Thursday, June 27, 2013

Chickens are Chicken

It's been so wet here with all the rain, that the run that comes directly out from the coop is soggy.  It's a cement slab that I had put sand on then covered it with straw.  I change the straw every month or so but this time it's all gotten so wet.
It started having an odor last month and it was the sand that was the culprit.  I'll never put sand down again.  After shoveling all that sand into the run last Sept., I've shoveled about half of it out.  I probably used the wrong kind of sand, but I had this construction sand left over so that's what went in there.  It's awful and was back breaking to shovel it out because it's wet and HEAVY!  I still have half to do yet!!!!
Today while I had the chickens out in my yard, I took half the wet straw out and replaced it with a bale of wood shavings.  I'm testing to see how that works.
Well, when I went to let the chickens back in the run, they were afraid to go in because it looked different!!!
Honestly!!  I had to actually push them in.  Dottie was the last one and she actually ran across it to get onto the straw!!!!


It's a Jungle Out There

We've had so much rain along with some hot weather and intermittent sun.  
That mixture makes for a JUNGLE!!

My brick path through my front garden is disappearing!  I think I will have to go out there with my hedge trimmers and just take it back!!

This hydrangea is so big that it just flops when it gets flowers on it.  Does anyone know what to do about that?  Can you divide hydrangeas??

Look how cute my little sun flower is.  I raised them from seed but I had intended on having big tall ones but it seems I bought the wrong seed.

My little vegetable garden.  I really like the raised bed!  Next year, I want two more.

This clematis climbs all over everything.  The rain knocked a lot of the blossoms off.

My smoke tree is a smokin'!!!!

I got this cute bird bath at TSC  and put it out yesterday to replace my broken one.

Happy Summer!


Monday, June 24, 2013

A Surprisingly Sweet Connection

Ellie, my cat, never really seemed to get along with Rocky.  At best they tolerated each other.  But as time got shorter for Rocky, Ellie seemed to get closer to him.
Ellie would nap on a blanket in the bathroom that I had put down for Rocky or she would nap on my bed upstairs.
When I brought Rocky's ashes home, I put them on the couch in the library where he always slept.
Since then, that's where Ellie is.  That's where she sleeps and that's where she naps.
Animals are amazing and sensitive beings.  They never cease to amaze me.


I love you Rocky


Friday, June 21, 2013

Welcome Summer!! Finally!

I went to lunch with my friend Pam today.  Good BarBQ at Bullies and lots of great girl talk.
Then on to Buehlers, my favorite grocery store.  Not the big one, I go to the smaller one in town.  I don't like the huge grocery stores.  They wear me out because I'm so unorganized I always have to go back after things I forgot and it's a mile to the other side of the store!!
When I got home, I did some wash then sat out with my chickens.  To me, that is sooooo relaxing!
Call me crazy, you non-chicken people!

Hello Dottie!

This is Pepsi, the friendliest of the barn cats.

Momma-cat (Angel) is a little more shy and keeps her distance.
She's Pepsi's mother.

I guess I removed their dinner bowls too early, they came up on the deck to finish the little bit that was left.  (Thats my last egg of the day I had just collected.)

My tiny garden is growing like crazy.

There's four eggs in my blue bird house.

In celebration of the first day of summer, I made myself a strawberry sunday, complete with whipped cream.



This morning when I looked out of my kitchen window, I saw a bunch of red feathers on the ground.  One of the barn cats must have gotten a cardinal.  That made me sad, but I know that's what they do.  They have always survived in a barn and been out door hunters.  I just hate when they get baby birds or my cardinals!!
A little later, I was sitting in the family room when I heard a bird hit the window.  That happens from time to time because the feeders are back there and there's a big expanse of windows.  I saw the little yellow finch hit and fall onto the bushes underneath.
I went out and picked her up.  She was alive and hadn't broken her neck.  She just seemed dazed and sat in my hand.  Her feet weren't working quit right yet.
I stroked her and talked to her and she was looking at me.  She sat there for almost a half an hour.
She was getting stronger and more alert, then stood up and flew up onto a tree branch.
She seemed fine.
So one bird didn't survive, but one did.
I guess that's life.
(I'm bummed I didn't have a camera handy though!)


