Friday, July 6, 2007

Chickens out to pasture, 1 week old turkeys, my garden and a bad night

Well, the chickens are a little over 3 weeks old, and they are out to pasture! We have 2 of these pens so far, and all the little guys get to poke around in the grass and eat bugs and seeds - and fertilize this patch of land that will soon be my greenhouse!!

The turkeys are now a week old, and they are so sweet. Look at the guy in the middle... he's sleeping on his feet! It must be rough eating, drinking and sleeping all day long. Sheesh.

The big on in the back - that's our Tweety. She's still in with the turkeys. We actually moved her back to a hospital pen today (more on that later) because the turkeys sometimes fight with each other. But they peck at Tweety too, and she just sits there and puts up with it. Poor girl.

Larry's not the only one with things growing! These are my endives! I planted a bunch of stuff late, so it's no surprise I'm not getting 100% success... but so far what is growing strong is the endive, radishes, cucumbers, zucchinis, cantaloupes, corn and salad greens. YUMMMY!

Now for the bad news - we are out in the country. And everyone has been telling Larry that his pens aren't going to keep all the predators out. We had 4 or 5 uneventful nights. But this morning - something did some damage. No chickens got out, and we don't think an animal got in, but something either got some paws through the wire, or a snout. We found one dead red chicken (poor thing!) and 2 severly damaged whites. 1 white and 1 red had their tails bitten - the white seemed OK. The red was a little shaken, so she's in the hospital pen too. NO, no pictures of these guys. We got them inside, but we have one with a missing wing, and one with his chest tore up a bit. We'll just say they will probably be dinner this weekend... a few weeks early. But they might not last long the way they are, and it may be more humane to put them under.

So Larry is getting a shot gun - and he is sleeping outside tonight with Grish and Athena. We've been debating a LOT about what to do... talking of Llamas (they can be guard animals, depending on your predators) getting Great Pyrenees or Maremmas to train as guard dogs, or for now, just setting traps at night to catch the coyote/coydog/raccoon/fox that might be fussing with our food. All I know is it wasn't my dogs!! Ditka is much more interested in rooting through my compost pile than dealing with those chickens...