Saturday, March 30, 2013

Farm Update:

 Farm Update: 

"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade."
-Charles Dickens

 The sun is out, the snow is almost all melted, the soil has turned to a boot-sucking mud, and spring is here. A few days ago, the ground thawed enough for us to finally put out our poultry netting. We went for a solar-powered energizer and a moveable electric poultry netting from Premier 1

Priscilla definitely has the Cock-a-doodle-do part down. Aint he pretty?

 The electric netting creates a shock that deters predators (and Ender with a surprised yip and jump) and keeps the chickens safely contained. Much like step-in posts, this fence lets us move their pasture to let them feast on taller, greener pastures. No longer is the grass greener on the other side of the fence!

But most of all, we were excited about the solar energizer. Ours is enough to power 3 of these fences, and will be enough for these chickens and our pig pasture. While we are probably going to keep a back-up energizer on hand, we went with solar to increase the sustainability of our farm enterprises.

Though our just-thawed pastures aren't exactly green...
After coxing Worf and Priscilla outside, with a few of their hen-groupies in tow, the chickens poured outside to scratch at the sprouting grass, bugs and scattered scratch grains. Worf almost immediately laid down and stretched out one of his wings, ruffling his feathers and basking in the sunshine. 

As for farm projects, we recently added 4 more nest boxes, made from 5 gallon buckets and pallet wood and a dowel for one of the roosts. With more nest boxes we can decrease the amount of feather pulling and overcrowding from all the hens who want the prime real estate.

We've been tinkering in the garage with some projects for the Farmer's Market, including our sign, and doing some much needed shopping. That's right, soon we'll be seeing more livestock at The Shire! At the end of April we're expecting our first batch of broiler chickens. Besides chickens, we've started shopping around for some piglets, we expect them to arrive on the farm early May!

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