April updates on the farm are here. We’ve been here 6 MONTHS! I can’t even wrap my head around that. It has flown by. Here is what we’ve been up to this month.
NEW CHICKEN COOP(S)
We are starting our plans for the mobile chicken coop, but until then, the older pullets needed somewhere larger than a brooder to stretch their wings. I had been searching for forever for a used chicken coop and finally snagged this beauty from a lady an hour away. It’s perfect. We call the second batch of chicks(there is 4 of them) our yard chickens. Those 4 are now housed here and take care of all the bugs in our front and side yard. They live the life let me tell you.
Our first set of chickens (which are now 9 weeks old were picking on the younger 4, so we moved them to their own coop by the duck house. Currently they have flown over the duck netting(more about that here) and are roosting in the duck house. I swear those chickens crack me up. They love to be all in the mix, but I don’t think the ducks mind so much.
The larger chickens got a Tractor Supply chicken coop that we will eventually use to house chickens who are sick or have hurt themselves so they don’t get picked on by the entire flock.
THE BABY CHICKS
And finally the last batch of chicks are about 4 weeks old and are hanging out of the mobile chicken tractor my husband built out of repurposed wood here at the farm. We had 14 and lost 2, so in total, we have 20 chickens. Our hope is that when one of our hens becomes “broody,” we will let nature takes it course and let her hatch out some of her own babies to add to the flock. Yes, we have one official rooster 😉
How do I know we have a rooster? Because in the early hours of the morning, I heard a weird dying animal sound coming from our garage…well, it wasn’t dying…it was learning to crow. You guys I about died laughing. I know sexing chicks is not 100% accurate, but we officially have a rooster. The good thing is that that is one of the four that are “yard chickens” so I’ll let him live his days protecting his 3 ladies.
WE ADOPTED TWO FERAL BARN CATS
Our farm, like every other farm, has some type of rodents. Field rats, moles, and who knows what else, so we knew we wanted a barn cat. I have an amazing resource here (friend) who knew exactly who to put me in contact with. The sweetest lady brought us not just one, but two beautiful cats who were desperate to find a forever home.
The entire process was seamless, they brought everything we needed, and walked us through the entire process to get the cats acclimated to their environment so that when they are released, they still stick around since they are being fed 😉
Right now, they are both in separate double crates (one for sleeping attached to one for eating and using the litter box) in our covered barn. I have spent endless time feeding and talking to them. We’ve affectionally named the first one Allie and just this morning she decided to grace me with her presence as she ate her wet food. I couldn’t believe it. She would only come out at night for 2 weeks so this was a HUGE step for her.
The second kitty is named Biscuit and although she is scared still, she is warming up to me day by day. I don’t expect them to be house cats, but my hope is that they can live out their lives on the farm chasing critters as they wish.
RUGER & REMY
I’m sharing Ruger’s progression because it’s so dramatic. The day we brought him home 3 months vs. 5 months old. He’s gonna be a big boy. The puppies are doing amazing!!!! They have officially stopped eating the goat poop and I’m so proud lol.
Beautiful Remy. She is a pleaser. Wants to do anything for bellies rubs, is kind, and so funny to watch.
DUCKS ARE STILL UP BY THE HOUSE
Those snapping turtles are smart let me tell you. The next step in catching them will be an actual turtle trap, so the ducks are still here up by the house. My husband and I decided to go ahead and bite the bullet and buy another set of fencing from Premier1 fencing, but for chickens to keep everyone safe. So far so good. You can check out our IG stories where I gave an in-depth look at the fence.
It’s an investment, but one we can use time and time again. Eventually this fencing will protect the chickens in the mobile coop every single day.
Enjoying the time in the yard while trying to eat my blueberry bushes.
We have freakishly stronger winds here. My husband said it’s because it’s open land vs. houses to block the wind (which I can totally see), but that meant our greenhouse ended up blowing into one of our pastures. No matter how we tried to tie it down, add dirt/sand all around the edges, cinderblocks, you name it…it just couldn’t hang.
So I’ve left what was planted in there in the ground (lettuces, mustard greens, tomato plants, etc.) and brought everything else out. I thought I had slow germination, but everything (except my cut flower garden seeds) have made it. Cucumbers, snap peas, fennel, spinach, peppers, carrots, tons and tons of tomato plants, birdhouse pumpkins, pink pumpkins, big jack-lantern pumpkins…all of them <3. Besides the cut flower garden, the pumpkins was my #2 wish for this farm.
Plans have already been made to start seeds indoors under grow lights next year. I will get my cut flower garden.
The original plan for our back (behind the house) pasture was to convert it to a large plot for garden space and although that is still the plan, we are going to crop seed it this fall to give it more life for next season’s plants. I have this vision of the grandest wood fenced in garden. Until then, we are going to plant all the pumpkin plants there since it gets amazing sun and close to the house for watering.
All the fencing for the 2 acres has been purchase and my husband is slowly (he works full time) doing it all by hand. I can’t wait until the goats and puppies can run free on that land. The goal for completion is by the end of May. He is using a hand auger to dig every single post hole and well…that takes forever. Update with specs once completed.
MEET GUSSY & FERN
The newest additions to the farm are our the two Brown Chinese goslings. We purchased them from a local breeder and they are the cutest (loudest) babies ever. Now that it’s officially Spring (we had 85 degree temps today) they live in the brooder in the garage at night and spend their days outside in the sunshine while trying to swim in a small dish I give them. They are going to grow fast (even faster than ducks) so I have plans for them to move out in the fencing protected from everything else. It’s very strange to have only 1 brooder left with babies in it.
By my feet. Their favorite place to be.
Those are the updates for April. I hope everyone is enjoying the Spring where you are at. Time to start planting some tender plants in the ground this week. 🙂