If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!
Ever since we started free-ranging the chickens in the barnyard we have had a growing problem with them laying their eggs in the sheep hay mangers. I figured there was no use fighting it, just check in there for eggs – at least we knew where they were! Well, that plan was short-lived, as the farm dog found them and started eating them. We tried to deter him, but the battle was unending and we were losing 4-7 eggs a day.
So we decided if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. We removed the sheep hay mangers, put in a hay rack instead, and then built the chickens a nest box in the sheep stall that is high enough the dog can’t get into it.
So far they seem to like it. We have seen several of them sitting in there happily, although no one has laid an egg in there yet. But they haven’t laid anywhere else in the sheep stall either, and are just laying in their coop. So it is progress.
When I went to get a photo of the new nest for you all I found something peculiar going on. The chickens have decided that they can use their little ladder to get up to the new nest OR they could just use the sheep.
Stella was less than impressed. But she didn’t do anything about it, which was funny. The hen sat there for about 90 seconds deciding the best route up and then jumped onto the ladder from the sheep. So funny!
We have had quite an adventure here the last few days dealing with the new cow/calf situation. We didn’t realize what a huge thing we were asking of the cow by bringing in this baby. I will do an in-depth post in the coming week. But until then, I will tease you with a bit of calf cuteness:
Next weekend we are having the local 4H group out for a day of learning at the farm. They are going to get to see and interact with the animals and get some hands-on experience with farm life. We spent this weekend cleaning up and preparing the farm for all the visitors. We are excited about this fun event!
We have canned 23 quarts of tomatoes now and are done with that. This week we will be getting another 10 lbs or so from our barter and we will be trying our hand at canning salsa. We have never done that before but are excited to see how it turns out.
I am still waiting for peach prices to drop a bit, hopefully this week or next, so I can do our peaches canned in honey that is a family favorite around here. Especially over home-made cottage cheese.
I am hoping to get to some beef stock soon. We saved all the soup bones from our last beef calf just for that purpose. I am anxious to have some in the pantry soon.