Yes – I’m very excited! I have finally managed to get Cam to make a start on our new chook pen. the existing one, as you can see below, leaves a lot to be desired. The old tank is one I rolled to this location from the other side of the garden – not an easy task. That was 7 years ago, so our chooks have been very patient. The tank has slowly deteriorated, and is not terribly weather proof any more.
Our existing chookpen – the tall drum is a self feeder, and shorter one has top up wheat that we add to the pellets we buy. Mr Rooster can be seen here stutting his stuff, with the girls!
I have had a plan in my head for the new one, so I got it down on paper, so Cam could start working on it. So far we have the front and back walls welded up, and, surprisingly, it hasn’t taken as long as I thought it would! Its going to have three compartments. A main chook area, and then a smaller one that will be for clucky chooks, or for raising chickens in, and then the bit on the end will actually be a garden shed, because the completed shed and pen will be next to the vegie garden. Currently all my gardening tools are just leaning up against the fence of the vegie garden or sitting in a tray on the ground! The plan is to clad the frame three quarters of the way up with corrugated iron, and fill the top gap with chicken wire. Finished photos will follow – don’t hold your breath!
Here’s the back wall of the new shed. You can see the three divisions, the closest one (and widest section) being for the main chooks area, the middle section being for clucky chooks and the far section will be the storage shed. The steel half way line will be where the nesting boxes will be.
September gave us a glimpse at some sunny spring weather, and I got all excited and enthused about the vegie garden. But since then, October has not stopped blowing – unbelievable wind!! It was looking very dry too, but then yesterday we had 20mm, so feeling optimistic again.
Around the Farm
All our 12 cows have calved now. 10 calved with no probs at all, and those 10 calves are running around happily with their mums in the paddock. Unfortunately one of the cows, a young cow having her first calf, had lots of trouble calving and we didn’t find her in time and the calf didn’t make it. Another calf was abandoned by her mum, and so the cow that lost her calf has learnt to love the abandoned calf which is so nice! I love a happy ending. Jasmine named the abandoned calf Hamish (after her cousin!!) and because we were feeding him for a couple of days before his new mum adopted him, he is still quite relaxed around us.
In The Garden
After my initial burst of energy in the vegie garden, not much has happened lately. I’ve planted some beans and peas, as well as three tomato plants under a plastic tunnel, to protect them from frosts. I’ve also, finally, dug the last of the carrots. They were quite big, not yet woody but still a bit tough and not very sweet anymore, I have just peeled them, sliced them and frozen them. They’ll be perfect for adding to caseroles or into the slow cooker.
The strawberries are looking very healthy, not quite ready for picking yet though. It will be a challenge to get to them before the stumpy tail lizards do! The only other productive plants at the moment are the globe artichokes. They are quite prolific, but I am yet to find a good way to cook them. If anyone has any great recipes, please let me know in the comments below!