"We must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do. We must waste less. We must do more for ourselves and for each other. It is either that or continue merely to think and talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependant on what is wrong. But that is the addict's excuse, and we know that it will not do."
—Wendell Berry

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Chook pen is done

Well it is done, sort of, nearly, with just a few bits to go, near enough. Sure I still have to build the nesting boxes and only one of the three pens actually has a water drinker installed and I still need to fill the floors in with gravel, but we could wait no longer and so we have moved the chooks in. Rather than avoid much flapping squawking and swearing, the child bride and I staged a covert night time raid on the feed shed and the old chook pen where the chooks roosted for the night. I had wanted to do it in the proper style for all covert night ops - black clothes, cool military webbing, night-vision goggles, tazers and handcuffs but the wife would have none of it. I had to settle for humming the tune from mission impossible as I dazzled each bird in turn with a torch as the missus crept within range and seized the unfortunate fowl before tucking it under my arm, giving me a clout behind the ear and a whispered warning to knock off the bloody noise. Then with each of us fully loaded with a cargo of indignant poultry we transported them to their new home where they will remain incarcerated for the next fortnight to get used to the new pen.
We also rounded up all of the excess ducks and the spare turkey to be fattened on a mash of milk or whey with cracked corn and millrun. In a few weeks time they will "come inside" for dinner.
We have had problems with the big native ravens and currawongs in the past. They are dreadful egg thieves and will attack chicks and ducklings if they can. With that in mind I built these pens to be as raven proof as possible. One idea is the chooks daily access door- a small hatch down low in the door to their pen. I find the ravens dislike having a limited escape route and will usually not go into the pen through such a small door.
Between the rain and the heat the bananas have gone, well, bananas. I counted sixteen bunches this morning. For some reason the local possums and friar birds have not destroyed them so far this year. Last year I had to bag every bunch with old feed bags to try to save something from the local wildlife. Don't get me wrong, I have no objection to sharing as long as we get at least one bunch.
The weather is changing although it feels a little early yet. The nights are beginning to get chilly, blankets on the bed and the days are still warm. We are getting those beautiful blue skies that come with winter. I love this time of year. I am also getting to enjoy it a little more than usual. I am currently nursing a fractured rib due to occupational violence. I know I am a dreadful patient, I find it very hard to just sit about the house and having a sore rib nagging constantly certainly doesn't improve the mood. Oh well.  

1 comment:

  1. Holy sh*t dude! Occupational violence! I'm glad it's no worse. If it wasn't so late I'd be on the phone right now. Hope you are feeling better.

    Have to say I loooooove the chook pen. It has the hallmarks of all your work - utilitarian and well finished.

    Love to all the Cloud Farmers xx