Thursday, May 17, 2012

Week 8 - Routine

Well both I and the chickens have finally settled into a regular routine. I take care of them twice a day, usually 8:00am and 4:00pm. Move the hoop house, fill the water bucket, fill the feed trough. The chickens are eating less feed and more grass now so that there is a little bit of feed leftover, and when I fill it up they don't go into a feeding frenzy anymore. In fact usually just a few at a time will eat the feed while the rest peck at the grass and weeds.

Speaking of grass and weeds, what is left of my "pasture" is mostly weeds and very little grass. I have seeded it three times now but not much seems to grow but cheat grass and weeds. At least the goats and the chickens are keeping it ate down and I don't really have to mow it anymore. This fall I am going to put in sprinklers if it kills me. Right now I am dragging around hoses and two tower sprinklers, but I don't like running them all the time off my well pump. I really need to get an irrigation pump and hook into that. Hopefully next spring the pasture will be in better condition.

Anyhow, if the chickens are on a patch with very little grass, I move them one extra time per day, usually around noon. Here are some pictures I took this afternoon just after moving the hoop house, and as you can see they are happy as clams to get to new ground.

Mr. White is always at the center of attention. Plus he is easy to photograph cause he makes a great target in the sea of meandering reds.

Here is a very curious Roo. The chickens are getting used to me coming inside twice a day and don't run away or panic much anymore. I can usually even pet them for a second or two before they squawk and run.  This guy came right up to me and almost stuck his beak into the camera.

The other morning at first light one of the Roos made a (feeble) attempt to crow. He hears my neighbors roosters and is trying to copy them but it sounded more like a wounded cat than a "cock a doodle-do".

I discovered a couple new mole hills in the pasture this week. So yesterday I got the hose, put it in the hole and flushed out the mole, and got it into a bucket, and filled it with 6 inches of water. They only struggle for less than a minute. Seems like a simple, clean and humane way to get rid of them before they make an utter mess of the ground. Much easier than traps and smoke bombs, never had any success with those. I had an infestation of them on the other side of my property several years ago and didn't know how to get rid of them, so now that section of ground is all uneven and rutted which makes it a pain in the butt to mow. So I now have a zero tolerance policy for moles.

Here is a good example of a pretty pullet. They seem to be lighter in color and with less black in the feather tips.

The Roo's are definitely bigger than the pullets and will probably get processed a week or 10 days before the pullets do. I probably need to start thinking about scheduling the processing and start working on building some transportation crates. That will probably be my next project.

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