responsibility to animals

I had a good time at the Georgia Organics annual conference - its 15th and my 7th.  The Friday workshops and farm visit and the Saturday educational sessions were excellent and the two keynote speakers have national repute and lived up to expectations.  At my breakfast table on Friday morning was an organic livestock farmer.  I asked him a question which was triggered by the assistance I am providing to two ailing chickens:  "What do you do when one of your animals get sick?"  His answer was Read more [...]

not always clear sailing

It is good, I suppose, to be reminded occasionally of how fallible we are. I have, or I should say "had", a pair of Speckled Sussex hens - acquired with the other 3 different pairs as youngsters and, at the time of writing, less than a year old.  For the past few weeks the Speckled Sussex had been acting out of sorts, not running up to the fence to greet me (in the expectation of handouts) as the others did, and preferring to huddle down next to each other.  I thought this was a temporary malaise, Read more [...]

it’s off to work we go

So its off to work we go now the night long roost is done and the fledgling sun brings cheer and early crow we hear the padlock click the stay bolt undone we gather at the coop door and here's our keeper Rick he points out the way a 50 yard jog across a field and up a hill its the fruit trees turn today he is deep into organics no sprays at all munchies abounding for us his soil mechanics he wants the bad bugs gone we're happy to oblige we eat them all both good and Read more [...]

chicken synergies

The chicken are still doing well.  Six hens from my former neighbor (4 hybrids, 1 Ameraucana, 1 ISA brown) and 8 youngsters ( 2 Buff Orpingtons (1 of which is a rooster called "Buffy"), 2 Golden Comets, 2 New Jersey Giants and 2 Speckled Sussex).  No casualties, though one of the hybrids walks with a noticeable limp and is now called "Gimpy".  The two dominant hens are the Ameraucana and the ISA brown, which curiously are also among the smallest.  The two largest hens, the New Jersey Giants, Read more [...]

preparing for winter

Yesterday morning I did not need a weather forecast to know cold was incoming and that it was time to protect some of the plantings.  Of the 12 fruit trees installed earlier this year, the Gold Nugget loquat was the most vulnerable.  The loquat is suited for sub-tropical to mild temperate zones and freezing temperatures will kill the buds if not the tree.  My loquat did not do very well this summer, probably too hot for it, but I will do what I can to help it and first steps was to winterwrap Read more [...]

November tasks

No pics for this post since my camera informed me the battery pack had to be replaced and refused further negotiation. A pleasurable task, this time of year, is collecting the flower seeds. I did my first Cosmos seeding early 2010 and, from the seeds gathered last November and spread this past spring, I enjoyed a whole new expanse of Cosmos. By November 8, as was the case last year, most of the seeds have dried and spread and are easy to grasp in one's hand and release into a shopping bag. Read more [...]

new chicken coop – completed

I completed the chicken coop project over the past weekend. I did all the work myself except for the assistance of a friend who helped me hoist 5 of the 6 windows into place and fit the entrance door. In previous posts I mentioned my progress on its construction. It is built on sloping ground so I started by using my bobcat to build a level pad, half of which was cut into the slope and the other half was infill from soil removed from the slope. Then with my trencher/stump remover attached to the Read more [...]

progress on the coop and a simple replacement fix

Chicken coop The future chicken coop is progressing. I installed the windows and door with the help of a friend. Just outside of Atlanta there is a large employee owned window manufacturer and they custom manufacture windows which are occasionally returned because of wrong specs, finish, customer couldn't pay etc. Nothing actually wrong with the windows. These returned windows are stored separately and are advertised on Craig's list. I bought 6 of these windows (dimensions 4 ft by 4 ft) for Read more [...]

support the little guy!

Today I finished installing the roof of the future coop.  For the rafters I used 2"x6"x12 ft kiln dried wood, not pressure treated; for the purlins I used 2"x4" pressure treated, and for the roofing 2ft x12ft galvanized steel crimp roof panels.  I painted with exterior enamel paint those parts of the rafters which would be exposed to either rain or carpenter bees. I deliberated long on how to transport the 12 ft lengths of wood and roof panels.  My pickup has a 6 ft bed so either Read more [...]

new chicken coop

I am making slow progress with construction of the new chicken coop.  The present coops are well located for summer weather since they are at the bottom of the hill with large trees to the east and west and well screened from the sun, except when it is overhead.  The coops are enclosed by walls on two sides and netting/fencing on two sides, so cold winter winds will easily find the residents.  I considered closing in the remaining sides, but decided an extra coop will be handy in the future and, Read more [...]