Saturday, May 4, 2013

Building fences and more chicken coops and cleaning up

I was able to borrow a friends trailer and buy 45 cattle panels.  I also picked up more t-posts just for good measure.  I got the front fruit trees all paneled in and the sheep got moved to the front pasture.  They are happy because there's lots of food growing.  Due to the lack of rain the back 3 acres have anywhere between none and 6 inches of forage.  That's all.  Normally at this time of year the pasture is almost waist high.  The next door neighbors have about 10 acres that's in beautiful grasses and they can't get anyone to mow and bale it.  Instead they asked if I want to figure out how to put up an electric fence and move the sheep into their yard.  Free.  I have to research those types of fences because I've never had one. 

After returning the trailer I drove right by GI Jim's store so I stopped in for an excellent use of 3/4 of an hour.  I picked up a 55 gallon drum with a good lid.  I'm not sure what's going in it yet.  Probably a combination of supplies. 

Another customer came in and the subject of fires came up.  (Is everyone who walks into GI Jim's former firefighters?  Sometimes it seems that way!)  It was enjoyable hearing everyone reminisce about their old fire stories.  The large fire going on in Southern California is my old childhood stomping grounds.  I know that area really well. We talked about fire clearances around our properties.  No problem here.  The bug-out place is getting there.  Son is trying to get it all whacked down. 

The incubator is filled with eggs.  So far two chickens have hatched.  There are about 15 more chicken eggs and about 25 chuckar eggs.  The chukars won't be hatching for at least another week but the chicks should all hatch in the next few days.  This brings me to a dilemma.  I have my coop filled with chickens.  I have five more that are ready to go out into a coop.  I have chuckars ready to go out to a coop.  I only have two coops.  One is filled with the chickens the other is empty.  I was going to see if I could put the chuckars and chicks together into the same coop.  That didn't work.  They tried to kill each other!  So I put them all back into their cages.  What am I going to do with all these different ages?  I know.  Build some more coops.  Since my raised garden beds are 16' long and the new panels are 16' long I'm going to turn some of the garden beds into runs for the chickens.  That's a project for tomorrow. 

Son and family are came over for the night and they brought their two dogs.  The dogs aren't well trained and our new dog does not like these two.  I don't like them much either.  But son did a lot of heavy work around here so I won't complain about the dogs.  The fencing between the back yard and the garden was old and falling apart.  I continuously had to repair it and 16 foot boards are expensive.  I decided that the fence was coming down.  This included the 1 foot thick posts every 15 feet.  Some were so rotted they fell over with a good kick.  Others need to be pulled out with the tractor.  I'm going to put t-posts in and panels up to surround the garden.  This way I can keep the dogs out if I want whereas before they just went through the wood fence rails. 

We decided it was too hot to walk the brush and debris the 1/4 mile to the back of the property.  We loaded it all in the pickup and drove it to the back.  OK, Girl drove it to the back.  Never mind that she is eleven.  She sat on my lap, sort of.  All I had access to was the brake pedal if I needed to brake.  She did the steering, gas, and only threw everyone out of their seats once when she braked hard.  The road to the back is about 20 feet wide with fencing on both sides.  She kept the truck pretty centered.  She stepped on the gas hard once and it scared her a little.  Otherwise she did well.  It's important to teach the kids how to drive even though they are young.   I'm not worried about the kids "borrowing" the car before they have their license.  Living in the country you never know what type of emergency may come up where she might have to drive.

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