OK, back to what we were talking about, chickens.
The girls are happy. I shut down the garden. I used the tractor to load all the rich black compost into the garden. I then waited until the wind shifted from the north so that I could spread it and throw it without wearing or breathing it. I needed have bothered though. Once the girls figured out the gate was open, they had an all out party.
It has been really fun to sit out and watch them go at the soil in the garden like drug addicts looking for their next fix. I don't know what they are finding to eat, and I don't want to know, but they are having a blast doing it.
Last week we gave them the remnants of a pumpkin pie. Have I ever mentioned how much my girls LOVE pumpkin. Mmmm...pie. I think I'll have to make another this week.
This weekend was spent winterizing. I am spent. I needed a day with NO wind to put up the winter panels on the run. That's like saying you need a pink leprechaun to pop up in front of you when the moon is green, on the fifth Sunday of the month. Remarkably enough, it happened! I had a tiny window to work with of only a couple of hours. Not only did I get the panels up, but just as I was walking the spare panel up to the barn, wooooosh, the southern winds picked up to 20. Talk about timing.
I'm using PVC clear panels on the long sides and a short one down low on the end, just to give them a wind break. The upper third of the wall props open to allow for airflow, while allowing me to shut one or both for snow/rain control. The short end is open and acts as an extension of the long woods coop. The clear panels let the sun shine in and warm the run and in turn, the coop. If I shut the windows in the coop, the run stays ventilated and keeps the coop ventilated and at about 15' warmer than the outside, which will be nice in the dead of winter. I can move air further in and around the coop by simply opening and closing different window sets. It's a cool plan.
I also decided that the white panel I had placed over the upper window during the summer to block the heat was too much for winter. I need the sun's rays to heat those upper windows and add heat and light to the coop, so I replaced it with a clear panel. I secured it in every other location with screws, which will allow me to attach the white panel over top of it in the spring for the hot months, without taking OFF the clear panel.
The back vent hatch that I had to add to this plan earlier this summer also had to be shut for the winter. For that, I simply made a plywood door, added foam insulation to the backside, and attached and secured with simple hinges and a barrel bolt. Next spring I will add an eye and chain so that I can hook it open for the warmer months.
Yesterday the temperature was in the mid 50s and breezy. A perfect day to scalp the yard down for the impending snows (long grass can mold in the spring and cause fungus problems.) Of course I had to mow AROUND the fall blooming neon net plants. Yes, the Snow Fences went up too.
I still need to fork 3000 pounds of hay into the garden. I need good, strong north winds with out rain. This will allow it to fly over the fencing with minimal lifting and throwing. I tried moving it last week with light 15mph south winds. Ever try spitting into the wind to fill a pond. Ya, it was that bad. Every toss, threw it back into my face. So I switched to using the wheel barrow and fork. Nope. It wouldn't stay IN the barrow. Work smarter, not harder. This was twice as much work. So I quit that project in a hurry!
I always have little projects to do; dust cover for some shop tools, DH has radio bits to fix, air duct cleaning appointment, furans cleaning, tree planters, chauffeur to The Boy, Driving lessons for The Boy, etc. But it sure feels good to cross the big ones off that chalkboard list. I'm looking forward to taking a bit of time to myself. (That exists, right?)
I'm a member of wetcanvas.com and every year they have a portrait swap. Artists from all over the world sign up, names and portrait photos are swapped and then every one gets to work for a month and creates their buddy's portrait in whatever medium they normally use. I've missed out for years due to forgetfulness, bad timing, or moves. Not this year! I've signed up. I'm scared to death, but can't wait! I don't normal do portraits, and have only done 6, but I work until I get them right or they don't see the light of day!
Next time... we talk BREAD!