Well, after many months we have actually managed to add some information to our site! There is now an explanation of our forest gardens and our animals. Slowly over the next little while I hope to add to the site. Now it has been started the momentum must be kept up.
Winter is coming despite the warm weather today. All the garden are done, even the chard is looking a little owrse for wear now. Some small jars of pear sauce have been made but that is all that managed to get done this fall. Work and life beyond the “farm” took over and it has been difficult to get back.
Winter renovations have also taken up much of the time. Hay for winter, insulating the chicken coop, the last run of fencing, and trying to get some hay racks build before the snow flies are all time consuming. Make hay while the sun shines and cut wood while the wind blows.
New and improved chicken door.
Our chicken coop renovation is partially finished. The set-up we had for the chickens to get in and out of the barn was a bit silly. We had to move a door and put a chiar braced with wood at the gate so the sheep couldn’t get in. Mr. Tufts really liked to test the chair. there was only one way to get it to stay. This was not a good set-up if we ever wanted to have a house sitter or even our wonderful neighbour bring tha animals in. (She did understand the set-up though and bless her, she mastered it!) We neede a better door for the chickens. On Sunday we spent the day building a chicken “stoma” in the old window. It now as a door with a latch and a ladder both in and out. It was perfect…to us. getting the chickens to use it was another story. the first night they just didn’t get it. the next morning I had to put everyone out the door by hand. That night, after some modifications they actually went in it on their own, with a lot of scratch to help them along.
At least we now have an easy way to let the chickens in and out. next is fixing the flor and building the nest boxes. We should start getting eggs in just over a month. We can’t wait as then I can start some of the art projects I want to!
Purple potato flower.
Our pot potatoes are finally flowering. we have been waiting a long time for this. These are blue potatoes, blue all the way through. We saved them from last years CSA diligently as I knew we would never get around to ordering any seed potatoes. We won’t be eating any this year either, these are for next years crop. How exciting though. They have beautiful flowers and do make lovely potted plants. Last year we placed the potatoes in some shallow compost and covered them with straw. Some potatoes were produced but not a pot full. This year they are covered with compost instead so we are hoping to have a better yield. Of course these plants could be moved in in the early spring or autumn. Hopefully it works, but even if we only get a decent yield it will be done again on a larger scale. They do make great, lush potted plants!
Chantecler chickens outside enjoying the weather.
Yesterday we moved the chickens into their permanent coop. Catching chickens is not for the faint of heart. Tim and I put the box down hoping they might check it out. How wrong we were. We ended up blocking off the exit hatch and catching them one by one and putting them into the closed box. Surprisingly we managed to get thirteen on the first try.
Once in the new house we dumped them out nicely into their new digs and went back for the last three. They seemed to like it right away. they picked away at the old wooden boards as though they were filled with bugs. Who knows maybe they were? They stayed in for the rest of yesterday. Last night it turned quite chilly so at 9pm we had to make quick modifications to their world. I was worried they’d be too cold. So we piled a couple of straw bales around their lamp. This seemed to make them much happier and they settled down to sleep, dreaming of caterpillars and ants.
Today was the first time in the big room at their new place. To lure them out I threw some chicken scratch out the door in little red riding hood style, they followed. Right outside the door was food and water, some took a drink and nibble, others went straight for the bugs.
All the chickens seemed to enjoy the outdoors more in this pen than the last. I think because the door is less tunnel like. I was happy to see them out eating, running around and generally enjoying being alive.