Progress…

There has been some progress made on the new dwelling for my chicks..err…hens.

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Prancing Piggies

 

Even though we’ve had them around for years, I am always amazed by these little critters.  They come out ready to take on the world.  These guys are just three days old.

It’s a busy time on the farm right now.  Last night there were two more litters of piglets born (in addition to this one) and we’re expecting another at any minute.

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New Home for Turkeys

One of our boys have been wanting to raise turkeys.  Guess it’s time for another shelter.  Check out the new digs!

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Malcolm

AKA “Mal”, taking a break from playing Frisbee and making sure that nobody else can play without him.

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Swings!

Have you ever priced, or bought, swings for your swing set?!?
We’ve gone through several swings finally giving up, for a while, because nothing seemed to last.
Our youngest girls are getting bigger, plus the grandbebes are here all the time, so I thought “hey its time, we need more swings”.  Happily i sent my husband into one of those big box hardware stores, whose name we will not speak, to just “pick up a few swings”. 
Well, he came back out with a bag in hand….it seemed rather small to be holding the three swings I had sent him in to get.  I tried to conceal my disappointment.
I smiled and said “no swings?” He said “I’m going to make some!” He had some chain in that shopping bag. 
Well, true to his word not only did he make some swings…he made just about the best swings ever!  The girls fight over them and keep saying how dads swings are the best! 
I love that he utilized the end cuts from some of our home milled lumber!

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Change of Scenery…

My new coop is not finished, yet, and the girls needed some more space.  (Not to mention I needed their space!)
What to do?  Utilize our “pasture” pen for when we have broilers.

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They seemed to like the extra room right away, not to mention the leaves and grass!
One of the old hens was walking by and seemed unaware of the new additions to the flock.

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Then…wait? What’s going on here?!?

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New coop

We are constructing a new “mobile” chicken coop for the new layers.  The wood was milled here from trees we cut down a few years ago.

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Babies!!

Our son has added a new element to our farm….rabbits!
The new babies are a Rex/ Palomomino cross.  They are probably the cutest softest thing I have ever held!

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      And do they ever grow fast!

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Oh my gosh!  I can’t stand it!

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Of Huffs and Puffs and Blown Down Little Pig Houses

It’s pretty much a yearly ritual around here when I’m building new pig shelters; every late fall to early winter.  In the warmer months shelter doesn’t matter as much.  They, like I, like to be in the outdoors.  Even with a shelter available they will find a spot under the open sky to sleep, sometimes even in the dead of winter.  I am sure of it, they prefer the outdoors so they can more easily ponder on the stars, the trees, and the great joys of life which mostly consists of lots of food.  But sometimes, especially when the weather is the worst; when it’s cold, windy and wet, they need shelter from the elements. So every fall I build them one.  Needless to say, when Fonz the 600lb boar finds someone else in his spot, he wants them to move.  Sometimes there is a disagreement, and a board goes missing.  Other times an apple may have gotten wedged under one of the walls.  Apple.  Wall.  Bye bye wall.  Got an itch?  The door way is the perfect scratching post.  You get the idea.  By late spring what used to be a shelter becomes a selection of fine woodworking materials for very small projects.  Hence why every fall I am building anew in preparation for winter.

I’ve been searching for a good solution to this never ending ritual. ( “Good” meaning a shelter both tough *and* cheap.  And did I mention it had to be cheap?)  I’ve had some ideas, but my best solution is someone else’s idea.  I once visited a farm where they used a very large fiberglass container cut in half as a shelter, and ever since I have been on the lookout for one.  I’ve asked friends, contacted contractors and searched the internet with no results.  Until, finally, a few weeks ago a friend mentioned that he knew of one that was available from another friend.  I asked, and he said to come and get it.  Yee haw!  So today we went to get it.  It’s a huge tank, measuring 30 feet by 8 feet in diameter, which held 10,000 gallons of water.

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Unfortunately, because it is so big we couldn’t take it in one trip.  I was planning to cut it anyway, so it was obvious that we needed to cut it first and move it in four sections, making four shelters, each 15×4 feet.  The above pic is after the first section was removed.  Of course, my miscalculations made the day, shall we say… interesting.  It turns out that fiberglass does not cut as easy as you (I) would think.  It likes to make blades dull, especially chainsaw blades.  It was also much heavier than anticipated; much heavier than what I repeatedly assured everyone by saying four of us will be able to easily lift it.  Uh huh.  I also didn’t realize that it was 30 feet long.  I was thinking 22 feet for some reason.  Not big deals.  It was fun to load on the truck…

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And it was an interesting drive home…

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But we made it with only a couple of cross eyed looks from fellow drivers, and without getting pulled over.

What started out as a planned half day project for four shelters turned out to be an almost full day project for one, but it was a good day – for us and the pigs.  We will no longer ever need to build another shelter, and Fonz will have plenty of new spots to kick others out of with no boards to break.  Life is good.

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Wood shed

We started building a woodshed/ shelter for our wood supply.  We are able to utilize lumber/poles off our own property.

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