Today was a very long day and I’m dealing with the nice spring cold my mother loaned to me and my son and allergies to all the very beautiful flowering trees, but stuff still needed to get done. The husband and I got the pasture tilled and then we spread more wheelbarrow loads of compost and rabbit manure all over it than I can count. It will need to be tilled in tomorrow.
The hens were in heaven and constantly in the way. They couldn’t decide what was better, the fresh parts of compost that were being unearthed or the little field that had been tilled. There was a lot of running back and forth. We had two wheelbarrows going. While I took one to the field and dumped it, the husband was filling up the next one. By the time I got back with the empty it was full and we switched. It is nice not having to buy compost in, but to be using our own that we made ourselves.
Only problem was one neighbor came out to yell at his dogs who were yapping because they think they own the world and can’t stand anyone else to be in sight in their own yards and he came over to get them at the fence and then complained about the smell. We generally keep the compost covered over with a tarp now to keep the chickens off and if there is a smell you won’t smell it that way. Some of it was anaerobic so we were turning the pile and putting in straw to add more brown material and he happened to come out at that point. We had waited until there was a day without wind to do it so the whole neighborhood wouldn’t smell it. He wouldn’t have been able to smell it if he hadn’t come to the fence to get his dogs. He didn’t even know we had a compost pile there before today. It is pretty far from his house towards the back of the lot.
We told him we’d cover it back up when done and that would take the smell away again. Hopefully it won’t be an issue, but these neighbors can be touchy about things. They are the ones that have the super high security light that shines right in my bedroom window at night and don’t care about it. They are also best friends with the loudmouth Hummer owner who only lives here half the year and thinks that kids who are loud should be lined up against the side of the house and beat with a belt. (My kids aren’t loud, but other neighbor kids are and this was said in regards to them).
They also use Round Up by the gallon on everything in their yard and are not careful to keep it away from the property line and don’t like it when we ask them to be careful because we are organic and don’t want the animals to get sick or for it to get on our garden or to poison the bees. They mow their lawn at seven in the morning. They are not on speaking terms with the neighbors on the other side of them at all, so I kind of count us as lucky there. So…we never really know what we’re going to get in having a conversation with them or whether they might call someone for some reason on us. I kind of dread the day we put compost on the front garden now.
The rabbits are doing great. Lola and Serenity are still rearranging their nests, building them and tearing them apart and rebuilding them. Everyone seemed to want some affection today so we gave out a lot of head rubs. Lola even wanted her back scratched, but only for about a minute and then she was done. Kalia is starting to get a little cage defensive. Not badly, but she is definitely at the point where it is better to take her out than to reach in and try to change out the dirty bedding. She does a little charge, but doesn’t make any contact. The red does continue to get more friendly, though Wildfire is still the friendliest by far of the three newbies.
We haven’t gotten around to slaughtering the 3 kits that need to be slaughtered. I am hoping for the next day or two, but we’ll need to put a tarp up between us and the neighbors. I don’t want them looking through and seeing us slaughtering. I think that would totally freak them right out.
We still haven’t gone and bought our freezer yet, either. I’m starting to think that may not get done until the next time the husband comes home from Alaska. Tomorrow he is taking the van into the shop in the morning for an oil change and check up. It’s just hit 18,000 miles. It is 3 years old come July so we are doing pretty well on not putting mileage on. We’ve done 3 road trips in it to Eastern WA, the Olympic Peninsula and Salem, Oregon or it would be less than that. It is our only car though, so we are careful to keep it maintained.
I started giving the ducks chopped up dandelion greens in their water yesterday and today. They love them.
After two times of that they now run over to the side of the brooder box when they see me coming. That makes me happy even if I know it is just because they are expecting treats.
The little chicks are starting to fly. A couple of them have made it to the top of their waterer. It is really cute, but I have a feeling that in another week or two they will be flying out of the brooder box. We might have to put a screen door over the top of it or some netting to prevent that.
Our feather plucker arrived today. The husband tested it with all his drills. It works on the biggest one. The other two drills are too small. It is really solid and well-built.
We need to get the duck house built before the husband goes back to work. I don’t think it will take more than a few hours, but we need to carve those hours out. Sometimes, with homeschooling to do, we don’t get as much time to do the outside chores as we would like. But this will need to be done, because they’ll have to be moved into it before he gets back the next time. I’m sure it will all work out. Hopefully I can beat this cold and be a little more useful than I was today.