Thursday, September 6, 2012

New chicken coop

New pullets
After weeks of rain the weather finally cooperated in August and since then we've worked 12-hour days outdoors, fixing the roof on our barn, partitioning a section for chickens off the lean-to, putting up 200+ feet of new board and wire fence and pulling out weeds that more than thrived in the cool weather.
Fence in progress behind shipping building

New coop inside barn.

The perimeter of the new backyard fence was laid with landscape fabric under a 2 foot section of 1/2 inch hardware cloth stapled to the bottom rail.  This will be covered with crushed rock for a reasonably weed free area that will discourage digging predators and give us a "clean" fence line for walking without resorting to spraying herbicide.  The small flock of chickens will help keep the slugs and snails from munching the veggie garden, plus keep the grass down around the stored irrigation pipe behind the building.  Mice tend to stuff seeds and dried grass in the pipes over winter, blocking the water flow to the sprinklers, even when "flushed out" before use.

Outdoor run off barn

It probably would have been much easier to "start from scratch" and build a free-standing coop outside without all the angles, but the lily bulb processing barn has electricity and we are in and out everyday.

Lily Bulb Harvest is just around the corner and the test bulbs dug the past week have been a surprise - because of the cool weather, many of the projected Exhibition-size bulbs uploaded in early summer have divided and we cut off sales on those right away, so as to not disappoint customers.  We'll fill the earliest received orders on the over sized bulbs electronically to see if there are any left after harvest, then any that might still be available will be uploaded on the website.

The most recent cover crop was dug into the ground in August for next spring's planting.  Literally, tons of biomass was added to this section of field over the last two years making the soil wonderfully soft and crumbly.

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