Thursday, October 9, 2008

It's going to be a busy fall

We have one last farmer's market to attend this weekend.

We have about 20 chickens to process this weekend, and 10 turkeys to process, once the freezer has room for them.

We have 20 or so more turkeys to process for Thanksgiving.

We have a greenhouse - in pieces in the front yard. We need to install it.

Once built, we need to ring it with straw bales, and move all the chickens in. It's getting frosty at night (which killed my PUMPKINS! NOOOOOOOOOO) which is also tough for the chickens. We also need to bring an underground water line out to it, and install a frost free hydrant, so the birdies can have water.

It's getting crowded in the barn. All the 3 month old egg layers got moved outside, to make room for Shirley and Charlie Brown and Linus. They are sharing a stall with the 3 week old baby chicks, and the broilers - who just can't handle the cold nights. So Charlie Brown and Linus have some birds their own size to sniff and hobble after. The other girls get their regular stall.

The full grown turkeys are brought into the barn at night. For 2 reasons - 1) to get them out of range of coyotes. 2) because that's the only time we can feed them. The sheep will steal their food, so we have to lock the sheep up in the barn, so the turkeys can eat. The kittens stay in the barn, unless someone scares Natasha on the roof. (BTW - we got her down from the roof last night, and managed to stick a needle in her butt - she now has her kitty shots)

The puppies now usually sleep in the house. Why? Because they "guard" the turkey food. That means they often snap at the turkeys for trying to eat their own food. So that the turkeys become people food and not puppy food, the dogs are sleeping in the house.

We have a lot of work to do. But it will all be worth it. All egg layers, regardless of age, will have one house to live in for the winter. One that won't require opening and closing, or monthly moving. The rest of the birds will be in our bellies or our freezer - or preferably - someone else's belly and someone else's freezer. There will be no weeds to pull, no irrigation to run - just letting sheep in and out, feeding and watering everyone, and waiting until spring.

But until spring - we have a greenhouse that needs to be built, and several weekends of poultry processing. Wish us luck, and buy a chicken.