The Grandkids and the Peeps

Wednesday is my babysitting day.
My sister was still here to help.
Since I put up my little poultry fencing, it gives the children a little more room to play, however it also gives them more room to chase the chickens.  (a no-no!)
They only gave me one egg Wednesday, I think due to more stress!!!
However, the kids had a time limit inside the "barnyard" and they had fun.

After an active afternoon of chicken rustling and playing in my drive-way stones with shovels and rakes, they settled down and my sister showed them a video on card-making.  Little Jack fell asleep immediately but Ava is really interested in crafty things.  She just finished kindergarden and will be in 1st grade already in the fall!!!


Sunday, June 16, 2013

My New Little Barnyard

Everyday when I'd let my chickens out of their coop into their little run, I wished they had more space.  I extended the little run a couple times but it was still not big enough.  They seemed happy but I dreamed of letting them free range.  If I had a bigger farm, I'd do that but my place is one square acre and surrounded by a golf course.  I know if they were free, no matter how much I'd "tell" them not to go scratch on the green, thats exactly where they'd end up.  That would not make the golf course people very happy!!!!
So, I did the next best thing.
I sent for some poultry net fencing.
164 feet of it.
I made them a nice sized area in my backyard.  There's been no fertilizer or weed killer put on back there in a year because I knew eventually, that's where they'd be!

I got the fencing from Premier fencing and it shipped free.  The whole thing rolled up weighs less than 30 lbs.  There's a video on their sight that shows you exactly how to put it up.  You really just have to roll it out.  The posts are already attached.
Well, my sister was here to help and it didn't exactly go the same as the video which I had watched about 5 times!  In fact we should've taken our own video, it was pretty funny.
But it was all up in less than half and hour and is easily movable and I hope easy to roll back up!!!
My hens seem to love it.  I only put them out there when I'm around as I'm paranoid about hawks and of  course there's the barn cats!  They seemed a little too interested the first day.  I don't know exactly how that would go if they'd get in there.  The hens are bigger than them!
I can electrify this fence but I haven't yet.  A solar battery is over $300!!  We'll see.

If I sit in there with them, they want to be on my lap!  (I'm the mother hen you know  : ))

A very relaxing afternoon with my girls.

Do any of you have this fencing?


Thursday, June 13, 2013

In Memory of My Rocky

One week ago today, I lost my best friend.
Rocky went to Heaven.
Here on earth he was in pain and had stopped eating.  He had lost a third of his body weight and he was getting so weak.
For me, it was the hardest thing I ever did but he passed so gently into a beautiful place while leaning on me.
I know he'll be waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge.

I have a million photos of him.
Here are a few.

Jack, my husband, gave little Rocky to me as a birthday gift 12 years ago.  (Really, he always wanted a bird dog.)  Rocky turned out to be a great pheasant and quail hunter (pointer) and did well in field trials too.
But he was always "my" dog, my baby.

Rocky's first field trial ribbon.

12 years of wonderful companionship.

I love you Rocky.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Flowers are Poppin'

Everything around here blooms at once at this time of year.  I suppose that's because I made my gardens in the early summer and planted what was blooming!!

I have a couple big bushes of these knock-out roses.  They are blooming like crazy.

As are my beautiful corral poppies

Here's the progress of my tiny vegetable garden.  It's only 4 X 8.  Next year I need at least 2 more of these raised beds built!

I marked Martha's tail with some Blu-Coat so I could tell her from Molly.  They look a lot alike!
I took the wire cage from the run but when they went in to roost tonight I think she is sleeping in the nesting box.  Not a good sign!  She better not be going broody AGAIN!!!  I just hope when I open the pop door in the morning, that all five come running out!

I'm linking this post with "Pink Saturday"
at How Sweet the Sound

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