chicken keeping · Homesteading

Finally… A Good Farm Work Day!

If we haven’t been busy, its been raining. You would think I would have LOTS of blog posts written, but most of you have noticed a distinct lack of posts for a couple of weeks now.

Or maybe you haven’t. I am not really that noticeable I guess.

Quick update: the other thing I have been working on, diligently- thanks to all the rainy days- is my illustrations for my book. I should have it all submitted to the publishing company by next week!! So exciting!!! I will post a sneak peak here when I submit it.

There have been some changes around here. Again. First, we bought a Maremme Puppy. She is a livestock guardian dog and the sweetest little thing!! Her name is “Meila” pronounced like “Sheila”. It means “honey” in Italian, which is where her breed originated. She is learning the ropes, and so far, Barney is in LOVE!!

Meila checking out the kitchen, quickly… Because she needs a bath before she spends much time inside.

We have been working on changing the fencing a bit to accommodate the turkeys that have discovered the neighbors house and really like hanging out down there!

Millie unconcerned about any of us and our comings and goings…

Well, that and we needed to change the fencing to keep Meila contained a little bit. Especially while she is little and in training. She needs to also get used to all the birds. She wasn’t sure about the turkeys.

Yesterday we finally had a nice day to work on that fencing and some other projects that have been sitting and waiting for us to have some time.

First was finishing up the fencing and getting all the way around the pasture. I wasn’t happy with the expense of it, but we needed to do something if we were going to keep the turkeys over winter and have more next year.

Today they seem pretty contented to be out there.

We built Meila a kennel and shelter in the shelter we have for the horses. She does not like being alone out there, but Barney is doing his best to stay near her and give her company. I don’t want to leave her alone out there yet, because she is too likely to be chasing the birds and Barney, in his exuberance, just might trample her!!

Meila getting settled into her new digs.

We moved some hay over here from where we store it in a neighbors barn. THANK GOD for Good friends who let us store hay in their barn!! I have been waiting for days to be able to do that!! Luckily we still had a few bales here to get us through.

To keep the birds contained, we had to reconfigure some of our existing fencing. We are getting to be fencing “experts”!!

We took a panel off our garden fence and put a door in the run of the chicken coop. Then, we installed the taller fencing from the run down to the pasture fence making a nice path for the birds to take into the pasture. Previously, we would just open the garden door or the run door and let them go wherever. Now, they should remain contained, mostly, and keep to the pasture. They will have an acre and a half or so to play in, which should be enough to keep them occupied.

We hope.

It felt so good to get so much done yesterday on a beautiful, sunny fall day!

Much cleaning and arranging also got done yesterday. We needed this trailer to get a load of hay.
Kindly disregard all the mess of dirty snow and muck..
Everyone just needs to see my tractor….. hehe… The workhorse of our yard!!

Thanks for reading!



chicken keeping

Critter Attack

The other day we had a little excitement. We lost the birds for awhile.

Not all the birds, just the turkeys and new hens.

It started out to be a pretty traumatic loss. Hubby went out to check them and found only 8 of the 17 birds. All hiding and huddled in the pen.

We closed up the pen to keep them all in and started looking. We could hear peeping of the birds but we could not see them.

We walked all around the pasture. We found the feathers and remains of one and feared the worst.

We walked around the outside of the pasture and into the weeds that form the border of our property. We kept hearing peeping but we couldn’t find them. Eventually, I decided that must just be the peeping of all the birds in the trees and I gave up.

I walked up towards the house and as I got to the fence, I saw 2 of the birds frantically trying to get into the big chicken coop!! I was so excited!! I grabbed one and passed it to someone else to get back to the pen and chased the other around to the garden.

There I found 2 more birds!!

And another 2 jumped out of the bushes nearby!! YAY!!! We captured them all and put them back into the pen.

What an exciting night!!

I had left #MillietheMule over at our other pasture with Barney to eat that down for a while and give this pasture a rest. Guess who was brought back home quickly that night??!!

She needed to be back on the job! Youngest Daughter has really stepped up and taken over care of them and she helped me bring them home to go back to work here. Of course, Barney is just “Pasture Candy” (heeheheee) but Millie has been doing a great job of keeping any critters away.

Since then, one of the Guinea Hens is missing. I think it got left out of the pen overnight and wandered away.

My brother and I traded. He got 4 turkeys and I got 4 guineas. Our hope is that they will take care of some of the ticks around our properties and therefore keep us and our dogs from getting Lymes.

Oh- and to finish the story of the birds. I had a bowl of scraps for the big chickens leftover from dinner that I ran out to them. I kept hearing the peeping of the turkeys but it was really close. Looking around, I found the 16th bird! Stuck behind the stairs into my coop!!

Honestly I have no idea how that bird got in there, but it did. And it is back with its buddies.

Always interesting when you have lots of kids and animals.