Thursday, April 21, 2016

An hour here and there.

I figured I'd start with Boris and his hens. He dragged himself all the way over to the garden and back to the ramp a couple times yesterday. He's still badly injured, but it doesn't look like he's going to die of his injuries. Even if this is how he lives the rest of his life, he's earned sticking around and us giving him care for the rest of that time instead of us butchering him for meat as we usually would for a non productive animal on our property.

The Critter continues to have a lot of attention to give the chickens, and I think they may be his favorite animals in the world, having replaced the cat. I've been working on teaching him to not bother Boris despite the fact that he's not running away to prevent being petted. Thankfully the Critter has been learning to be respectful of the fact that they don't want to be touched. It's a struggle for him though. As you can see, Boris does drink water and eat with his hens, as long as the food is near him. They have started wandering farther from him so we're going to need to start enforcing confinement. My father as a birthday gift has purchased us an electric fence charger, and the necessary accouterments to go with the poultry netting we already have. We've avoided electric fence 'till now, but I think the time has come to stop losing so many hens.
Even with all the stress, our hens are laying machines it seems. We're looking at 3 - 4 eggs a day from our 4 remaining hens. Their nice orange color is such a contrast from the pale yellow color of store bought eggs. They've been gorging on everything that moves and a lot of things that don't around the yard in addition to their increasingly modest portions of food. Over the winter one can almost forget how much better our eggs are as we've not had them for months! One of the big places they've been getting food is the dug terracing beds that I've been working on at the South East slope in front of the house. Sorry about the bad lighting, I messed up the balance of aperture and f-stop when getting photos in the high sun. Yet another reason I mostly let the Lady of the House do the photography.

 As you may or may not be able to tell, I've been getting a lot done. I can get one of these fully hacked out, rocks removed, and relatively leveled out in the hour between when I get home and when it gets to be time to get the kiddo to bed. Soon I'll be able to come back out after helping put the kid down to get more done, but right now by the time my part of that is done it's too dark to work safely.
Our next big project once the front slope beds are hacked out to the form we want them to be for this year is this south facing slope. Now that I have the mattock I'm going to hack the raspberry bushes to death, build up a bottom retaining wall, and terrace this slope. It's going to be a lot of work, but I can see it being a good area for plants that want serious full sun. Things like tomatoes, and peppers especially since that's one of the hottest areas on the property. We'll see how realistic it is for us to get it done this year before planting season is over. If it is possible though it will drastically increase our useful planting area, which would really excite me. As always, we will keep you updated.


  1. Boris has the heart of a mighty rooster. He's going to be fine.

    1. That's what we hope! He certainly seems to be headed that way.