Homestead Update

Summer is in full swing at Laughing Bird Farm. It’s hot as blazes and the garden is growing like hotcakes. We finally have tomatoes coming on. Yay! Unfortunately (or fortunately, if it keeps up into July), while the rain has slowed down, it’s still been raining enough to delay all the hot weather crops such as tomatoes. It’s the end of June and the greens haven’t even bolted yet.

We’ve finally been making a little bit of progress on the homestead. We started cleaning out from behind the garage so we could put up the chicken run. I’ll have pictures of that in a few days, but here’s a pic of some of the junk our predecessor left back there:

junk

This isn’t quite half of it and doesn’t include the rusty steel I-beams (who keeps I-beams behind a garage?). Kelly managed to move those on her own yesterday while I was away, with the help of our trusty old Radio Flyer wagon.

The chicks are growing fast. They’ve lost the last of their baby fluff and look like small chickens now. I started taking them outside the week before last in a dog crate to protect them. Here’s what it looked like then.

chicks

I’m sorry to say it didn’t work, and earlier this week a hawk attacked them through the bars. I saw it out the kitchen window and ran out there, but not in time to prevent one hen from being killed outright and another from being injured so bad we didn’t think she was going to make. She’s made a full recovery, however.

Our roosters did their job, too! By the time I got to the crate, they had herded all the remaining hens to the opposite side and had put themselves between the flock and the hawk. You should have seen them -all puffed up, wings flapping, ready to die to defend their hens. The hawk flew off as I got to the crate, of course.

The chicks came in for the rest of the day while I figured out what to do. Here’s the solution I came up with.

chicks2

The table goes over the crate, the bird netting is stretched out around the whole setup, and the fence post pounder holds the bird netting in place. It works so well it’s almost people proof as well as hawk proof.

More to come in the next posts.

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