The Bean Counter of the farm is taking some time off to help me get the spring work of planting, chicken processing, brooder construction and chick arrival, taken care of. Aaron will be coming home on Monday to cave-dwell until Summer semester starts at CSU. He sounded tired so I’m sure the farm quiet will be a welcome respite.
This weekend we got the initial targeted tasks completed. All of the plants in the downstairs seedling area are now in the greenhouse. As usual, the tomatoes look a little bedraggled, but they always snap back. We gave them all some Epsom Salts to green them back up. That, along with the real sunshine instead of artificial light, will have them on their way shortly. We are being thankful for the Greenhouse, because, of course, now they’ve posted a frost advisory for tonight. Figures, something else to worry over.
I have been fussing over how best to set up a more permanent way to brood out our birds. Putting them in the basement is fine, but they get smelly and very dusty. I have some pretty pricey telescope equipment down there and I always worry about the dust. We came to the conclusion that adapting some space in the barn would be a good idea. We brood them in large cattle watering tanks that are just shy of six feet across. They will hold a lot of birds, but, with using them in the barn, the issue to solve was how to keep the goats and the possible cat from getting to them.
We needed to subdivide the barn a bit more for kidding stalls for when the goats deliver and that spawned the brooder idea. We used goat kidding panels to square off two sections that now house the water tanks. That will keep the goats out and will work as stalls when they deliver just by rolling the tanks out of the way. Chicken wire covers, secured with clamps will solve the cat issues. Voila! Outdoor brooders! No more farm creatures indoors.
But alas, as the planets have always aligned for me, all was not unicorns farting rainbows. I have been fighting off the demons out here for 6 years and Thursday was no exception. All I did was step up onto the tractor. “POP!” Said my right knee. “Cuss!” said I to the demon gods – “Your Mother’s Are All Truckers!!” Yep. Something ain’t right. I had that knee scoped back around 2003 because I tore the meniscus backpacking a bunch of gear up to our 12,500 foot hunting base camp in Vail. Looks and feels like I did it again. More doctors, probably another scope, more PT. Crap. The retreat is over. It was supposed to translate into lots of walking and focusing. Guess I’ll be focusing on being able to get back to walking! Ironic.
But the barn looks great! The newest turkeys will go out to the new grow out coop next weekend. We have 20 Jersey Giant chicks arriving that will make up our broiler breeding stock and will go into one of the new brooders, and the turkey eggs in the incubator should start hatching around Memorial Day weekend.
So not being one to be deterred, all is underway! The planting starts this coming week and the shade cloth for the outdoor beds will arrive around the end of the month. Other than the knee, this year is off to a much better start than last. Stay tuned!
Some pictures from inside the barn. Just cuz we think it’s cool. I’m freezing my knee with this ice pack. Toodles.