Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pigs and Chickens, Oh My!!

We spent the whole afternoon down at the barn yesterday....and what a great day it was! Sun was shining, the geese were flying overhead....anyday now we should begin to see and hear the Sandhill Cranes. They spend the summers up here, and like to hang out in our Valley, they are quite incredible....

It is time for us to start enlarging the pig that is what we spend most of the afternoon on....since we were going to be down there and the dog would be with us, we thought....well, what could it hurt if we let the chickens free range for awhile?

So we did....keeping a close eye on our dog (half wolf, half Malamute)....would he eat them? Would he bite them?

No, he didn't....actually he seemed to be guarding them! First he cried, and we kinda thought he was worried that they were out....then he walked around and continously checked on them.

When he thought a few were getting "too far way" we watched him herd them back closer to the barn....

The chickens had a great ole time, scratching up the ground and finding things to eat....what a treat for them! And we'll do it again, providing we are down there, so we can keep an eye on the dog. He's such a good boy...I guess all those times we have told him to "watch the house and watch the girls" has sunk in! He sure seemed to know what his job was!

We got all the boards up for the pig we will have to run the electric fencing....then we can open it up and allow the pigs into the new area.

Here's a pic where you can see how big their run will first we will just let them into half of the new area. Since we WANT the 3 Little Pigs to root this whole area up, (it will later become another veggie garden), we don't want them to have too large of an area at a time. Works best when they have a smaller area, then they are more thorough in their rooting...who knows, we may not even need to rototill the area at all (at least, that's our hope!) Our pigs are supposed to be THE rototiller, lol!
Beyond the pig run are our "hayfields". At least they used to be used as hayfields....over the years, the canary grass has gotten out of hand, due to no one cutting the hay, or keeping the willows out of the field. It's one of our goals, to get the hayfields back into production. But that will have to wait for now....we have enuf on our plates, and rejuvenating the fields will be a big job in itself!
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