Friday, February 24, 2012

Instead of grading papers...

I'm adding a picture to my blog and trying to motivate myself...I don't think the personal pep talk is working, though.  I just want to nap.

I spent the day in Shreveport, helping Dr. DuBose with his talk, then went to a looooong lunch with two favorite frends.  And, of course, I had to go to World Market and spend some the time I came home, I was tired and too relaxed to give serious thought to anything.

Except...the hens are digging in the new run, so I need to "plant" some wire around the bottom, and I need to do that tomorrow.  I also need to fence the new garden box to try to keep the cats out.  They decimated two eggplants.

I received my "Farmgirl Sisterhood" badge from MaryJane's Farm.  MJF is one of my most favorite magazines, so joining wasn't a hard decision.  It's a great way to connect with other women who are interested in self-sufficiency; I learn a great deal from reading their stories.

Here's the badge, sewn on my bluejean jacket:

And, for fun, here's a picture of a cat in a cube:

That's Ginger Baker enjoying her new toy!

Hope you're having a great week.  I think I'm going to bed early.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Addition to the Chicken Coop

Yes, I should be reading drafts and otherwise grading assignments for my students.  Instead, I added a run to the chicken coop.

I ordered this one instead of building it myself, and, while I'm pleased with it, I think I'll just stick to making my own.  The hardware cloth really is much bigger than I like, so I need to add some with a tighter weave to the bottom--and, of course, dig a trench to bury said wire.

For the time being, though, it will work.  When the ground dries out a bit, I'll finish it off.

The girls like it, and that's what counts!

They didn't even wait for me to exit after I cut the wire that divided the bottom of the hen house from the new run. I was cutting wire while they were trying to eat the buttons on my jacket!

I need to make this more raccoon-proof, but I'll do that over the next couple of days.  I can still reach the nesting box to gather eggs, and I have a small door where I can reach in to close the hatch at night.

It gives them more space, and they need that.
The chicken yard looks a bit like an airport, with its various terminals!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Egg count to date...

about four dozen eggs.  I gathered four today.  Here is the egg basket--minus one brown egg I gave to my mother and a white egg I ate for breakfast!

These are the eggs (minus the two I've mentioned) that I have collected since Monday.

Rain sometimes affects the laying, but not today.  I covered part of the run with a vinyl tablecloth to help keep the rain off the girls.  The run was still muddy, but at least the rain wasn't falling on their heads.

I've been experimenting with treats.  So far, they like seedless grapes, cooked oatmeal (I'll cook it for them, but I hate cooked oatmeal!), all kinds of greens, apple bits, bananas, wild bird seed, hot dog buns, lasagna, cornbread, pinto beans, and lentils.  One of the great things about having chickens is that they will eat my leftovers.  But I don't feed them meat of any kind.  I do feed them eggshells, but I wash and dry them, then pulverize them with one of my food choppers.  I don't want them to start eating their eggs.

In addition to layer pellets and treats, they receive grit (for digestion) and oyster shells (for calcium).  I make sure they eat most of their pellets before I give treats, but I give treats two or three times a day.  It gives them something to do--they chase each other all over the run, trying to steal the treats from another hen!

I pulled up a few carrots, cut some collards and bok choy yesterday and threw it all in a pot for soup.  I love being able to walk into the garden and pick up what I need for dinner!

I cut the broccoli because it was beginning to flower.  The weather's been a bit too hot for broccoli.

I have tomato, pumpkin, and herb seeds germinating, so I should be able to get a head start on my spring garden.  Let's hope Punxatawny Phil was wrong about six more weeks of winter--though we really haven't had one yet!