Monday, December 1, 2008

The 4-day weekend helped on getting things caught up around here. The temporary winter coop is as finished as it can be finally, with the feeder & waterer hung from a bracket, and the heat lamp hung directly over them. Hopefully this will help a bit with the water freezing. I put small boards in front of the new nest boxes since they kept kicking out the straw, and put a golf ball in each one to see if it helps them. I'm still only getting about 2 eggs a day, but I'm going to blame that on stress for now. The 7 new birds had free roam of about a quarter acre, and now they're somewhere new and confined to 15x4 feet roaming space. I imagine they'll come around soon. I also got a programmable timer, so the lights and heat lamp come on at 5:30am and turn off at 9:00pm. They get the overhead 4 foot florescent light, as well as double 500 watt halogen lights. I'm hoping this also helps since the garage was pretty dark, even with me turning on the one 4 footer every morning at 5am. Things look much better out there finally. All I have left to do is get more straw today on the way home.

Even with christmas fast approaching, we've talked more about stocking food and supplies. Reading the news stories lately shows some scary stuff. Famine, rotten economy, food shortages...scary stuff. Lisa got another 25 lbs of bread flour when she was out on Thursday, and we plan to get more soon. After christmas we'll take a more agressive approach to it and get more each week. Garden seeds will be ordered in the next few weeks too, and we're adding some basic greens that can be grown inside to that order. I'm not taking any chances. Maybe we're just a bit crazy for doing all this, but I'd rather be prepared than not. I'll be purchasing more ammo soon as well. Firearm sales are up 40% here, and ammuniton is up 60%....everyone see's what's coming, and I'll soon join the ranks of these smart individuals. There are too many things on the books for our new p.e., and I want to be ready BEFORE all of these rediculous things are passed. It's a shame when an honest law abiding, hard working, tax paying citizen is punished for the acts of the criminals of our society....or governed by the blind and jaded.


Patrice Farmer said...

You're up early too! I too have been wondering if everything was worth it in the end but I know that it is. I think you and Lisa are doing an excellent job! Most of my birds were free-ranged too and they got used to being confined. It'll be fine. They'll learn.

mmpaints said...

hang in there, the weather change effects their laying and they are light sensitive. They'll get used to it. You may want to think about heat overnite when it gets close to and below freezing, combs and feet freeze . If they start pecking each other, they're feeling crowded...
Also, don't feel like the lone ranger, others feel the same way you do.

Chris W said...

Welcome mmpaints. I'll be switching the heat lamp over to 24/7 in a day or 2 when it starts to get cold again. The last week it's been in the mid-30's, and over the weekend was almost 40 and rain. I'll probably get a second one for 'em too. The forecast today called for 1-2 inches of snow, but so far it's barely coming down and too wet to stick.
Patrice, I'm up every weekday at 5am for work. Even working 10 minutes away I get up that early. At almost 13 years in this trade, its just habit now. It gives me plenty of time to pack my lunch, feed the critters, and enjoy a cup of coffee (or 3 lol) while I read emails and some online forums. Weekends are different though, usually Saturday I wait till 7 to get up, and Sundays are always up in the air since I have a friend who visits every Saturday night, sometimes till 1 or 2am.
Yes it's all worth it. It's taken us around 9 years at this house to get where we are. Little by little it's all working out and going where we want. Now just to convince her of that horse and buggy

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