Day Two

Not such dramatic accomplishment today, but still made some progress. Day Two was all about coming to grips with the disintegrating fences in the chicken runs.  I need at least one run with intact fences that will keep flighty pullets from jumping over and into my neighbour’s garden.

Though it was on my calendar, I was so focussed on my 5 day race that I forgot that I had committed to a one hour stint at work at 9 am this morning, to do the opening routines while my boss hosted a couple of our higher up bosses for a tour of our library.  I got there a little late, but got it covered.  So I didn’t really get started on Day Two until after my coffee when I got home, about 1030.  Thus fortified, I launched into the day.

Things that got done:

1.  Decided which of the four runs to focus on this week.  I picked run #4, it already has string webbed across the run to deter eagles and the perimeter fence is in good shape.  Just need to work on the fence between #4 and #3 run.

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Run #4 on the left, standing in #3.

2.  Figured out how I’m going to close off one run and open up another around the pop hole that leads to #4, #3, and #2 runs.  The answer is 3 people sized gates, which will hang off posts at the end of each run by the hen house.  I will make the gates after the 5 day race is over (unless by some miracle I end up with spare time!).  I hit a snag with the plan around lunch time when I attempted to pound the second post in, using the pounder I borrowed from Hay Guy, and bent the post hitting a rock about a foot down.  I moved over a tad, and found the same rock – 4 times, ruining two posts. So, clearly this plan needs to be adapted a little.

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Bent post 😦

3.  Moving on, I took out all the wire on the fence between #4 and #3 that was patched, broken or holey.  This left me with a stretch near the chicken house of about 15 feet that needs to be completely re-wired.  The rest of the fence looks fine, but is very low in places.  I have decided to get a roll of 3 ft wire tomorrow to add to the top of this fence.  I also put in three T-posts on this fence line, removing the short portable electric fence posts I’d had there before.

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Post pounder on the left – it’s about 4 ft long, and weighs a LOT. Metal tube with a cap welded on. I have trouble lifting it off the post when I’m done – I feel like I’m caber tossing. I frankly think this thing could double as a battering ram.

4.  I started installing new wire.  This is high enough, and being 1″ mesh, is sturdier than the 2″ mesh I had on this fence before, but I’ll still have the issue with sagging at the top in a year or two. Long term goal is to switch to square mesh.  For the remaining fences that will have to be done over the winter, that’s what I’ll use.

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Actually got some wire up, and the brambles took a beating.

5. I got some of the brambles clipped back around the area I was working in, when trying to get posts in for the future gates, but there’s a lot more of that to do.

This was all pretty simple stuff, but took a surprising amount of time.  The rain started sporadically around 4, and at 430 I caved and had a tea break to catch up with the familys’ doings at school and work, then went and put tools away and did chores, as the rain started to get more serious.

Henny decided today that having been living wild for 3 or 4 weeks, she is content to be an indoor chicken for a bit and refused to leave her lovely clean hen house.  This could have something to do with the fact that she is clearly moulting.  Why do chickens do this just when the weather starts to turn cold and nasty?   I’ve always wondered.

4 thoughts on “Day Two

  1. Maybe not dramatic results, but quite impressive all the same. Especially since you had to use a “battering ram” to pound those posts! I’ve used a much smaller one and it was hard enough work – I can’t imagine using something that unwieldy and live to post about it (ha! how’s that for a double entendre!).
    Too bad the weather is turning cold, otherwise you could be showing off your shiny new biceps!
    Keep up the good work – just think how good it will feel when you are done.

    • The pounder does a fabulous job, and I’m thinking of commissioning Hay Guy to make a smaller one for me. I’m guessing he used such a long piece of pipe was for the weight. A smaller one would mean more pounding, but it would also mean I could get it off the post without risking life and limb.

  2. Bent post? Bend it back. No foul. BTW, what is a “rock”? They don’t seem to occur naturally on the prairie.

    Sometime I’ll show you the scars on my palm from the time the post found its way between the driver and my hand. Hard for super glue to hold skin together right there. Had to trim off the fat too. All that to say, wear gloves.

    Molting is interesting. You can induce it any time by withholding water for a few days (not a recommendation). It is, I believe, both an issue of age and of day length. Light cycles seem to tell the birds to renew their insulation. But so does age. We have seen birds hatched in March begin to molt at 14 months…in May of their second year. They may molt again in October of November of the same year but they are usually in the freezer before they get the chance. Not so this year. The feathers were flying as they came out of the hen house this morning.

    • Ouch! Just thinking about getting a finger between post and pounder makes me cringe. I have a few battle scars from this week, just bandaid worthy fortunately, and one of them certainly would have been prevented had I been wearing the gloves I took out to the paddock with me…

      Interesting about the moulting. I knew it was connected to the shorter day length, but I didn’t know they could do it twice in one year. I guess I’d observed though that it was related to their laying cycle, so it makes sense.

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