Saturday, May 10, 2014

First Foray into Green Green Grass of Home

Today was a long day.  Garden Dreams participated in a great annual plant sale, May Market, that happens at Phipps Conservatory.  After hours of hauling tomato plants here and there, I made it home and let the chickens out for their first romp in the grass.  They had loads of fun.  Much better than being cooped up and now that the electric poultry netting is set up, this can be a regular thing, though they are still the right size for hawk or owl snacks, so I'll be keeping an eye on them.

It was nice to see them enjoying themselves so much.  Their voices are still in the "cheep cheep cheep" phase but it is obvious when their cheeps are happy or scared.  Chickens just love to scratch and look for insects.  It is obvious they are fulfilling their little chicken-natures when they get to do this.  

Run stats:  Corner of our hilly backyard fenced in with Premier 1 Perma Net and Patriot 5 energizer which can run off 110 volt power or a 12 volt battery.   Setting up the electric fence and energizer took several reading of the sparse directions and two calls to Premier 1 (whose customer service staff were very helpful!) but we got it hot eventually.    

I know the chickens will remove the grass in the run area via eating and scratching, although how quickly they will do this is up in the air.  I would like to divide the space into 2 small paddocks that we rotate them between so the vegetation can recover, but if that doesn't work for whatever reason, plan B is a composting run with comfrey planted in it. 

Struttin' their stuff.
Outdoor still life: chicken with currant bush.
"Should I eat that?"
First time through the threshold.
Lots of rain brought lots of worm hunting.
I love this blurry picture.  It shows a log from a neighbor's felled elm tree in the foreground that is not throwing in the towel is re-sprouting.   The dead plant matter is knotweed stalks that are starting to break down (from last year).  The branch and metal pole teepee is supporting our hops that are just starting to climb.   I am guessing chickens won't want to eat hops plants since they are so scratchy, so they will be allowed to grow into a little shady area for the hens (I hope).  

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