Friday, November 5, 2021

The Garden Wont Quit

 Despite it being November, and getting chilly and having frost....The garden is still producing.  Inside the greenhouse the volunteer tomato plant is still blooming as is the eggplant.

Tomorrow we shall feast on fried green tomatoes, and eggplant, and I will prepare the peppers for the freezer.

Day 3 of Chicken Pen Build

 Today was day 3 working on building a chicken pen in the barn.  All was well, until my circular saw decided to start acting up.  Somehow the guide on it got bent.  Now, the saw doesn't want to cut all the way thru the wood.

I have used up all the wood that I purchased, and am now using from our lumber pile.  We had 6 sheets of 3/4 inch plywood that I wanted to use on the walls.  The bottom 4-6 inches of each piece of plywood was damaged. This was wood we got free years ago when someone else had used it for concrete forms.   Only problem is it is too heavy for me to lift and move.  I did manage to get a piece up and onto the saw horses, so my solution is to cut the plywood into strips that are 12 inches wide-so basically I am making them into boards, which are lighter and much easier for me to move.  I got the first piece up and then on the second cut, the saw started acting up.

As I was fighting the saw, a barn cat was fighting a snake.  I thought it had a mouse until I went to look, and discovered she was tossing around a baby snake.  Let's just say snakes are not my thing.  I assume it came out of the hay,

Since the saw quit, I ended up doing some cleaning up in the barn. My husband came out and talked me though working on the saw.  It worked a little better, but I think it is time to replace it.

Since some of the wood had been used before for concrete forms, it had some large holes drilled through it.  I covered those with some old license plates that fit just perfectly.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Day 2 of Chicken Pen Build (in the barn)

 Today was day 2 of the chicken pen build.   The bottom row of hardware cloth is now done from the inside of the pen.  It still needs to be stapled into place on the backside, then boards screwed in place on the back side.  I was prepared to work another hour, but the batteries on both drills were dead, so I called it a night.

We got 2 more eggs today-so 2 more hens are now laying.  Todays eggs were white, so it  would be my leghorns that laid them.  The color of a chickens eggs are determined by their breed.  Leghorn chickens originally came from Tuscany Italy. They came to North American by ship in 1828 and were first called "Italians".   Later, their name was changed to Leghorn.  This group of hens are 5 months old. 

The bottom row of hardware cloth is now all around the pens.  I have been working on this in the evening, and by doing that I have the lights on in the barn, which gives the hens a couple extra hours of light to help with egg laying.  During the late fall and winter months, when daylight hours are shorter, hens tend to stop laying due to lack of light.  They require 12-14 hours of light a day to lay. 

The dog is sitting where the gate will eventually go.

Our lab keeps a watchful eye on the hens.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Building a Chicken Pen in the Barn

Brownie laid her first egg today.

 Brownie, and her sisters are getting a new pen.  Our chicken coops are outside, enclosed in a fairly large run.  Last winter, we had a few days of high winds and 20 below zero.  It was hard to get the chores done, and hard on the animals as well.  So, we decided to make some changes.  We are building a pen inside the barn, stall sized.  There will be a chicken door from that pen, that opens into their outside enclosure.  The advantages to this are it is predator proof, the barn has electric and water, so their water won't freeze (and we won't be stringing extension cords everywhere), I won't have to deal with frozen hoses or hauling buckets of water to them outside, and I can stay dry, and be out of the wind and weather while feeding them and gathering the eggs.   It will also be easier to give them more light in the winter months.  Their pen area contains several electrical outlets, so I plan on putting a LED light on a timer in their pen.

I started on it today.  The ceiling will be covered with hardware cloth. Hardware cloth also will cover the floor, under their liter.  The bottom 2 feet are hardware cloth, then there will be plywood on the upper walls.  The chickens and the cat have been trying to help.  Several times I had a chicken or barn cat jump up on my back or shoulders while I was drilling a board in place.

I will have to make the gate myself, still deciding on the design for that.  I hope to have the majority of the pen done within the next week or two.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Monday, April 15, 2019

And today.....

I came home to this.

What do you think it is going to be?

