Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cool Drinks

Cool Drinks......
This week we have had freezing temperatures overnight.  So the water lines were frozen when the birds came out of the coop.  But they came out, picking little green grasses, cucumber seeds, and the  corn husks. However the water that was always there had to wait for the Sun to warm up the ground.  One day I had to take the waterers up  to the house because we couldn't wait.
The Stratford John Deere Coop returned my little tractor.  They straightened the bent Mower Deck, and got it all tuned up/repaired for another year. I mowed some rows of the grass field, for the bedding in the coop.  The chips are ok, but dry grass is better. So I was glad the machine was back.

All week I was saying 'good-bye' to the birds.  I have been working with them 3 or 4 times a day, and watching them for problems and making their life as good as I could. So now I have to remember that they will give me and others clean, organic meat.  So I have been thanking them in advance.

Wednesday I cleaned the trailer, and got the cages repaired. My daughter loaned me some cages too so they wouldn't be so crowded on the trip to the processor.  Thursday we brought them in and in a short time they were all processed, chilled, and inspected by the USDA guy. So we went home and I spent the afternoon starting to clean things up.  So I feel sad.  But living close to nature, farming, harvesting has
raw moments.  Just think how hard it was to make a living out here a hundred years ago.

Now I feel much gratitude.

Do good out there....

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Frozen feet?

Frozen  Feet..... Well not really.
The temp was in the 30s and the plants were frozen and crunchy.  Then the Sun came up and everything warmed up again.
The change into Autumn is apparent; frosty mornings, cold showers, and the winds.
So I am working so that the birds have an environment where they can thrive outside in their yard.  They moved into yard #3 with fresh grass and clover. Today I put green 'wind-break' fencing around the yards.  So they are going to be good!

Oh, just now a big storm came in from the West... Rolling black clouds, wind gusts and lightning.  So I was out, hustling the birds inside the coop.  Well, they didn't know what the black clouds meant. So they didn't want to move from their yard. So I waved my broom around and told them it was a hawk. That helped them move a little faster..... The last ones got in just as the winds from the North swooped through.... leaves were flying all over. Wow!!!

Yesterday I call the processor about the time I was bringing the birds in.  They had a glitch in their scheduling and my date got moved back to Oct. 2.  So the delivery of your birds will be delayed about a week.  I will have enough feed to last if I supplement with over-ripe garden produce. Tomorrow I will start experimenting with the bush beans and a few tomatoes....
Life is good.  Hanging out here with wild Mother Nature is a trip!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Big birds

I missed a week writing to you..... Lots of gardening/landscaping---and the cast is like an anchor. Yesterday I broke the tractor crashing around up in the woods. I learned that a lawnmower is not a brushcutter.  Next time I'll put the snowplow blade on for the first trailblazing trip into the brush. Trails from 2 years ago have gotten way overgrown.
Most importantly....Your birds are doing fine!  They have been spending 12 hrs a day outside in a 20x60 yard with a white sun tarp and a mesh net over the top. I feed them 2 or 3 times a day. I am experimenting with more feed twice a day or a little less feed 3 times a day. If I put too much in the feeder, they eat the corn chips and ignore the rest of the feed. But if I am a little late with the second or third feeding, then they come out to the fence and look at me.
In this picture you can see the 'Cornish-rock' genetics--the birds are getting wider.  I try to keep them walking and moving so their legs stay strong enough to hold their weight. In the background you can see a bird running and flapping her wings to 'simulate low flight.' They do that a lot.
Today I was setting up their next yard. Moving the tarp and setting the netting in the rain was really refreshing after all the hot days we have been having.  Rows of clouds kept coming over, making little rain showers. Then there were the V's of geese heading South.  Most I could see but some were up in the clouds. It was a great day.
... Hope you had a great day too!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Running Birds!!!!

The birds have their feathers! Their weeks of being half feathered are over.  In the morning when they come out of the coop.  They run, they are strong.
In fact I just moved their food about 15 feet farther from the coop. Today they got outside at 7am and they pecked and explored for an hour before I brought in the feed.  
Today they hit a new marker. As a flock they ate a 50 lb. bag of organic feed. They are growing and maturing.  So I try to keep up and keep ahead of them.
In the last week I am seeing more hawks cruising.  A big red-tailed hawk landed in a tree above me. He was just interested in the little white birds out in the yard. So I yelled, waved my arms. He flew away and I started thinking.  My bird counts are short.  The most I get is 102.  Could it be that the hawks are not hunting mice???? I haven't caught they grabbing any birds, but I needed to do something. Today I was getting up some bird netting.  I feel responsible for these birds and I am the only one that can act.
We'll see how I do....... and I'll keep counting.
It hasn't rained here and even the grass isn't growing.  The woods is like tinder. I see how the fires could start out West. Tomorrow I'll go out to pick vegetables and dig up some of the potatoes whose vines have dried up. The tomatoes are beautiful, they must love this hot weather!