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Friday, May 13, 2011

Mucking-out day

A real farm day at last! Risa built a pen for the new chicks inside the barn, on the floor underneath the entire row of nesting boxes, of hardware cloth. It sticks out in a "L" shape at the end, with a chicken wire lid, for handling food and water and changing light bulbs if necessary. The chicks like it because there is real dirt with real bugs in it under the new straw.

Then she went out and scythed all the comfrey and spread it over the grass clippings on the garden beds. From the coverage that resulted, she thinks she's got about 1/3 the comfrey plants she needs. Where, oh where to put them?

Here's the same scene later in the day. Last Son mucked out the barn and spread the bedding over the comfrey, and on other beds as well.. He did a good job -- about twelve wheelbarrow loads. Risa was mowing the chicken moat and poultry pastures meanwhile, and Beloved worked around the barn changing water and updating feed and such.

Here's the renewed chicken moat, with plenty of bird action. The grass clippings were placed inside the wire enclosures of the young fruit trees. Risa has noticed that the chickens will not touch grass clippings that are thrown to them, but will peck and scratch at it endlessly if it's used to mulch trees. Hence the wire cages. 

Susannah, the goose at far right, is in laying mode and was distressed to find the barn mucked out. We spread straw in her shelter in the outside pen and she stood looking at it, miffed, for a good fifteen minutes before settling in. Sylvester, her consort, shrieked at her to get on with it -- as if he were anxious about his immortality.


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