Thursday, June 30, 2016

Collie in the Henhouse

 I have been bringing Ember to the barn to visit the chicks and to teach her to have good manners around them. You can see her herding instinct kick in as they move about. My hope is that she will  get used to them early on so she won't nuisance bark when she sees them out free-ranging. Today she came with me and watched while I gave the chicks some bananas for a treat. The chicks are almost all feathered out and are growing so fast. The will be 4 weeks old on July 1st. We are hoping to get started on their outdoor run this weekend.

Below is a short video of Ember in the Henhouse:

 Banana treats for the chickens. So far bananas are their all time favorite!

 My favorite little chicken whisperer stopped by the other day to visit the chicks. She is moving and I am so sad that she won't be living across the road anymore :-(

A quiet spot to sit in the barn while visiting the chicks and soon the goats too!

Can't sit and rest too long with this guy though! He is like the Energizer bunny.  We need to get the chicken run and goat fencing up. We spent last Sunday running around Walpole and Keene getting fencing and supplies. Once the goat fence is up we can bring the goats home!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Pool is Up & Filled!!!!

Remember the mammoth task of bringing in fill, topsoil, and sand, building a stone retaining wall and leveling the ground for our pool? If not you can see that post here:  Prepping the Ground For the Pool Well I just finished filling the pool today and we started hooking up the filter and saltwater system this afternoon but called it quits around 6:00 for dinner. Hoping to get it all running so we can add the salt tomorrow.

 I really love the stone work Don did. The pool kind of looks like a blimp in this photo LOL

 We planted some grass seed around 3 sides of the pool. We chipped the branches from those large pines we took down and put the chips between the fence and the pool. 

 Cant wait to go for a swim! The water needs to warm up though before I am brave enough to jump in ;-)

As you can see in this photo, Ember chose to ignore the fact that the ropes were there to keep her off the newly planted grass seed.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Moving the Chicks From Brooder to Coop

Don has been working furiously over the last few weeks to complete the goat barn and get part of it ready for the chickens. Yesterday evening it was done and we moved the chicks into their new digs. Poor Don was so exhausted he literally looked like he was going to drop. They chicks are very happy in their new home and they still have their 2 Sweeter Heaters to cuddle up to at night so they can stay toasty warm.  We gave them all sorts of treats like watermelon, grass and dirt to celebrate their graduation from the brooder ;-)

The first video shows Don and Clora releasing the chicks into the coop

The second video shows the chicks checking out their new digs. They were absolutely thrilled with all that extra space.

 This is what a chicken party looks like

 Enjoying a nice dust bath before settling down and going to sleep

 Gathering at the dinner table

 Checking out the roosts

 Noshing on watermelon

Checking out their new roosts

Poor Don could barely stand up he was so tired. He has been working WAY too hard lately. 

 Well there is it the little goat/chicken addition onto the barn. Now we just need to put up the fencing and then we can get our doe and doeling Boer goats. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hardware Cloth and Lots of it!

Don and Clora spent the day buttoning up the chicken coop in the goat barn. They put hardware cloth over the windows and lined the entire underneath with hardware cloth (wire mesh) to secure it against predators. It was a very tedious job!

You can see the wire hardware cloth over the floor joists. 

They got the door cut out and trimmed. Don installed a recycled glass door from an old wooden slider. I neglected to get a photo after the door was in. 

He was pretty tired at the end of the day and I had a nice dinner of local grass fed NY strip steak, roasted rosemary potatoes, sweet corn and salad waiting for him when he was done. If all goes well the chickens should be moving into the barn tomorrow. Fingers crossed ;-)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Changes in the Goat Barn

When we built our little farm in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont back in the early 1990's we did everything backwards. We moved up there with no money and the house grossly unfinished. There was no power or running water. Then we got the pigs and we were under all this pressure to build the pig pen. We got the dairy goats then rushed to build the milking stand and milking area in the Summer kitchen. We got the chickens and then rushed to build the coop. We swore we would never do things in that backwards stressful way again. HA! The best laid plans, right? When we moved into our current house there was no power or running water at first and the house is still unfinished. The chickens are here and the goats on their way. We are rushing to build living quarters for all of them. It really is so funny that we are doing the same thing all over again. 

To take some of the pressure off we decided today that we are going to use the hay storage side of the goat barn as a temporary chicken coop because we need to get the chicks out of the brooder in the house and the permanent chicken coop is not even started yet. So today we renovated the newly built goat barn so that one section could be used for the goats and the other section for the chickens. At least for now. ;-)

Trying to stay ahead of the sawdust. He cuts and I sweep ;-)

It was HOT today and the sawdust was so sticky

Recycling an old screen door on the chicken section inside the barn

One of the siding boards had not been nailed off at the top so when Don cut the new window out for the chickens that piece fell into a pile of other boards. He told me to go out and get it. Well, which the heck board is it???

Picking up two out of the three I took a guess, "Is it this one?" I guessed right, it was! He was laughing at me the whole time taking pictures. 

Don making fun of me and being silly. You can see the missing board I was sent to look for above his head.  :-)

Nailing up the board the I handed up to him

Cutting out one of the two windows in what will now be the chicken room

Old hinges in the sun

We are hoping to finish up the coop and put the chicks in there by tomorrow night. Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Nothing "Easy" About Setting This Pool

You know those seasonal easy to set up pools? Well we bought one, had it delivered and many days of hard work later we finally have the site prepped to put the thing up. Combine the fact that we have very sloped ledgy land and my hubby being the King of overdoing a project it was a ton of work. :-)

 First he decides to build a stone retaining wall for the fill. Sounds lovely!

 So every night after work he gathers stones and builds the wall. 
Ember is supervising in the background. 

 I think she likes the stonewall but we haven't told her that we are going 
to have to move her doghouse yet.

 The pool was delivered 

 The crew moving Ember's dog house

 Bringing in the fill

 More stone work

 Adding a ring of topsoil over the fill. 

 Bringing in the sand for under the pool

 Layers of fill, topsoil and sand bing leveled out

 More leveling using a laser level. Again, Ember is supervising.

 Watering down all the layers to help pack them down

 The lay of the land and the fence make it look unloved but he assures me that it is level

Next step is to get the pool laid out on the sandy area and then set it up.