August 27, 2013
We have been busy, as usual, this week.
- Expanding the garden
- Fall planting
- Cleaning out the coop
- Expanding the run
- Dealing with chicken death
Expanding the Garden
Our church meets in an elementary school. Right before school starts, the cafeteria is getting food in, the teachers are unpacking boxes…there is a ton of cardboard to be had. So we load up all the cardboard we can and expand the garden every fall.
Before:After:Sometime this fall, winter, or spring…whenever I get around to it…I’ll go to the local horse stables and cover this whole area with horse manure. Depending on when I am able to get the manure down, I may plant in it spring 2015.
I planted some more broccoli, cabbage, and lettuce this week. It is supposedly too late to plant but I am continuing to plant just to see… I am using old seed so it is only costing me time and labor at this point. This used to be the spaghetti squash patch. We moved the chicken tractor over it and I planted cabbage on the outsides and broccoli in the two middle rows.
- The tractor can be covered to protect the brassicas from cabbage moths/butterflies
- It can be covered in plastic to extend the season
- Hopefully, I can use this area to get a jump start on spring/summer crops
Cleaning Out the Coop
We are in the process of collecting wood shavings from a local mill so we can clean out the coop completely and cover as much of the garden as possible with that wonderful compost.
Expanding the Run
We got rid of the chicken tunnels for the time being. They are impossible to mow around and I was tired of stepping over them 😛 We instead expanded the run. It now goes from the coop to the house (our entire side yard).
Dealing with Chicken Death
We think two of our pullets got into something (but don’t know what) when we expanded the run because they both died. These are both chicks that were hatched at the homestead. One was 12 weeks old and the other was just about egg-laying age. She was gorgeous. It was saddest to lose her. Also, because she was so big, it took her longer to die. After a couple of days of no eating, drinking, or getting up, my husband had to just break her neck 😦
Of course, we have no clue what exactly happened to them. They both had droopy wings and were tripping over themselves. Towards the end, they would have seizures. After they died, my husband went around picking up many of the chickens, inspecting them, so we could tell if any of the rest of them were losing weight or looking ill. Everyone looks fine (as fine as moulting birds can look) so far.
One curious thing happened though. When the chickens started moulting, our rooster stopped crowing…Is that normal? He is not even a year old so he is not moulting…any thoughts?
I am linking up with Green Thumb Thursdays to see how others are prepping their fall/winter gardens and to see if others have insight on my chicken deaths.