birds hay
A thick layer of hay to dry out the coops

With all the wet weather, everything on the farm is growing like crazy…including the stench emanating from the poultry pens.  The birds were churning up mud like pigs in slop.  They have a really nice setup, though.

Our flocks are protected from predators from land and sky, but the quagmire needed to be dealt with because we want our birds to remain happy and healthy.  So, it was time to get to work.  Here are some things I learned about farming through Operation Feather Ruffle:

  1.  Poop happens.  It happens a lot.  It happens so much you need wading boots.
  2. Spiders like chicken wire, especially chicken wire “roofing”.  I now understand why we don’t have a mosquito problem here at the farm.
  3. Russ is a brave, brave man.  There he was wrapping spiders on a hoe handle while wading through muck.  When he came out of the pen, he had TWO spiders (the big, scary woods spider variety) on his head and a writhing staff of web and spiders.
  4. I am a brave, brave woman.  I VERY GENTLY knocked the spiders out of his hair and off his back.  I did not run screaming from the Hoe of Terror.
  5. Round bales aren’t wadded up;  they are rolled tightly.  Remember when you made snails out of modeling clay?  That’s the idea.  It takes A LOT of work to un-bale one of those puppies and they hold A LOT of hay.
  6. You need gloves to handle hay.  Well, I did.  Russ just manhandled his way through this project.
  7. You need strength to handle hay.  All that pulling, squatting, lifting, and chucking makes for a great workout.  My core was sore for two days!
  8. Once you get toward the center of the bale, it gives off heat just like a little furnace.
  9. Working with hay doesn’t get you dirty.  It gets you nasty.  I’m talking hose off before you hit the shower nasty.
  10. Our chickens, turkeys, geese, and guineas now have clean, dry pens!