I have been brooding chicks in my "old" garage, then moving them to the pasture in portable pens all Spring and Summer, however, this time of year I can't do that. I have been using the big pens I use for breeding for some of the late hatches, but now it is time to move everyone back in to their appropriate spaces and some are already full. So, it is time to start selling more birds and only keeping what I need to get me set for the coming year. The first step though, is catching them. And that is a joy! NOT! Some are easy, like my Buckeyes. I LOVE my Buckeyes. They are the friendliest chickens ever. I have Cochins too, peeps, and these have the Cochins beat hands down. Do you know what I don't like about the Cochins? When they come up to you and you have to walk, you end up stepping on their feet or on the feathers on their feet and they start squawking or they just stay in your way because they can't move! I must say though, I do have one big Blue Cochin rooster who is just a sweetheart. In fact, Daughter just loves him and holds him whenever she goes out to the chicken yard. I don't have a hard time sending off most of my chickens, but he is one who has a permanent home here. He is too tough to try eating, and I doubt anyone would want him for anything else considering most chicken owners are overrun with roosters and cockerels by season's end. I am especially so.
Back to the topic at hand... So, I now need to have some permanent grow-out pens. Thus, the reason for the new shed I am constructing.
Middle wants money to buy guitar stuff and snowboarding gear and so forth. Well, I have the perfect job for my 14-year old son, digging a trench. You see, I have discovered that I need to have a wire barrier around my coops and buildings to keep rodents and other animals from digging their way under said buildings and coops. I have to lay this wire 1 foot down and 2 feet out from the bottom of the building to achieve this goal. Unfortunately, I do not own a "digger" that will mechanically do this for me, so I have to get a shovel and pick ax and start digging. Well, that is where darling Middle comes in. He did a good job of getting started, but I must admit, I am not sure where he is going to go from here. The ground is so hard along the long side of where this is going, I don't know what we are going to use to dig in. I did try the garden tiller, and it worked some, but much of it is just too darned hard!
Alright, so like this building isn't enough digging, we have probably 200-pounds or more of potatoes that still needs to be dug! We are GREAT at growing things, but we really suck at using them up and storing them. We have been talking for years that we need to put in a root cellar to store all these great veggies we grow, but we haven't gotten there yet. It IS on our list of things to do. Thanks to a killing frost this Spring, we don't have to worry about where to put all the apples. Out of 7 trees that were FULL of blossoms (until they all froze) we got TWO apples this year. We didn't even have plums on our American Plum trees that are basically weed trees and produce bushels of fruit normally.
One thing Hubby has gotten really good at growing is garlic. Of course, he grows entirely too much for us to use, even though I put garlic in everything. He planted, I think 1,100 cloves this weekend. I think there is more to be planted too, but he had to go out of town for work all week. Yes, for those of you who didn't know this, garlic is best planted in the fall. It is then harvested in July, and one clove becomes one head of garlic.
Okay, I am out of time to ramble, but I shall return. As the days are getting shorter, I can only do so much outdoor work and I need to fill my 'dark hours' with something ;)