Our spreader has officially died.
This ratchet will not move forward so the spreader won’t move forward either.
We estimate that it is around 100 years old. And it has served us well for many years. We are hoping to buy one at the Meridian Auction. We have items for sale in this auction so hopefully some of the proceeds will help us get a new one.
But it is time to scoop out the barn. So we are piling up the poop while we wait on spreading it. This is one of the two piles.
Tom put a few tractor buckets’ worth in the pig pen. They acted like it was candy.
And here is our scooped out barn. We do have to pitchfork out a little more on the front half of the barn, but the majority of the work is done.
Our young chickens did not stay in the “pheasant pen” long. At 6 in the morning I found these feathers, and one bird was missing.
So they are back yet again in the “weasel-proof pen” while I contemplate our options. I am confused about why the birds in the pheasant pen keep getting eaten while the free range chickens in the barn with a lot less protection are not. Then I got to wondering if the predator is living in the pen, under the grampa shed floor. So we flooded the ground under the shed, but nothing came out. Then I started wondering if maybe the free range chickens are not doing as well as I think and are being picked off too. They are hard to count since they are free. But I am starting to count them each night as they roost to see. I contemplated buying or building a chicken tractor, but these young birds only have less than 2 months to go so seems a waste of time, money, and energy. I also thought about making a pen in the hay loft, but I do not think that would be pleasant for them or us.
I wish I knew what predator we are dealing with. It doesn’t seem like a weasel anymore. Tom does occasionally smell a skunk odor. We are thinking about putting a game camera in the “pheasant pen” in case it comes back looking for a meal. We can’t put it in the barn as we will get a million chicken photos. We have done that before. Any advice would be apprecaited. I want these chickens to have a pleasant lives, not a terrorized ones.
In other news, Ryeleigh continues to watch the property from the outside and the inside. She has been chasing squirrels which we appreciate. It does not seem like they are eating more of our corn since the beagle is back.
And I put the flax into sheaths today and decided the best spot to dry them is against the windmill base.
Tom and I decided to take the afternoon off. The farm is wearing us out. We went to downtown Mount Vernon and went shopping. I found this cool book with lots of old photos.
And we ended the afternoon with cocktails at the Revival Cocktail Lounge. Tom had a French 75, and I had a Mai Tai. It was lovely.
For dinner I made Lowcountry Chicken Bog using our chicken, rosemary, thyme, homemade smoked venison sausage, green onion and parsley. It is really good. Not spicy but rich and comforting.