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On a farm, raising animals, spring cleaning doesn’t just include the house.  The house will wait for a rainy day.  Today, the babychicks had their first”outing” while I cleaned their brooder bin.

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They seemed to enjoy some time in the sun.  Since the daytime temperatures reached 78ºf and the bin is black, they were plenty warm.

The big chickens got their digs cleaned too.

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Forking out the old hay down to the composted layer below and adding it to the garden compost bin.

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A different use for the snow shovel, clearing the composted layer off the vinyl floor.

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And finally adding a thick layer of clean new hay to the coop and nesting boxes.  This is a guarantee that at least one chicken will lay her egg outside of the nesting boxes tomorrow by scooping out a hollow in one of the corners beneath the perches.  While the coop was empty, I evaluated how I am going to put a temporary wire and frame barrier inside to separate the chicks from the 3 hens that will be left in the coop once they are ready to be put outside.

The chicken tractor was dragged out of the garage, but not put in place yet, I need help to do that, and the deck furniture was returned to the deck, hoping that we will have more nice days to eat our dinner out there and no more white stuff to decorate the deck.  That was the extent of the cleaning today, but prior to those tasks, we went out and purchased a 100 foot roll of welded wire fencing, more posts and a gate.  The remainder of the day was spent replacing the cheap garden wire fence that I reused two weeks ago when I realized that 100 feet of welded wire fence was not enough to finish the job.  The pen is now much sturdier and will have a real gate as soon as our neighbor can come over with the post driver and set a wooden post upon which the gate will be hung.  It will be great to have a real gate into their pen.

I didn’t get the peas planted.  Tomorrow is supposed to be another gorgeous day so I will get the peas in the ground and with hubby’s help, move the chicken tractor to the location where the culls will be kept for a few weeks and I will erect a temporary pen with the garden fencing to contain them until freezer camp day.  The rest of the week is going to be wet, so perhaps I will finish the garage and start on the house.  I have to admit that deep cleaning the house is a task of frustration with two big dogs who reside inside.

Because Jim didn’t get home from his motorcycle ride until nearly 6 p.m. and I still wasn’t quite finished with the fence when he got home and since I had 3 chickens still on the outside of the newly completed run, I finished up, left two of the chicken out, hoping they would settle near the coop at dark and went out for dinner.  When we got home, both hens had flown over the fence and were safely cooped up with their buddies.

Life is an adventure on our mountain farm.

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