Thursday, March 15, 2012

Out to Pasture

To say we've had a mild winter in the southeast is an understatement.  It's been virtually non-existent.  And because of this, I feel like I've been in spring denial...willfully ignoring the seeds sitting on the counter and the million other things I need to do to prepare for the season.

Until last week, when the promise of spiking temperatures slapped me out of my wintery slumber.  The chickens were still in the hoop house, and we had to get them out on pasture because that hoop house works.  We'd had to open the door when it got into the 50s during the day, unless we wanted fried chicken for dinner!

So on Sunday I planted some spring veggies: snap peas, lettuce, Swiss chard, cilantro, and arugula - which my nephew swears will take care of the evil nematodes that ate my watermelon roots last year.  Then Byron and I moved the chickens from the hoop house out onto pasture.  Since we keep them in an area enclosed with electric netting and move them to fresh grass every couple days, we clipped their wings so they wouldn't escape from their area.

Happy to be on pasture again.

The cows had already been out on pasture for a couple days.
And yesterday I hooked up and levelled the rain barrel system.  The "receiving" barrel gets heavy and tends to tip back when it's full, so hopefully this treated board will do the trick.  I'll have to check for leaks after the first rain.

We also learn from our mistakes.  For instance, we should have buried the boards around the perimeter of the hoop house into the ground a bit, because a couple weeks ago the chickens managed to dig underneath in several spots and escape.  We jimmy-rigged the gaps, but need to amend it, especially if this is going to be our brooder in a couple months.

Are you ready for spring?

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  1. We've had smaller ones slip out from under before too. The Freedom Rangers were really sneaky about it until they got bigger!

  2. Our birds have been out and about for a couple of weeks now and are loving it. However, I think once the plants start coming up, I'll have to remand them back to the confined area as they like to dig up just about anything green.

    I have lots of raking to do. So much debris from fall and winter.

    Great post and photos -- thanks so much for sharing. :)