Monday, September 14, 2015
Finishing Up the Summer and a Runaway Hen
What do we have left now about another week or ten days of Summer? This weekend I finished mowing the last two terraces or the top half of the hay field. The sheep had pretty much eaten all the stuff close to the barn down short enough that I won't get much from the front part but the back part was pretty thick. I am hoping for at least another 100 bales which should be enough with what is already put up to keep the flock fed for Winter.
I must say there isn't anything as pastoral and relaxing as watching a flock of sheep graze a large green pasture of short grass. I don't know what it is but I could spend hours just watching them out in the field once it is cut down.
While I was mowing the hay I made a sharp turn heading North to the back and out of the corner of my eye I caught movement. As I turned to look about 15 yards or so off to my right one of the buff colored hens came running through the field. I would estimate I was making maybe 5 to 7 MPH on the diesel when she passed me like I was standing still. Her little chicken legs were moving like a blur. I have to admit it was a new experience for me to be in the middle of a 15 acre or so field on a tractor and be passed by a speeding chicken.
She got passed me and then made a sharp right turn and headed into the tall weeds along the fence line between the hay field and the pasture. She was a good 100 yards or more away from the barn by the time I spotted her.
Turns out the dog made a raid on the chickens in the barn once again since he knew I was busy on the tractor. He didn't hurt, kill or maim any chickens but I guess he scared the runaway hen so bad she took off for the hills. A couple hours later she came back though as the hens are beginning to figure out they are safe as long as they stay in the barn lot with the sheep.
So no new chicken casualties this week. One of the younger Barred Rock hens laid her first egg today although it didn't have a shell. Since this is her first egg the book tells me it being without a shell isn't uncommon so I am not worried about her yet.
Today also officially opened the 2015-16 wood cutting season. Once again I have more trees available to cut than I know what to do with around the area. Mostly due to the aftermath of the 2012 drought and the Oak disease that is still running rampant through the state. The tree I cut today though was a casualty of the same storm that brought down the tree in my front yard a couple weeks ago. It is mostly green Maple but a little green light wood mixed into all that Oak isn't going to hurt anything and Maple ain't worth making a separate curing pile for anyway. By the time Maple cures it burns so fast in my stove it is almost worthless. Mixing it in green will at least add some slower burning pieces and tame the dried Oak down some. My flu is short enough that I don't worry about creosote build up anyway.
The only other unusual thing besides runaway chickens that happened today was as I was putting away some of my auction purchases. I bought a box of junk for a dollar because in with all the junk was an old chromed grease gun and some teeth that would fit my baler that I wanted. You can never have enough grease guns or baler pickup teeth on a farm. As I was cleaning out the junk in the bottom of the box I found five 10 pack cases of Irish Spring bar soap. Can't beat that for a dollar. I just thought it was odd enough to warrant a mention.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!