Daily Prompt: Dilemma

The horse season is beginning to wind down, the seasons are beginning to change. On the farm there are several things to be done before winter comes, and I was fortunate enough to get a start on it last week. Spring next year is going to bring a few new challenges, and I have been trying to plan for them.

The past few weeks, hens have been disappearing. This has created a problem for me, and right now things are quiet. Whatever was getting the chickens seems to have moved on at least for today.

This coming spring I have several things, projects, I would like to do and try. I would lke to put out a garden and grow vegetables for my family. I have not tried anything other than tomatoes, and my sister’s plants did about twice as well as mine. I think it will be interesting next spring planting and watching my veggies grow.

Another thing I would like to do is to hatch some chicks out. I saw today a neat idea for a chicken playpen. I may implement something like that, but I have to solve the problem of the chickens disappearing. I have been throwing around the idea of building a larger chicken run or figuring out how to put a lid of sorts on the one I have. Many things to think about and consider  when planning that type of project. The size of my flock and ease of care being priorities.

There are several improvements I hope to make on the farm in the coming months and years. Someday my little farm will be exactly what I hope. Everyday brings me a new day to work toward my goal. Every project involves decisions, and those decisions are choices that I make. The dilemma is in the choices. All the projects I complete, have a common goal, to solve a problem. Spring time will be interesting here and I can not wait for the chance to step up to the challenge. I cant wait to watch little chicks hatch and grow, or vegetables sprout, or even the horses shed and then beginning exercising and training for the season. So many wonderful things to look forward to! Planning and preparation first.

via Daily Prompt: Dilemma

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Found Lil Hen

This afternoon, my neighbor generously helped me fix the leaking waterer in the chicken coop. I am so relieved it now works without a hitch and no leaks! Makes the chicken chores so much easier!

I have been seeing, as all chicken people do, feathers lying around the farm. Especially lately, I am into reusing, recycling, repurposing as much as I possibly can. Which led me to research what other chicken farmers do with these feathers that are lying around, beautiful, colorful, some soft, but I knew the last thing I wanted to do was waste them! Some farmers collect them and have actually sold them to crafters, others collect them, others compost them.

I think I will probably collect a few of the larger more colorful ones for crafting projects, including maybe an Indian doll outfit, which I think would be neat. Another project that I have decided to complete is a chicken father pillow. So I got a gallon size plastic bag this afternoon and started picking up the softer feathers that were lying in the yard. A couple feathers here, led to a couple feathers there, and a couple more there, and a huge pile there….

When I say a huge pile, I was very disheartened. Something was picking my hens off about a week and a half ago, my ten hens have become six and here was a pile of feathers. I went straight to my hens favorite spots and did a quick count. It does not take long to count to six and make sure all the girls were still there. 1,2,3,4,5….. 1,2,3,4,5….. as I guessed a 6th was not to be found. I scoured the barn area where they always hang out for 15 or so minutes without any better luck.

I accepted the fact that my 6 hens became 5 this morning while I was at work. I made the decision to confine the girls to their run tomorrow, to keep whatever has returned from getting anymore. The Guineas are near uncontainable, but with any luck the hens would not be able to fly over the chain link panels. I am still planning on giving it a try tomorow.

This evening as I made my way to my little chicken coop to lock my hens in for the night, I did what I have been doing every night, a quick count of my girls. The one Guinea is stil convinced she is indeed an Americana hen, and she roosts and lays her eggs with them. She was there along with all six of my Americana hens!! Relief swept over me as I shut the door to keep my girls safe tonight. My little hens were all there! God blessed me tonight! I get to enjoy all six of my hens for another glorious day!

Winterizing the Chicken Coop Part I

Winter is just around the corner, even though fall has barely started in Ohio, and I hav started getting ready for th lower temperatures. The weather has been gorgeous this week, prime opportunity for getting things done on the farm. While the weather is still too warm to fully winterize the chicken coop and barn, there are small jobs that are better to get done before the winter sets in.

The chickens had outgrown their small feeder, and I blogged recently about constructing a new one from PVC pipe. My neighbor helped me tweak it to work even better yesterday as one of several projects we worked on.

