I am SO over the turkey's. They are big and loud.They eat a ton of feed.They have disrupted our mellow little flock of hens.And as for their eggs,over those too,they are just really big eggs.Oh and getting a broody turkey hen off the nest of eggs is more intimidating than a broody chicken hen.
Turkey's belong on a full blown farm not my suburban homestead.They belong on my dinner table, brined and smoked to tender goodness.Soon my not so dear darlings,soon you will be named Dinner and Sandwiches.
Chance and I have been slowly but surly working on bringing Hrafinstaad back into shape.We were lazy or was it busy last fall and did not put the garden beds to rest properly,so much pulling of weeds and digging has happened.
We have finally reached the blank slate stage we want things to be at.This summer's plan is to actually landscape our back yard into a jumble of "landscaping" and food forest.Over the years we have left the back as an open area for kids to play and the one end as our big garden area.But now that the boys are grown it is time to make some changes.
Hopefully after the coming weekend the chickens will be unhappy at being in their coop and run full time until the garden is up and growing.I have a stack of seed packets to plant and weather permitting that will be Saturday's project.
I really don't like having to keep the chickens penned up full time.I have my own flock so we get eggs from chickens living a good and healthy chicken life.But every year when we first plant the garden it is necessary to do so.
Once the garden is up we try to go out an hour before dark to let the hens roam while we work in the garden.This small amount of time gives them a break from the run and since the sun is setting it is easier to get the hens back into the coop.We also get our work done and we can keep an eye on where those birds think they are going to eat from.
I recently looked through this book all about how to garden with free ranging chickens in mind.I did not buy said book because it was full of information I already mostly had from a free class I had taken a couple of years ago.The main ideas of the book are to plant things the chickens won't eat and to fence areas off you don't want the chickens in.
I want to plant food,food chickens will eat so that was a mute point for us.
And fencing....sometimes it works but not when you have a crafty flock like ours.Recently 3 of our hens have been doing their best to escape the chicken run.I think this is due to the turkeys.Getting rid of the turkey's should help. We finally figured out how the chickens are getting out and have a plan to fix it,one large roll of bird netting so they can't reach their landing spot.
****One bit I did not find in the book but learned in the class I went to is to plant either a few things here and there or in one area with the chickens in mind.The idea is maybe they would just eat those plants and not all of the rest.I did this sort of,I planted some Comfrey just for the chickens.They love it,mow it down and it quickly regrows.But I can not say that it keeps them away from everything else.
I guess we are looking for a balance point between happy us and happy chickens.We will find it.It may have comical moments because that is life with chickens in the yard.It could be frustrating too because chickens are smart and sneaky.But no matter what we will learn something from it.
And speaking of books, I am looking for a homesteading related book with good information in it that is a couple of levels (or more) above beginner.I keep finding books filled with information we already have or have disregarded and are so basic I want to pull my hair out.Or what about another blog or website? Any ideas or thoughts people?
Finally welcome to my newer followers.Absent minded me just noticed that I have 3-4 new folks on my followers list.