Sunday, April 20, 2014

Homestead Update

We have a lot going on around the homestead. I always seem to have multiple projects going on at the same time. But, I have one project that needs to be done last week.

This is a teaser on my chicken tractor / tank. A full post will come later. It is turning out really nice. Just not fast enough.

These gals are the reason I need that chicken tractor done now. They are totally ready to get out of this brooder. They jump out all the time and run around the spare bedroom. Just a heads up, if you read that brooding chickens in the house is a bad idea because of the dust they produce, listen carefully to that sage advice. I swear there is a 1/16 of an inch of dust on everything!

The garlic is doing great. These are the soft neck varieties. I am never buying garlic from the store again.

These are the hard neck varieties. Once I harvest them I plan on building a raised berry circle in this spot. But that will have to wait until I harvest these, look for the berry post later in the year. 


  1. Can't wait to see the tractor in action. Obviously the birds love it.

  2. We haven't let them have full access to the run yet while we are not home. My concern is if a raccoon had all day it could tunnel under the tractor. We are getting our puppy today. Once I put in the doggy door, I will feel better about letting them have access. Maybe I am just being paranoid.

  3. That's your call, but I would think you'd probably be OK. Raccoons and other digging predators (other than neighborhood dogs) aren't really active during daylight. I not only give my birds access to their sheltered run 24/7, but they get let out into the garden area to graze (but inside a 3 ft electric netting paddock). We have a lot more predator pressure than you, I'm betting.

    Honestly, I'd be more worried about your new dog. Make sure you are positive over a decent amount of time it won't decide to have a chicken lunch when you're not supervising.

    If you want a little more protection, you can lay out 6-8 inches of hardware cloth out from the bottom of the tractor as a "skirt" on all four sides, laying on the grass. When a raccoon or something wants to dig, they usually do it right at the wood frame. They're not smart enough to start out further away from the frame. So they end up trying to dig at the skirt and giving up.

    That probably wouldn't make it that much tougher to move your tractor, but maybe it would?

    And although it hasn't happened yet and hopefully never will, I'm resigned that no matter what I do, eventually I'll lose a bird or two to predators. :)

    1. You are probably right, I just have anxiety about leaving them for the day in the run. I think I am just being paranoid, but we have put a lot of time and effort into raising these birds from little peeps. I think I will let them out tomorrow. We are planning on introducing the dog to the chickens tonight. Hopefully he will see pack mates to protect, instead of lunch. =)

  4. Hey Patrick. brooder tip... Put puppy pee pads on the floor. I usually put down 3 layers. When they are dirty you can just roll up the top layer n throw it away. Cuts cleaning time and eliminates dust. Your girls look great and so does the hoop house!

  5. Thanks for the tip. We will NEVER brood in the house again though. We spent 3 hours last night with a shop vac and a Dyson going over every inch of our spare bedroom. When we brood again I plan on building an enclosure on the back deck attached to the house. I really wish I would have listened to all the people who said not to brood in the house. I thought, "whats a little dust...". I am glad they are out in the tractor now, and they seem much happier.