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My favorite kind of projects are those that are inexpensive to complete and functional. As you can see, I did more research, as the original feeders I blogged about did not hold nearly enough feed, and constucted a total of 6 PVC feeders. I got this idea from a blog that turned up when I searched Google for PVC feeders. The tubes, I made 32″ tall, and used 45 degree fittings to provide the best access to the stored feed. I also used hose clamps to hold the tubes onto the wall. I did not want to invest in end caps for the bottom, and I had scrap wood, so I used the scrap of landscape timber to keep the pressure off the hose clamps. I secrued a scrap piece of 1″ hard lumber, I believe it was oak, for the bottom of the feeders to sit one to keep the feed from spilling out on the floor. It worked mostly…. but I am about efficiency. My neighbor and I brainstormed, and he came over with a hole saw. I measured and marked the placement of the feeder ends on the scrap section that would sit ontop of the 1″ stop. My neighbor patiently drilled out the holes that I had marked so that the feeder ends sit down into the board and actually rest on the original stop. Problem solved! It works wonders and the birds cannot move the feeders to knock feed on the floor!

One thing I noticed about these feeders, is that the layer crumbles that I purchased, tend to draw moisture and stick to the PVC pipe. It was easily knocked loose, or brused back down the tube by my hand, but that is not going to be efficient…. so I plan to possibly try the pelleted layer feed. It is only $1 more per 50 pound bag, we will see how it does the next week or so. I am also doing research on making my own chicken feed, there is a lot to research! Stay tuned for more projects and more information!

Daily Prompt: Elegant

As the seasons begin to change here in southern Ohio, I have been doing some thinking. Ok, not just some, a lot of thinking. I am going to be blogging more! Feedback from my readers is impotant to me so feel free to comment away!

A semi continual projec that I have been working on, off and on for quite a while, is writing. I am have always enjoyed creative writing. In high school, I remember other students dreading when I had the opportunity to read my essays etc because they knew it was going to take several minutes. I never let that deter me.

My imagination often runs wild, and I feel accomplished when my reader can see the place, hear the sounds, feel the emotion etc in the moments I create.  Over the years I have worked at perfecting it and making my writing better. I am far from perfect, but I am big on self improvement and  progress is progress.

How all of this ties into Elegant is more of Elegance in my opinion. I enjoy being a conservative classy type of person, and I feel that Elegance goes hand in hand with it. In today`s culture many of those traits are considered old fashioned or outdated. I however, value them tremendously. Writing is an art, and elegance is good description when it comes to art and art work. If I can use my words elegantly than I can ideally create the best picture possible in your mind.

Journally has been one of my favorite things for a long time, and even though you can not see my anxiety that I have batteled for many years, journaling has helped me cope. Writing has been a way for me to express myself over the years, and  a journal has been the perfect place to lock up my thoughts and feelings. It has helped my grow my writing skills and become more efficient as clearly sharing my thoughts and ideas.

There is a point that you can use too many words, and loose the meaning of your message. That is never my goal, and when I first started writing, it may have been why my classmates dreaded my essays, I probably did it more than I realized. I am eager to continue to grow and exercise my writing skills! Stay tuned to monitor the progress!

via Daily Prompt: Elegant

Labor day on the Farm

After a busy weekend, I enoyed talking a slow morning. The goal for today was to get the chicken coop ready for winer, and while progress was made, there is still more to do. Work on the farm is never done, but it is nice to know that a job is finished!

Got up this morning to put the chickens out, and relized a few hens were missing, and I had 2 more that were not themselves. Sadly, a coon visited Saturday evening and while one has a slight battle scar, she fared better than about 3 others who were no match for the coon. No sign of the unwanted visitor since Saturday though.

Since the chicks had outgrown their feeder, I made one out of PVD pipe last week.  However, it did not hold enough feed, so I chose to expand.

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2 feeders became 6! My initial thought was to put an elbow on the bottom of the PVC pipe, but when I tried it, the elbow was at the wrong angle. The feed would have dropped directly onto the floor. So I pulled up a pin that I saved on Pinterist with a different idea. This idea was not my own, just to clarify.

received_1686884148299448The ends of the feeders are open, so my neighbor helped me screw the board in place to keep the feed and corn from falling through the bottom. My neighbor cut the pipes to length, and then I put the fittings on. He installed the hose clamps to hold them in place and then I could not wait to see how they worked! The board did the trick and the feeders work great! These are so much easier than the first feeders that we put together.

If I had it all to do over again, I would make the feeders like this from the start. They went together a lot easier than the others that I made last week. This design also functions better, the other design popped apart on its own once. I chose not to use PVC cement so that I can take it apart to clean if necessary.

I am excited to see how the chickens like it over the next few days! I am hopeful that they adjust easily and that there is not nearly the mess to clean up from them constantly kicking over the feeder and throwing their feed all over the place.

There are stil a few chicken projects in the works!