Saturday mornings are Farmer’s Market day and with family coming for a week and a half, we wanted to get some meat in the freezer for them and winter and stock up on veggies, cheese, eggs, and fresh pasta for our week.  We are now getting two pullet eggs a day and have a great vegetable garden, but there are some things I don’t grow, but like or that just aren’t producing yet.  Today was a great market, live music and an art show in the street of the market block.  We left early enough to get pancakes and bacon for breakfast before shopping and arrived home early enough to start the farm work.

     One of my projects for the day was to reconfigure the chicken run to incorporate a peach tree for shade and to leave space for a Purple Beautyberry bush that I purchased a few days ago, also for shade.  The latest round of storms that we have had during the heat wave this week have uncharacteristically moved from east to west and the east window of the coop is a drop down flap with no overhang.  This has caused the inside of the coop and perches to get wet.  Another idea that I had was to create a sheltered area on the east side of the coop, also for shade and to hopefully provide shelter for that window and allow me to put their food outside the coop.  While I was moving fence and trying to figure out how to make the shelter, I watched my largest Buff Orpington, who was purchased as a pullet, attempt to mount one of the Red Rocks that are the only egg layers so far.  So we now know that the beauty below is a he, not a she…

 

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He can’t stay in the coop and run if he is going to be aggressive, so he is either going to have to go to freezer camp or be rehomed.
The coop has been scrubbed out with a vinegar/orange/mint cleaner and new hay put inside. The old hay has been removed to the run to help reduce the mud during the afternoon showers. By reducing the width of the run to 8 or 9 feet and lengthening it to about 20 feet, I was able to erect a 6 X 8 tarp over hooped flexible poles and stapling it to the upper edge of the coop, there is now a 4 foot wide X 8 foot long shaded run that houses a small shallow pool of water and their food. The plastic poultry net is stapled to the upper edge of the coop and tied to the fence to drape over the peach tree and protect the rest of the run from the hawks.
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Until I can get our eldest back here to help me build a lean to using the roofing metal left over from building the house, hopefully it will work for us.
And this was our afternoon visitor.
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