Tuesday, December 16, 2008

morning porridge - for da' chookies & a plan b

we are having our coldest dampest windy day so far this year.

at this very moment, the thermometer reads 28˚f and it looks like snow and sleet are going to be falling on an off throughout the day. big hippychickenfarmer universe day. the cold won't stop us but before we start, we all need a bit of breakfast.

for the meaties - starter feed and plenty of it

for me - eggs over easy w/goat cheese and a few slices of texas avocado aside a cup of tea w/milk

for the chookie ladies - a warming bit of healthy porridge which is a boiled then simmered mix of
  • flax seed
  • oat meal
  • rye flakes
  • buckwheat
  • red lentils
  • a palm full of tapioca (yucca)
  • garlic
  • molasses
  • olive oil
  • water
i made up a big batch to last through the week or more. it's simple. i just warm up a bit each morning before taking it out. all cooked up, it looks a little something like this. you could eat if if you like. it is as good for humans as it is for the chookie folk.

the seeds, grains and legumes are yummy good parcels of nourishment, the garlic keeps them healthy and the molasses piles in the vitamins and minerals.

it has always proved a huge hit for the girls. freckles darling loves to search out the bits of chopped garlic. alfie is fan of anything in the porridge family and saffron ain't no different, she knows a good meal when she sees it.

they are a funny group. usually it's saffron that gives the goods a taste before the others join in but today was different. today they all jumped at the porridge as soon as it hit the ground. that's a good sign if i ever did see one and it will warm up the ladies which will help them better survive and better acclimate to the cold.

there are new plans afoot for the meatie run. in talking to my neighbor lady just next door, i got the feeling that the current plans for the run are a bit too close to her home for her comfort and to me my neighbor's concerns are 100% valid and should be respected so i took a little walk around the place this morning to come up with plan b and i did.

plan b involves using a bit of space behind the garage and around a beautiful live oak tree for the run. it's plenty big, in fact, it's probably bigger than the area for the plan a run. funny how things like this often work out for the better.

there is a catch. i cannot fit the chicken shed back there as it is too wide to make it around the already existing structures. what i can do is portion off a 4'x8' bit of the garage opposite the new run area for an indoor coop and cut a small chicken door in the wall to allow passage from inside to out. this allows the growing meaties a great bit of privacy, a warm and/or cool inside home depending on the time of year and a protected run area - all good things. it's an area of the yard too shady to grow anything but perfectly shady for growing chooks.

the good news, i get to work inside the shelter of the garage in the prepping of it all which is good. the construction goods the neighbor provided along with the lumber i have in the garage should do the trick for the inner housing and the pipe fence supports will work outside just fine for the run. so i think we are set for the required materials.

i'll get started today. i will have to clean out that corner of the garage, move things around and rearrange to accommodate the plan. that will prove a nice get the blood flowing task to enjoy. i'll keep the tea hot and flowing. it should turn out to be a pretty darn good day. relief...

and what with the shed once this is all set? well, the shed becomes the brooder for the next round of meaties. that way i can keep one group yarded and housed separately as the next group grows into their feathers. i will raise the meaties in small batches, time things out so that the older meaties are processed just before the new meaties are feathered and ready to travel out of doors and repeat. this then answers a question i've been pondering - where will the next batch of meaties live? pondering over - they will live in the brooder shed of course.

- farming 101 -
plan b might in truth prove to be the better plan
- - - - - - -
and then again
you never know until you try

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