Eggmobile #1: It’s hip to be square…

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… and even hipper to be cubed!  Our laying flock now has a 6′ x 6′ x 6′ eggmobile so they can be out on pasture and get fresh grass.

Our plan is to rotate them on the pasture, inside electric fence, like Joel Salatin does.  In fact, the reason the eggmobile has a flat roof is because of Joel Salatin.  We heard him say that having a flat roof makes easier construction, and you are never really level enough to cause an issue for the roof in the rain; you’re always at an angle on pasture.  Having a flat roof certainly saved us a lot of construction time!

Our eggmobile is not as big as Joel Salatin’s because we don’t have a tractor to move it.  We wanted the largest possible moveable housing for them that I could still move by myself.  And I can… with a towing strap!  Makes me feel like a donkey, but it gets the job done. :)

The wheels got a bit wonky in the move from our construction area to the pasture because we used scrap wood for them.  We will reinforce that area with pressure treated lumber to make it strong.

The hens really seem to like the new eggmobile.  We left them locked in the structure one day (with food and water), so that they would learn where to sleep and lay eggs (there are 10 nesting boxes with access from the outside).  After we let them out the following day, we weren’t sure if they’d all know where to go to bed that night, but they were all snuggled in on the roosting bars, waiting for us to lock them in!

They only take up one roosting bar, and part of another one, out of five roosting bars total.  The structure was designed for 50 hens total.  We currently have 18, but will fill out the flock this year and have plans for eggmobile #2.  Next step… turkey mobile!

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New roommate moving in

Greer told me a cute story about washing dishes yesterday and having a robin listen to him whistle from the top of the mushroom log.  This morning while making breakfast, I discovered the reason…

2015_03_15_movingin1This little guy/gal is building a nest, right on our kitchen windowsill.  Greer taped some paper there to give it confidence and privacy since it seemed so determined!  It looks like there will be eggs soon.
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New poultry waterers

2015_03_12_newwatererBarney is modeling our new poultry waterers.  They hold 5 gallons, seem sturdy, and put the water at a comfortable level for the birds.  Having the water off the ground also helps keep dirt and muck out, but it’s been raining so much that things got muddy fast, and some worms even somehow moved into the water basin.  It’s gross to me, but I guess the birds don’t mind water that tastes like earthworms…

 

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Baby cow!

Awwwww…. the first baby calf since we moved in almost a year ago!

2015_03_08_newcalfHis name is Homer, and he’s a cutie.  He and his mom had to be separated from the rest of the cows because they were a little rough with him.  It was the first time any of them have calved.

Here he is right after he was born (a little sticky):2015_03_07_newcalf1

I’m hoping he’ll eventually let me hug him because all that fuzzy cuteness is adorable!

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Simple carrot salad

2015_03_14_carrotsaladGreer started making this tasty carrot salad, which is just grated carrots, onion or shallot, radishes, and a simple dressing of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and olive oil.  But it is quite a tasty and fresh addition to our meals!  It was especially good with a ground pork patty and broccoli salad.

 

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2015 – first seeds

2015_03_13_newseedsSo happy to have a lot of beet seeds in the ground for pickled beets!  We also planted a few radishes and scallions.  Yum!

 

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BIG eggs

2015_03_10_threekindsofeggsAll the birds are laying now, so we have eggs in small, medium, and large: chicken (the multi-colored ones), turkey (the speckled ones), and goose (the ginormous ones).  We’re not letting the geese brood goslings this year because all the information I’ve read says to wait until their second year.  As soon as we get the turkey-mobile built in a few weeks, we’ll see if they’re ready to brood poults, though!  And one of our hens is showing signs of broodiness already this year, but she’s been through that before.  Spring has sprung on the farm!

 

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Greer’s geese

2015_02_21_greersgeeseThese are supposed to be MY geese, but you can see who they really like… Apparently the grass tastes better from his hand than from the ground!

The geese follow Greer around while they’re free-ranging, and refused to let us get any work done when we tried to do farm planning in the sunshine.  Silly geese!  We really enjoy their antics.

 

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Happy anniversary – 7 years!

2015_02_08_anniversaryHow do the most romantic couples celebrate anniversaries?  By visiting the Rice Northwest Rock and Mineral Museum, of course!  :)  We had a great time looking at wild rock formations and…. dinosaur poo (pictured above).  Now that’s not something you see every day!

 

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Spring… already?

2015_01_29_crocusThis is our first Pacific Northwest winter, and it’s definitely been colder than it was in the bay area of California.  No snow (unless you count the snow mixed with rain we had right after Thanksgiving).  Last year before we moved, the area experienced “snow-pocalypse” in early February, which was about 6″-8″ of snow, and more than the area was equipped to handle.

This past week has been sunny and warm in the afternoons (very foggy mornings), and things are starting to bloom.  I spotted the crocuses pictured above on a lunch time walk.  Winter is not as gray and wet as everyone warned us…This friendly weather is definitely inspiring us with our seed orders for this year, and  I’m starting to feel Spring fever!

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