The weather has been up and down this last week, giving us just enough taste of spring to make it really painful when the cold returns! We have several projects awaiting the thaw of spring, the biggest being fencing for all the animals. We have decided on electric fencing for our pigs, as it will allow the largest size pasture for the price. I purchased Zareba electric fence ribbon or polytape, 656 ft for only $36! Now we just need to get the charger, the posts and a grounding rod to complete the system. We also need to get some type of black plastic to run just outside of the wire for the first few days, this helps train the pigs to the electric fence apparently. Again, I am relying on YouTube for instruction on electric fencing, which is nice, because there appears to be no basic written instruction for electric fencing on the package or anything else…apparently you are just supposed to know.
We really need to get on the fencing for the pigs and move them out of the shed, so we can get our goats from my parents, and start fencing for them because next month we are planning on getting a purebred Nigerian Buck! I am so excited, cause this means we can breed Hershey when she is ready! If the weather would just improve on a weekend so we can get to it, I would be one happy camper! Everything seems to have a domino effect right now, we can’t do just one thing we want to, everything has a preceding action to allow the next to be completed, so we are stuck for the moment, its quite frustrating.
Despite waiting on Spring, our farm has grown again since my last post, we added 3 little chicks to our 1 hatchling for company, all barred rock. I have heard that chicks on their own don’t do to well after a couple of days, so after checking around I was ecstatic to find a few chicks within a week age of ours. They are all doing quite well, and the 2 oldest we bought are growing like crazy! We also added 2 “Golden Comet” hens into the mix, I found them free on kijiji and couldn’t pass it up. We have been limping by for eggs with only 1 hen, so we decided we will eat the golden comet eggs and incubate the barred rock, for now atleast. They produce very different looking eggs so this hasn’t been hard 🙂
We introduced them slowly…or at least attempted to. Chickens take their pecking order very seriously and if you don’t introduce them slowly they can be severely injured or killed. So we did a little back and forth dance trading them back and forth between the run and a kennel/coop. The golden comets would get let out of their kennel early morning and get food and water, while the barred rock stayed in the coop, then we would switch mid morning and the GC’s would go back in the kennel while the BR’s were in the run with food and water, with the kennel in the run the BR’s were still able to see and smell the GC’s without hurting them. Then in the afternoon we would switch 2 more times. We did this for 3 days, and on the 4th day we allowed them all to free range together, which is supposed to help because they are preoccupied. Everything seemed to be good, so that night (which happened to also be a cold night) we decided to house them all together in the coop, initially all 4 cuddled up together in one nesting box for the night. I thought maybe we had gotten through the introductions scratch free…but by morning they had forgotten how cozy they were and our 2 new hens were hen pecked poor girls. I was horrified when I opened the coop and there was blood splattered on the nesting box wall Luckily it wasn’t too bad, just looked awful, the girls had some pecking on their combs and a couple feathers missing on the top of their heads, they looked terrified and it obviously stressed them out because they didn’t lay for 2-3 days. Everyone seems to be getting along ok now, but it just shows you not to underestimate the pecking order, they must show each other who is top hen even if they are keeping each other warm!
In other news, we have finally decided on a name for our little farm, which also means I will be changing the name of my blog…. drumroll!….
Welcome to MountainView Heritage Farm 🙂 This name reflects both our locale (backing the North Mountain, with a wonderful view) and where Ryan and I met, at Skyline High School on Mountain View Drive in Longmont, CO.
Thanks for reading 🙂