Well it is that time of year again. I am not ready for winter, but the days are getting colder. Like most seasons around here, fall is being short lived it seems. I was ready for a nice long fall, but winter wants to push its way in sooner that it is needed. The older I get, the more I dread it. My joints hurt more and I am having a hard time adjusting to the temperature changes. Yesterday (Wednesday) it was just right for a light weight long sleeved shirt, or light sweatshirt in the morning, but by the time of the parade, it was a little cooler and I was glad I took a jacket to the parade. By evening when we were checking on the tanks and shutting up the chickens before dark, the wind was shifting to the NW and it dropped into the 30s. By bedtime, it was in the 20s.
Today, Thursday, when I am writing this post, it is still windy, but thankfully not quite as strong as it was yesterday. But I think it is still in the 20mph range. The temps are back up into the 50s, but with the wind it is still chilly.
Anyway onto what I really want to post about. I have been saying that I need to get the chicken house cleaned out and fresh straw put down for winter. I have been putting it off and on this past Monday, I looked out the window and seen Hubby, cleaning it out. Okay guilt is seeping in, so I go out and ask him why he didn’t tell me he was going to do it. He replied that he didn’t know he was going to until he was getting out the water heater cords and getting them set up for the horse and cow tanks. He wanted to get the water area in the chicken house set up so he started cleaning it out. He is a good husband. I chipped in to help by getting the straw bale from the big building and taking it to the chicken house. I cleaned out all of the nesting boxes that have been setting empty for the last two months. For some reason my chickens haven’t been laying and we have had to buy some eggs for the first time in twelve or more years. Stupid chickens. I keep threatening them with making them into chicken soup, but they just laugh at me. They know I don’t have what it takes to kill and clean a chicken.
But the worst part is I have three buyers who want to buy from me. They understand, but it is still annoying. Especially when all three will buy anywhere from two to three dozen apiece at one time! Stupid chickens. Two of them I have to excuse because they are older hens, but the others are only about two, maybe three years old. They should still be laying. Stupid chickens.
We haven’t put the heaters in yet, but we are ready. I switched out the small tank for the big tank in the horse pen.
Hubby has set up the cords for the cow tank. The small tank from the horse pen in the picture is just temporary until the big tank for the cows can be put in.
The cord for the horse tank.
Back to the rest of the story. After the chicken house was done, Hubby says I want to show you something. He takes me over the the little shed behind the Morton building and opens the door. He said see what the Pack Rats made. I look and think oh my goodness! There is a stack of pallets about six feet high and on the top one there is a big bunch of nesting material and in between the top slats are tomatoes! Little green tomatoes!
And as you can see my Cave Woman club is still around laying on the pallets outside the shed. 🙂
We had been getting plenty of tomatoes, so after we had a freeze one night a few weeks before this nest, Hubby had cleaned out the garden and put the tomato plants in the chicken yard kind of behind the coop. We always shut the pen up and the chicken house at night, so these rats had to drag these out through the chain link fence somehow. Or over the fence. I don’t know. Now I am not sure if these are field rats or really pack rats, but they were busy. And I don’t like rats. I would rather have a mouse around. And we have plenty of those in the pasture and fields.
And again on Wednesday afternoon, I seen one of our dogs had this rat in his mouth. Good dog Bear! He got at least one rat. Don’t know how many are in the nest, but at least there is one down. I just hope there aren’t any babies yet. It has been quite the Veterans Day!
This is our boy Bear. He deserves papa’s chair. 😀
Our chicken house in the old dog pen. This was built in 2009 or 2010. Not sure exactly when.
And our old chicken house when I first started with chickens. It was in okay condition then. I think it was in 2000 or 2001 when I got my first chickens. This old trailer served its purpose. Now it is kind of an eye sore. We need to get rid of it. The cows and calves like to use it for a scratching post.
Oh and by the way, cleaning means the bedding and nesting boxes. Not the cobwebs in the top and corners.
Well, I think I have droned on long enough for today. Have a great weekend.
Stay Safe and God Bless!