Whats this?

I came home Saturday to find this had been delivered.  Any guesses as to what it might be for???

Friday, April 5, 2019

Outside Life

Spring is here, but next week they say it may snow....again.  I hope that is wrong.

I worked outside most of today.  I am not raking out the gardens yet, as we still have frost as the plants need protection.  Bees and butterflies may still be wintering in the leaf cover as well.  So, until it is consistently warmer, I won't rake them out.

But, things are sprouting, budding and blooming.

I went to pull out this rosebush, as it died mid year last year.  Only, it is sprouting new growth.  So, I left it and we will see how it goes this year.

Tiger Lily, daffodils and iris are starting to come up.

I have 4 different types of daffodils.  This is the only type in bloom so far.

My forsythia is budding.

My clematis has really taken off.  Some branches of the vine are 6-8 feet long.  This will be its 3rd summer

These are tiger lilys I brought back from the family farm in NW Missouri.  They were my grandmothers.  I thought I had lost them, as this area had flooded and was under water for some time.  But, they are coming up.  I plan on moving some of them to higher ground in the event this area floods again.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Poultry Pen Update

We are still getting caught up for the tornado of 2016.  We just had our 2 year tornado anniversary.  Of course repairs to the house, barn and fencing came first.

We have several who come out and cut firewood here on shares--from the 40+ trees that came down (most were in the hedge row).  You can start to tell a difference where they are working.

My poultry pen never got a good gate on it.  This week, we put a gate together, and I got it up yesterday.  I still need to line the gate with hardware cloth to keep raccoons from climbing through it.   And, I still need to mount a headboard across the 2 supporting posts.  Then we can finish securing the poultry netting on that side of the pen and put up the support cables.  That was supposed to be done today, but its too windy.  So, saving it for another day.  Here is the before and after of the pen.
Due to all the snow melt, rain and such (much flooding not far from us) it is still a muddy mess.  But, we are making headway.

Before the new gate

After the new gate

Friday, March 22, 2019

Dyson fix

Never underestimate the power of a determined woman and youtube how to videos.

The brush on my Dyson vacuumed quit spinning.  I could tell the belt was stretched.  My particular model actually has 2 belts.  To change the belts, requires taking the entire vacuum apart and taking the clutch apart.  So, that is what I did.  However, putting the clutch back together was a bit tricky.  At the end of a post that comes out of the clutch, a microscopic c clamp fits.  It holds the entire clutch together.  And, it is spring loaded.  I made this repair in the office.  The first time that spring loaded clutch flew off, it landed on the floor nearby.  The second time, it landed behind the desk, requiring the desk to be moved to retrieve it.  The third time it landed on the printer.  The fourth time, we could not find it anywhere.  Of course Dyson doesn't just sell the little clamp by itself.  I ended up having to buy a new clutch, an after market one off of ebay.  It arrived and it is now back together.  I saved over $250 doing it myself, based on a phone call I made to a Kansas City repair place.  For my model, they stated it would be 287, to replace the clutch (parts, labor and tax).  It would be more than that for me, since I don't live in Kansas City, so I would have also had to add in my time and fuel to go and come back from their shop.

The worse part of the entire ordeal was the going 2 weeks without a vacuum.  Here on the farm, we track in a lot of dirt, hay and mud.

In all seriousness, when you run into issues on this, check out youtube.


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Talented Chicken

One of my hens laid an egg above the door, on the frame, in the hen house.  That took talent.  I am happy it didn't roll off and come down on my head.

I found it today, while cleaning out the chicken coup.  During the winter I use the deep litter method in the coup to keep the chickens warm.  Now that we have warmer days, I took all the deep litter out (which is pine shavings).

To make it easier to clean, I line all 14 of the nesting boxes and under their roost,  with cardboard before I put shavings in the nest.  Then, when it is time to clean, I just lift up the cardboard and it all goes into the compost.  Makes it much easier than raking it all out and it keeps the wooden floor dry.  I do similar for the duck house, although the ducks rarely use it.  However, a couple of my chickens do lay in it, and the cat hangs out in it a lot.