Friday, May 12, 2017

Inspiration


Blackie the cat gets the primo view.  He was a superlative mouser and had the respect of his peers.


Freedom!  As in Freedom Rangers, Chickens grown to be pastured.  I feel guilty growing the Cornish crosses that we have been.  A chicken with phenomenal feed conversion rates that grows to market weight in six weeks.  If they live.  We have had some terrific losses some as high as thirty percent, attributable to heart failure.  So we have decided to try the freedom rangers.  We had them brought in from their hatchery in Pennsylvania USA, and they arrived five days old, in great health with feathers happening!  Were only trying fifty of them, so there wont be a lot left over.


Still haven't got spinach cultivation to where I want them to be.  We've had one feed off off this tire and it's bolting already.  This week I will try some out in the tire garden, under a cover and see if the cooler temperatures will work better.


 Starting seedling peppers, Brussels sprouts and Red cabbage under grow lights and on a large heat mat.  Made a big mistake here as I had the heat mat plugged into a wall socket instead of the temperature control. Sprouted very quickly, but were very leggy.  Memo to self, once they have sprouted turn off the heat lamp! Or at least ensure it's plugged into the temperature controller and the temp is turned down. Now the Ghaus temperature rarely falls below 10c at night.  The black forty five gallon drums under the bench are the Ghaus's heat sinks soaking up the sun, (when there is some) and releasing it slowly when the green house cools down.


I installed some half inch electrical conduit suspended from hook up at the ceiling.  The hanging plants like it.  Lots of light and several degrees warmer. But watering is critical as on a sunny day they can dry out twice!


 The secret to clean eggs is clean bedding and keeping the bedding clean.  We use wood chips as the make great compost and is easy to work with.  The big trick is to ensure that the hens can't sleep in them when they roost.  Chickens poop where they sleep.  There are six nest here, for about forty layers.  The top three are covered with a board.  After this picture I added two sliding panels for the top and bottom.  I close them in the late afternoon before the birds come in from foraging to roost.


Speaking of pooping where they sleep.  The plywood panels under the roosts catch their droppings and every day I scrap them into the pail that's hanging and take it to the compost pile where the chickens work it over and mix it in with the older stuff.  It makes garden ready compost in a very short order. The roosts are simply two by fours hung in joist hangers so they are readily removable.  the streaks on the back wall suggest it's time to whitewash the coop again.  I like whitewash: cheap, easily applied and it has antiseptic qualities. The chain hanging down with a screw in the ends holds a head of lettuce for the regular chicken volley ball tournament.  They go through a lot of balls!


We've had a slowdown in weiner piglet production.  This picture may suggest one of the problems!


The tire garden.  One tire cleared, fifty more to do!  I want them all growing food this year.  Mostly
roota veggies, leafy greens under plastic covers.  I will  post more about that next week.


That top middle shelf is Savory Farm pork!  Sold at the local corner store in Fraser Lake.  Quite a thrill.



See you in a bit.  Were keeping our eye on you.