Saturday, November 1, 2008

The great garden clean up of 2008

During the garden clean up today we got a couple of the gardens cleaned out and tilled to ready them for the spring planting. We can go out to the garden now an see that we actually accomplished something today! Isn't that a good feeling? We burned a lot of weeds and a big pile of brush. We don't put any weed killers on our garden so to combat the weeds in the summer we try to burn as many of the weed seeds as possible in the fall. None of us like to weed (who does?) and our gardens sadly show it in the summer. We also did some moving around of animals in the barn. Our buck, Klaus, got a new, taller, reinforced house. He has been living in the winter chicken coop. When the girls are in heat he would jump over the wall of his house, which was a good four feet tall, to woo them. Bucks can be very unpredictable when they are in rut so we stay out of his way. Elizabeth, Cecelia and Veronica got a brand new house. They didn't care for being moved at first but then they saw their food and made themselves right at home. Once the goats were rearranged we brought in the rest of the chickens for the winter, half had been moved in a few weeks ago. The easiest way to catch a chicken is to do it in the dark at night because they are calm and roosting. Then sneak up on them like a sly, hungry fox in the night. There are slat doors in the sides of the coop that open up so we just pull them out. Even though the one being pulled out will squawk, the others just continue to sit there like such a fate would never befall them.We carried them one or two at a time back to the barn. Maybe all that walking back and forth from the coop to the barn wore off a couple of those Halloween candy bars we haven't been able to leave alone today. Since the outside chickens had been separted from the ones we move in earlier for a few weeks, we need to keep them apart at first so they don't fight. Tonight, after the lights are turned out, we will take out the bottom board between the two sides and in the morning when it gets light out they won't know who is who. Chickens aren't known for their brains! Sometimes, usually in the spring, a rooster will start to attack us for who knows what reason. Last year, for the first time, we didn't have an attack rooster thankfully! What they attack with is spurs on the back of their legs. The red arrows are pointing to them. The spurs get really long as they get older and are very sharp and hard, almost like a bone. It isn't to bad, although it does still hurt, when you get attacked wearing long pants. In the summer, when we have shorts on, if the rooster attacks they will draw blood. After they become a blood drawing, attack rooster they are introduced to the soup pot.

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