I take a look at their body condition and think ‘desert grazer’ and relax again. They are chomping on the straw now. (And it still helps if I let the goats eat with them when I put out new straw – the idea of those goaties chomping that straw all on their own is enough to drive Darby to distraction!) So ‘little bit of hay’ – ‘lotta straw’ is our menu.
The wild areas of home are very happy today. Berries and flowers are every where.
This little wild spot sits between the back paddock – the tractor shelter – the woods and the back field. Everything that grows in there is giant.
Too bad goldenrod is such an allergen for so many people. It is beautiful!
These morning glories are growing on our arbor. Soooooo lovely to spot each morning when we are sitting at the breakfast table.
According to Oz it is nigh time for an afternoon snooze. A perfect grey day for that! And cool!
Hugs from the Meadow Mice!