Thursday, May 3, 2012
Tad's new rooster, he managed to get out of the coop (outside) and then we chased him into the garage in order to catch him.They are all living in the garage-they move out today. Chickens need adequate ventilation. They smell bad and its bad for them to have no air. It is quite cold, so we will still give a heat lamp to the small ones.
Here he is, up high above the door. He flies well, and he isnt easy to coax down. We used a broomstick. Poor guy.
We have had a yard-full of moose lately. This is a baby bull moose, he was adorable and curious. He put his ears forward towards us the way goats do, they are very much like goats. We have read and researched them, it seems they have similar personalities.
Here he is with his mama. Her ears went back only once when we were near. We were near in a safe way, behind things. Mostly though once she saw we meant no harm, she kept her ears forward in the "moose curious sign" letting us know it was okay to look at him as long as we didnt threaten him.
This is our second coop. We made a few improvements, the ridge line in the first one was just 8 ft long, same as the frame. This time Frank used a 10 ft 2x4 ripped down to 2x3. People, this makes such a nice, light, easy to move coop using 2x3s and 2x2s. We used 2x4s in our first one that we made in Ks. It had no house, so was light, but add a house or a door made of plyboard and it gets heavy! This one has a door, but now house. We will put a perch from the back left corner to the second framing 2x2 on the right side. then we will use a tarp and tack it to the right back, and let it hang over the door. This creates a "house" that works fine in spring/summer/fall. This coop, along with the 1st and soon to be 3rd are only for warm time until the barn is built.
See, the other coop has more wood. This will be good for smaller chickens who are easier chilled, and it also has an egg door. They like to live on the shelf also because it is warmer. The second coop has no hasp yet to keep the door closed, the chickens cannot open it but a predator could so we will put a lock on it. Today the kids and I have to move them outdoors. The baby chickens (top right of this photo) are the 8 wk old pullets-laying hens later- and they will have to have heat.
We have only 3 laying hens, we cannot find many that are laying right now for sale. No one wants to give any up! We have to raise up young ones so we were very pleased that the geese and rooster owner sold us 3. He also is saving 10 butcher roosters for us, because we couldnt fit them in the carriers due to Nathalie's goose choice. He had one sweet little drake (male duck) that could have been her friend, and he thought he was a chicken so he could have lived with chickens. However, she wanted the geese.
She likes the geese because my little daughter is a romantic. The geese mate for life, the man who owned them treats his animals with great respect, kindness, clean areas and gentle care. He started with a number of geese and allowed them to choose mates, when he had 1 odd man he sold him to someone who needed him. Thus, he lets them choose each other and then gives all of them an area of their own. So, we are going to do the same. Make sure that they have an area where they can lay and hatch their own goslings together. Right now they have to live in the greenhouse with a sad little fence...the fence is not great but it was on the property, we just strung it up in a few minutes. They lived in his yard in the other guys house, they will learn our boundries and do the same here.
Crazy picture, looks like nothing but it is my garden. Nice, improved dark soil. It has rocks around it. We are likely going to fence the whole back yard, sides of house out to tree line and then using the trees, all the way back. Basically the whole oval/circle that you see of trees. That will be about an acre. That gives our geese, Ts 2 dogs (dont own yet, but promised) and any other roamers we allow a way to be out without bugging the neighbors. Then we will fence off the back 3rd of it, cross fence and that 3rd will be the barnyard. The wood pile to the right here, that is right in the barn area. We shoveled out snow, marked it off and have priced it out. We will start that this wkend. The barn will be accessed from inside the yard fence, ahead of the barnyard so that I can feed without being mobbed. The chickens/rabbits will use one side and the goats will have the main barn, the loft will hold hay and the other side of the barn will have a goose area and then whatever else we have.
2 garden boxes on this side of the garden, a rocked in flower/herb garden. These garden areas will have T posts and 6 ft mesh placed around them so that inside the yard, the dogs and geese, chickens etc will stay OUT of my gardens. Also, moose can jump the fence we are putting up, and they CAN jump the 6 ft mesh but that is 2 things to jump.The yard fence/goat fence will be moose fencing. 5 ft tall wrapped wire, 12 gauge. I know they can jump it, but maybe will dissuade? I will be planting an enormous amount of grass and grain seed, just by spreading it everywhere that isnt garden and putting out corn, beans, broccoli (moose favorite) not for us, but the moose, geese and whatever else comes in. People say if you broadly seed for them and not worry about how well the plants perform, then they do not jump your mesh.
Another view, to the right of the greenhouse are 2 more garden beds, boxes, raised beds as it were. The lady who first owned the house loved to garden.
Closer picture of the garden boxes and Nathalie's geese. These t posts and fence were left here.
Here is a large boxed area, the last owner used rocks in it for their son to rock crawl his remote cars. They are coming to clear them out, along with their trash and their broken garden shed. I think this had a swingset from the owner before the last owner. I dont know what we will use it for.
For some reason, as I have mentioned, someone thought it was a good idea to basically landscape in a bit of grass and then rock/gravel the whole rest of our cleared acreage! We have a lot of work to do here, 3 major jobs. A barn, fencing (a lot of it) and a nice, new, large, garden shed. The other one is broken, though we may ask them to leave it because its better than nothing. Today we have a lot of work to do, so off to work on that.