Friday, September 30, 2011

Vermont Sheep and Wool

I'll be going on Sunday - anyone else?

(And for the record - still finding two or three pullets out every. single. morning. It's impossible to tell if it's the same culprits every time, as all the pullets are pretty identical looking. Short of paint-balling each of them a different color, there's no way of telling them apart. (And don't think we haven't been tempted...))

Monday, September 26, 2011

Just who is thwarting whom, anyway?

Bullwinkle had it right in her comment on my last post. I'm starting to wonder just who is the thwarter and who is the thwartee. (Or is that thwarted?) Well, someone around here is full of thwarts.
Seven pullets out this morning - five back in their old pen and two out and about in our yard. I managed to catch five and stuff them back into the yard they're supposed to be in, but after innumerable scratches (Chickens have claws. Big sharp claws.) and splatterings with mud and other detritus you'd find in a place with chickens (On my face! Ewwww! On my face!) I finally gave up and went back inside.
I think Houdini came back as a flock of chickens...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Finally Thwarted. (We think)

Madman opened the coop's outside door this morning, figuring the pullets had had long enough to acclimate to their new digs.
When I left for work at noon, there were 2 out - one in the old pen, and one wandering around the edge of the garden. (The pullets were under the mistaken impression that they were free-range hens. When they first started getting out of their pen, we'd go to the trouble of chasing them down and putting them back, but we eventually gave that up. They'd be out again before our backs were turned. We got to the point that we'd see a bunch of chickens out and just heave a sigh as we got on with whatever project had brought us outside.)
Madman went out a little later, found six back in the old pen, gathered them up, and put them back where they were supposed to be. He then sealed up the hole in the netting that he thought they were using for an escape route, and called it good.
A couple hours later, there were six out again. He repeated his previous efforts, and this time making the chicken yard so escape-proof that Houdini would have despaired.
When he went out at suppertime, no chickens were out.
Though there were several standing in the chicken yard in a group, glowering at him and the fence...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

If at first you don't succeed, fly fly again

Madman just came in from capturing the last of the pullets and moving her to the main chicken coop with everyone else. He'd nabbed most of them last night, but this one had evaded him somehow.
This was the second time he'd tried to merge the flocks - adding this year's pullets to our main group of layers. (Read about how it's done here.) He tried a couple of days ago, capturing all the pullets while they slept, smuggling them into the main coop, and setting each one on the roost.
But when we woke up the next morning, all the little chickeny brats were right back in their old pen. They'd found some way to escape and had headed back home...
Since we want their pen for our new group of meat birds, we really really need them out. This time, we're taking no chances. The main coop's door to the outside is closed, and will remain so for a couple of days, until the pullets forget about the old homestead and settle into the new.
There's a reason that the expression is not "A chicken never forgets"...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

So let's get this show back on the road...

I've come to the conclusion that I'm always going to be busy and tired, so I might as well try to squeeze in a post.
We had a light frost last night - not the Jack Frost's Revenge kind of killer frost, but a good strong nip. Luckily, the weather service had predicted it (and they were right for a change) so Madman had bustled out after work yesterday and hauled in everything he could grab out of the garden. We've spent the day (except for the morning, where I got called in to work to cover for a sick co-worker. Damn my Team Spirit - it causes more trouble) packing stuff into the freezer.
First the greens (chard and beet), and then the beans (green and yellow). Peppers are next, and then a big kettle of tomatoes is going on the stove for sauce as soon as we can free up a burner. The onions are spread out to finish drying down. Cucumbers are everywhere there's a spot open to set down a cucumber. (Look first before sitting down on the couch, just in case...)
The brussels sprouts are still out in the garden - a couple of frosts will actually benefit them rather than harm them. And the carrots (what few germinated) are safely underground, hiding from the cold.
Garden '11 is winding down. We're already planning Garden '12.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

How odd...

So, my oldest daughter and I were having a phone conversation today, discussing the hurricane damage, when it occurred to both of us at the same time that it was a very odd conversation. She lives in Florida, I live in Vermont, and the hurricane damage was on MY end. This is just so wrong...