Fowl Update

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Just an update on the new chicks. They are growing fast, but still with momma for a while.

chk_bath

For some reason the Leghorns and Rhode Island Reds like to take their dirt bath next to the Horseradish and walking onions…

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Our First Pullet Egg

Our first pullet egg arrived on July 24th delivered by one of our Leghorns.

So half of our crew have started producing, and we have moved on to the laying mash. So far they are enjoying the free-range experience, dining on bugs, flax seeds, and various veggies.

wtrWe also erected our garden watering crane. Having a round garden called for some contraption that allowed the hose to be free of snagging and ripping out squash and getting caught on other various garden items.

It was constructed with (2) 10′ steel fence posts, slid into a buried larger pole so it will turn, and half-inch pipe toward the back for supports. I added a section of white flex hose to keep the garden hose from kinking. All in all, it works pretty good, and the Missus is happy about not taking out any tomatoes during the watering process.

Summertime

It’s summertime here in the mountains. Not as many projects being completed, but progress is moving along slowly.

We finally solved our Solar charger/inverter circuit breaker tripping every time we plugged in our used RV refrigerator, and/or every time we started the generator to charge the batteries in the evening. The culprit was the 30 amp circuit breaker, we had connected, which was supposed to be a minimum 125 amp fuse. (Obviously we didn’t read the teeny-tiny 4 pt. fine print on the charger/inverter label.) So we sent away for this Gold ANL Fuse holder with a 1 ft. 2 gauge wire and 150A fuse on eBay for $15.

Gold ANL Fuse HolderIt’s a lot bigger than the photo depicts it. But it did the trick, and now we can charge the batteries through the charger/inverter instead of going directly from the generator.

We also rewired the entire system with thicker 6 gauge wire, and a few 2 gauge wires to boot.

Our solar power setupSo we are slowly making progress in the solar power department.

Abby is enjoying the summer… except for the heat and the horse flies. She loves hanging out under the shed and sunning herself on the auxiliary potato bed.

Abby soaking up some summer sunThe chickens are growing fast. They have adjusted to the Montana way of living, and we have finally started to let them free range… and they venture out of the chicken yard with great caution.

fieldtripWe are hoping to see our first eggs coming soon. I predict 7/26. The Missus predicted 7/14… oh, the anticipation…

the chickens have landed

Our eight chickens arrived safely from Utah on Friday, and all of us have been getting used to each other. Needless to say that we (us humans) are on the low end of the learning curve, but hopefully we’ll get the hang of keeping them happy. The first 48 ours have been a challenge, but we established right off the bat with our dog (Abby) that she doesn’t need to take any interest in the chickens, except to protect them from predators. Puss (our cat) on the other-hand, has been fascinated with them to the extent of sitting at their coop door and staring in at them, as they stare out at him. I nipped this pow-wow in the bud, and hopefully Puss will now keep a healthy distance. Here are some shot of the finished coop along with the chickens. And their names are: Carmelita, Chiquita, Dorita, Evita, Juanita, Lolita, Marguerita, and Rosita… Enjoy.

A Fowl Future

We are just four weeks away from getting our chickens from some friends in Utah. Here is a photo of the gang. Five of these little ladies will be making their new nest in Montana.

Which 5 chickens will be making their way to Montana?

Which 5 chickens will be making their way to Montana?

Photos of the coop progress will follow. Also, we’re in the process of getting our fence posts gathered. We need to cut fifty trees, shave and oil them for the quarter-mile of electric fencing we’ll be putting up. So it’ll be a busy Spring, and hopefully more blog posts and pix… we’ll see.

Coop de ville

Construction on the chicken coop is nearly complete. We built the door frame and redesigned the ramp today. instead of having two ramps (one for each Cabana) we gave the chickens a main ramp and a walkway to each Cabana… complete with a safety guard rail in case of accidents.

Here is a shot taken through the front door (framed but not yet hung). All of the wood used for this portion of the project came from two wooden pallets. Blackie is testing it out for us… one of the few times he’s allowed inside.

He’s a shot taken from the roof.

All that remains is finishing up the South Cabana nesting box, adding the roosting perches, back-filling some dirt around the outside and painting the coop Barn Red and White. More photos to follow.

Bonus Image

Besides our Girly-Girl turning out to be a pretty good Pack Rat hunter, she finds the oddest things buried in the surrounding mountainside. If you guessed the leg of a deer… congratulations. (We wouldn’t like to meet the predator who ripped that from the deer’s body.)