Saturday, May 2, 2009

April 13, 2009 ~ Trimming the Rooster and Other Party Games


Another list of things to do on the farm today. We started it out by taking a walk to check on things.

Here is the tool shed. Several years ago I bought the fabric under the stones, 4 inches of pebble, and planted these evergreens. They are finally really taking off. They had more water last year and that made them much happier.

The strawberries are beginning to come out of hibernation. We planted one June bearer, and three types of ever bearers, or daylight neutrals. Looks like only 3 or so of nearly 200 are not going to make it.

Here is our blackberry row. A few weeks ago we went down and tied up the straying canes and long vines, as well as putting a shovel full of horse biscuits on each one. They've not had a lot of care in the last few years, so it remains to be seen how well they'll do this year.

Here are the bush cherries. I've got two kinds here. One is Nanking, and the other is... I can't remember. LOL But the ones on the far side have already bloomed and have small fruits set. You can see the ever-widening sink holes in the foreground, just beyond part of the vineyard.

I built this kiwi arbor out of our cedar trees for posts, then lumber for the tops and vinyl lath for the sides. It's not going to last long. I was rather hoping the kiwi vines would grow into it, become unified and strengthen the structure. It's possible I was deluding myself. However, 4 of 6 kiwi vines did not make it and I have yet to grow any of those luscious little fruits. The Hardy Kiwi is small and smooth, sweet and easy to pocket or pop into your mouth. Different than the fuzzy, tropical kiwis you see in the grocery store. I am looking forward to success with this fruit one day.

We have to catch the rooster who is brutalizing the hens. Only three hens for him, and that's too much rooster for such a small flock. So we are going to trim his wing and shoo him out of the barnyard until the hens get some feathers back and we hopefully have more to him to divvy up his attention on. Trimming the first few feather tips from one wing (It doesn't hurt, it's like hair.) will cause the bird to fly in circles, rather than expertly directing himself over the fence.

To that end, we have fashioned a chicken catcher. A hanger, bent to catch the rooster's foot as he runs past. Sometimes it works, and sometimes you just have to dive for them. We ended up diving on top of a large cone of chicken wire fencing we laid in the corner. He is a smart rooster.

Also, while we are down there, we will need to pick up the battery underneath the bin and recharge it. The electric fence charger is on the post.

Turn off the charger, undo the negative first, then the positive.

Got him! He's a fine looking specimen! The bird's not bad either. ;)

The wing before trimming...

And after...


Our round pen for training the horses, needed repair so badly that it was no longer usable and we had to take the sides down, leaving only the posts. We hadn't had a lot of time for training lately, but it was nice to have.


Bless you!


Tree house is still looking pretty good.


And after a morning of work, we set off for an afternoon of birthday party and game night with friends.

A well balanced day.



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