Friday, August 16, 2013

No Tresspassing

As you know, we've had a bit of a predator problem in the chicken coop. The obvious culprit was the raccoon, who left his prints at the scene of the crime. Despite trapping a coon, and closing up the gable where it was getting in, we still lost hens.

However, the last few kills appear to have been from something else. The raccoons would take the chickens with them, but lately, we've found bodies in the coop. That means something is coming in for a midnight snack then getting out of dodge before daylight. And small enough to get through the tiny spot at the top of the coop or through the wire without destroying it. New suspect...weasel.

Thursday before work, Ghon was able to install the new chicken coop door. Rather, it's a motor that raises and lowers the coop door. Combined with a timer, the theory is that the chickens will put themselves to bed around 7:30PM and the door will close automatically at about 8:30PM. Approximately 9AM, the door opens and the chickens are free to roam about their run. Ghon needed a lightweight door, and chose to use a metal no trespassing sign that we found in the workshop.

Chickens coming through!

Last weekend Ghon nailed a thin board across the top to close the gap between the roof and the wall - Thursday, he removed it and nailed in something a bit larger.

Take that you chicken killers. Nothing is getting in here!

When I went to the farm today and took these pictures, I panicked at first when I didn't see any chickens in the run. Would could be worse than the predator getting locked INTO the coop with the chickens? Fortunately, they were just in the coop...and we didn't loose any over night. Hopefully, it will stay that way.

In addition to the chicken feed we buy, we supplement the chickens with fresh fruit and vegetables. We often get veggies from a local market when they are just starting to turn and are no longer good for sale. Sometime this spring, we fed the chickens a variety of squash and melons. Then it rained for days. And then we fed them some more. Low and behold, we have at least two different plants taking over this old chicken run. I had to leave up part of the fence since the plant was growing through it.

Renegade garden...of who knows what.

Acorn squash perhaps? Anyone?

While checking out the free range garden, I spotted some morning glory. I was pretty excited about these. Butterflies and hummingbirds like morning glory, and I have a tattoo of them for the kids (September birth flower).

Pretty wild flowers

Tomorrow is Saturday. Family work day at the farm. Grass mowing, chicken run work, and yard sale prep is in store!

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