Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Happy Spring! Time for cleaning and snow.

Happy Spring! As you probably know there's been some significant snow fall up here. It was quite a transition for us since it was warm and rainy on Saturday followed suddenly by snow on both Sunday and a Monday.

As you can see it was quite the difference on Saturday with Boris grouchy about the rain instead of sulking because of the snow. Saturday we spent with help from a couple of Patreon patrons and long time readers doing yard clean up, and pressure washing just about anything we could without running the well out of water. As you all know I tend to be a do it by hand kinda guy as much as possible, but I have been converted on pressure washing. I've never had quite such an easy time cleaning up some neglected cleaning both on the deck, and on our rabbit hutches. Having not done the thorough fall clean out meant that we had a lot to do, but fortunately Michelle Chandler was able to loan us her pressure washer, and make this a much more productive day.
This shot shows nicely that it not only gets things clean, it cleans off weathering on the wood which I hadn't expected. Pressure washing definitely takes a bit of getting used to, and you the operator are going to get wet. It also slightly chews up edges of wood if you aren't careful about how you use it, but that's something that can be mostly avoided. Either way, it's a lot more efficient than trying to scrub off wire with a brush. The note that I would make is that if there's any build up, you really want to as thoroughly remove any frozen manure and pee piles that rabbits love to make where ever there's hair on the wire. If you don't there's some really smelly splash back. I took a shower after power washing because of this particular learning experience. It was for the good of everyone that I was going to be around.
One of the things that's good to point out with this kind of cleaning day is just how valuable chickens are around a homestead. A constant in life is flies, but they're also a problem. The fewer flies you have around the better obviously, and chickens are one of the best things for that. In cleaning out the manure pads on the wire and shelves that have formed over the winter, we found maggots. Probably flies that were born and laid their eggs during some of the very mild times of winter. The chickens were thrilled to have the treat, which is exactly what we want them around for. Fewer flies for the rest of spring! We also got to see some interesting group behavior with the chickens around this cleanup project. Boris our rooster is interesting to watch with his hens. He will locate a food source, eat a bit before calling the hens over. When they're there he mostly watches, and only eats a bit of it while mostly keeping his eyes out while their heads are down. Definitely his job, but it's interesting to watch. We'll see if Thursday still has snow or not!

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