Saturday, November 6, 2010

Current Events

We've been very busy lately, dealing with the curves life throws at us.  Autumn has hit us with full force.  Winter is before us, Thanksgiving will soon be here.  And then Christmas.  Just yesterday it seems I was in skirts and sandals, enjoying the summertime... What happened?

Squirrel eating a walnut

  We are planning a trip out to Oregon possibly next week to deal with some family issues.  We cannot take the amount of time we wanted to take out there, it's going to be a rushed trip just to do what needs to be accomplished.  I hate vacations like that.  I don't get alot of time away from work, so any time away I consider a vacation.  The week after next I will be away for work.  Then the following week is Thanksgiving!  Time flies!

The chicken pen fencing from last year when we were building the pen

But I figured I'd quickly post about what's been going on lately with us... Let's see, where to begin... A year ago we put up the chicken fence, fencing in a large area for the chickens to wander, but still keeping them safe from foxes and raccoons. But we never made a ceiling for it. Quickly we learned that raccoons can easily climb a fence to get to chicken food. So the chicken food had to be brought in every night. And every night we still had to go out and close the little chicken door to keep the coons out of the coop at night. And we'd inventory the chickens at that time, too, as they roosted.

So, this past week Randy finished the chicken fence by adding a fence ceiling to it.  Now no predators can come in, and the chickens can't get out, either.  This means we don't need to bring in the chicken feeder at night, and we don't have to go out every evening and every morning to close and open the little chicken door.  Wow, now maybe we can sleep in past dawn!!!

The guineas hate the chicken pen ceiling.  Now they cannot fly in and out of the chicken pen.  They are totally separated from the chickens.  I sometimes bring the chicken feeder out of the pen in the evenings still for them.  They love to eat chicken food.  I just have to put it away before dark to keep the critters out of it.  We still give the guineas treats of cracked corn, which they love.  They travel all over eating bugs and grasses.  I have noticed a marked improvement in the number of bugs on the property since they've started free-ranging.  I have not had any ticks on me at all recently after walking through the fields or in the woods near our house.  Good job, guineas!  But I do worry about the guineas being out in the cold all the time... 


We've started seriously using our kitchen woodstove as the temps have dropped down into the 30's and 40's here in MD. We have oil heat for the house, but try to keep the thermostat turned down to save on the oil costs. The woostove has a blower and it really helps to heat the downstairs. Randy's been keeping wood cut and hauling it up to the porch so it's handy to grab for the stove. Luckily we have a never-ending supply of trees for firewood!

Shadow and Jackie

I'll guess I'll close this post with a picture of our two cats, Shadow and Jack. It's not the best picture, but I figured I'd post it anyway, as I don't post many pictures of the cats. They are the best of friends. Here they are playing their favorite game of "hand". First one of them puts a hand on the other. Then it becomes a grab, then a "hug". They continually chase each other through the house tackling each other, playing like kittens, even though they both are several years old.

Happy Autumn!


Verde Farm said...

Coons are just too darn smart. Glad you get a bit more sleep now :) The guineas are the best aren' they? We have seen a big drop in our ticks and bugs too--that is a real plus! Your cats are adorable!

Chai Chai said...

We basically have the same blogs going on, LOL. We are using our wood stove to save on fuel oil costs, guineas free ranging and newly separated from the chickens, two cats playing all over the house - amazing. Now all you need to do is get a few goats and sheep.....

Hope you have a good trip and can't wait to see you back blogging again.

Farm Girl said...

I have always loved watching our cats play that game too. I hope you have a lovely journey coming all the way across the United States on your journey. I did a trip to Texas last year right before Thanksgiving. Whew it is a job. I hope the weather is good for you.
I am amazed that the guineas have eaten all of the ticks. I think that would make them worth their weight in gold.
It is nice getting caught up on your chores.

Terry said...

You'll enjoy having a ceiling on the chicken pen.

Gail said...

A top is a must on our chicken house. We have lots of hawks...very brave ones.

Knatolee said...

We just have flimsy netting over our chicken run and I am sure it will collapse under the weight of snow this winter, so we need to figure out what to put across it and how to brace it so it doesn't collapse!

Poor guineas!

I can't believe summer is gone and winter is looking me in the face...time flies too fast.

Robin said...

Oregon eh? Well I suppose it will rain like it always does in the fall here. Bleck. I hope all your family business goes well. We have our wood stove going too. I love warm snug nights. :)