The (BizarroWorld) Farm Report: Easter-Weekend Work
I hope you all had a good Easter/Passover/Whatever week. It was, of course, an unusual Easter weekend because of this:
Chareva usually puts together an Easter-egg hunt on the property and invites friends and relatives. She didn’t bother this year, of course. There are rules about gatherings, you know. Some healthy kid might breathe in a coronavirus out there in the fresh air and die within minutes. Or something like that. Turned out the weather wouldn’t have allowed for an Easter-egg anyway, but we’ll come back to that.
On Saturday, we got several steps closer to having one of the old chicken yards secured. The yard is surrounded by good fencing too thick for a raccoon to chew through, but thanks to our hilly, uneven terrain, there are places where the fence doesn’t quite meet the ground. I don’t know if you can see the gap in the picture below, but trust me, a raccoon wouldn’t miss it.
Even where the fence does meet the ground, we need to keep Rocky Raccoon from burrowing under. We learned from experience that a double-layer of pavers does the trick. If there’s a raccoon strong enough move those, I should probably just get out of his way and let him have the chickens … or least use a higher-caliber rifle to kill him.
I sleep later than Chareva, so by the time I woke up on Saturday, the pavers had already been delivered. There are 168 of them in that stack.
I’m all in favor of getting some exercise doing farm work, but carrying those things one at a time to where we needed them seemed a bit ridiculous. I elected to move a stack at a time with the hand truck, then we placed them along the outer fence.
The yard we’re securing shares an inner fence with the other old chicken yard. There’s nothing at this point to keep Rocky Raccoon from waltzing right into that other yard, which means he could scurry under the shared fence and help himself to a chicken dinner. So we put down a layer of pavers along the shared fence as well.
I certainly got in some exercise pulling a hand truck loaded with pavers across the hill and down to the entryway to that yard.
In some spots along the shard fence, the ground dips enough that it took three pavers to cover the gap.
The pavers aren’t fancy or pretty, but they do the job. If we ever redesign or move the chicken yards, the pavers are at least portable.
We ended up using all 168 of them. In fact, we’re probably going to order two more stacks of 168 soon. Chareva wants to secure the chicken run as well so the chickens can have access to it after dark without risking becoming a main course for a raccoon.
We have one more task to accomplish before moving the existing flock into that yard: we need to get out some twine and fix a few holes in the net. I don’t know if a hawk would try to swoop down through the holes, and I don’t know if a raccoon would try climbing through them, but we’re not taking any chances.
I’m sure the chickens will be happy after the move. Their soon-to-be new home has plenty of vegetation and will certainly have plenty of bugs to peck.
Their current yard, by contrast, has been pecked down to the dirt.
As I mentioned, Sunday wouldn’t have been a good day for an Easter-egg hunt even without social-distancing orders. It rained sheets for a good part of the day. When we get heavy rains, all that water eventually runs down the hills that surround our property.
Our creek usually looks like this — I took this photo a couple of weeks ago, in fact:
After the rains finally stopped on Sunday around 5:00 PM, it looked this:
Here are some shots from different angles.
That’s why my bridge over the creek is chained to a big ol’ tree. As you may recall, when I built the bridge, I figured it was too heavy to be washed away by rain. That theory lasted until the next heavy rain, when I had to go retrieve the thing from rather far away. I’m all for outdoor exercise, but I can do without having to lift and drag that beast again.
Stay healthy, my friends.