Our Mission

To live a self-sufficient and organic lifestyle for the next half century. With the Grace of God and the power of prayer, we will succeed. Nothing is impossible with His help. It wouldn't be us without laughter and joy at the Cockeyed Homestead.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

We Made a Chicken Tractor

The chicks that we bought a month and a half ago have outgrown their brooder box. There are just so many of them in there. They were running out of space and fighting each other. One even escaped and was fending for himself with the grown hens in the yard. I aptly named him Houdini. At least, I think he's a rooster Buff Orpington. His comb and wattle are beet red and much larger than the rest. According to everything I've read, this is an indicator. But I'll know for sure in a couple of months.

Actually several have escaped their box over the past couple weeks, but they were easily caught. But Houdini stayed on the loose for two days before we caught him. Even now that I've fixed the wire on top of the brooder box, I'll watch him trying to get out. He'll look and analyze every buckle in the wire for an escape route. If nothing, he is persistent.

The chicks still aren't friendly. They are still terrified of us giants. I'm not sure what else I can do besides spending time with them. But my  time is limited between the building projects on going, the garden, and the rabbits.

Speaking of rabbits. My American Chinchilla buck has escaped his cage. He's actually done this several times, but he's so tamed that he's usually easy to catch. Not this time. Kieran is off sowing his wild oats. I haven't seen hide nor hair of him for two days. This is highly unusual and I'm afraid I've lost him for good this time. He's such a big boy, 12 lbs, there are limited places for him to hide.

I noticed the local pet store had some Flemish Giants for sale for $20 a piece. If one is a male, I might just purchase one. I was thinking of purchasing another female before Kieran disappeared. So goes my American Chinchilla purebreds. Colleen is perfectly content in her wooden hutch our neighbor David gave us, and hasn't escaped since we put her in there. She's even become very protective of her home by boxing with me whenever I stick my hand in there.

We've been building the elevated raised beds for the herbs this week. We refenced the new garden area and built a wooden gate 6' tall out of pallets. So far so good. The chickens, New Hampshire Reds, haven't figured out how to get in there yet. I'll be planting the potatoes in one just as soon as I can blow enough leaves and straw into one without the elevated bed part.

Mel has been insisting on turning the hard packed red clay by fork. It came back to bite her in the back this week. She's had a backache since she turned one row. I've been really good and not tell her, "I told you so." But I've really had to bite my tongue hard not to.

I try to be supportive. I'll mention something twice and if she ignores me, then it's on her. Heck, she's an adult and can make up her own mind. She will have to pay her own consequences. Good or bad.

So we will continue on with the garden. So far in the greenhouse we still have cayenne peppers, sunflowers, tomatoes, and strawberries to get in the ground. I'm looking forward to sowing fresh green peas, corn, and beans.Hopefully, this year we'll have a bountiful harvest.

I wanted to buy half a cow for the freezer, but Mel is resistant. She doesn't realize how much beef we actually eat. At a $1.50 a lb for grass fed, no hormone beef, it's a good deal. I'll keep after her on this. Sometimes, I just don't understand her reasoning. Meat in the freezer or canned while cheap is a good thing. Yes, 800 lbs of beef is a lot of beef to buy at one time but it sure beats having to pay grocery store prices a little at a time. I mine paying four times the price or more, and it's commercially grown beef. But then, it's only money, right?

Well that's it for this week on the Cockeyed Homestead. As always...
Y'all have a blessed day.

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