Sheila got out while I was moving the chicks into their Ark. Ton went into high alert.
The first I saw she was munching the dregs of the dropped apples under the Apple Pie Apple tree. As laid back and nonchalant as you please. Lumbering about. Then when I returned with a bucket of feed and a big steering stick, she had wandered off and reappeared on the other side of the garden with her head in a bowl of newly harvested tomatoes that someone had kindly left in the path for her. Munching on the last of them. Red juice glistening on her fat piggy smile. Ton right behind. After I got her back in her field I discovered that she had begun her walk in the shed, ripping open a bag of pig feed and having a good go at eating all of that. So she may have been out a while before I saw her. Luckily she did not go into the corn field, but TonTon would have found her.
The chicks and their Ark were carried out to the field yesterday. Doesn’t Boo look like a Dingo in this shot? Which is unsurprising as there is Dingo in his anscestry. I will never forgive those people for cutting that dogs tail off.
Yesterday the chicks discovered that they could fly to the top of their box gate, which sent Ton on point, right foot raised, head thrust forward, trying to decide how to keep them all in. They were threatening to stage an escape of their own, so out of the stock trailer they came and onto the nice clean green pasture. It just makes you happy to see them on the grass doesn’t it?! With the constant shifting they will be on clean green pasture all the time. They were up and wandering about immediately, tasting the grass. And exploring their new home.
So much better. The Ark is the next generation of housing for summer chickens. I am going to design roosting boxes for the next one and next summer the laying chickens will be out of the Chook House and the Chook House will become winter quarters. I hate cleaning out the Chook House.
Here is the Clatter Box in position. I will describe how I saw it works for my favourite townies: Do you see that thin central metal belt with its metal links, it looks a little like a long watch strap? That runs all the way up to the top and loops around and runs back underneath like the treads on an old tank. Or the belt at the supermarket. Except this one has spikes. Someone places a bale on the base of the rattling belt, the rising spikes nip into the bale and off it goes clattering away to the top and someone else collects it at the top. I stand at the top and just as it is about to drop off I grab it and swing it into the stack. You know how when you leave the escalators in the airport you have a little momentum, sometimes making you hop to slow down, well that works for the bale too so it is slightly tossed off the top. This little bit of speed helps me. All I do is grab it and direct it towards the stack, using considerably less energy.
Getting it into position was a bit of a challenge, it is not a light beast, however it was so exciting to see the bales chug up to the loft I was about ready to throw them back down so I could do it all over again. Luckily The Matriarch (Our John’s Mum) called us in to dinner just in time.
Good morning. I am looking forward to today. I will push the stock trailer into the field and hose it out then park that up again. There is a weedy little rat house field that needs topping. (I should never have resown those fields they have all been taken over by weeds.) Lots of fun stuff to do. The big chook house really does need cleaning out but I might put that off for another day and garden instead. The brasssica’s are all growing for the autumn garden and I will sow some more lettuce seed today. No tomatoes to process though, someone ATE them!! We will be putting Greek Peppers into jars instead.
Have a lovely day. A lovely, lovely day.
your friend, celi