Friday, August 15, 2014

New Fence, Last Two Days!

The final two days of fencing went smoothly, thank goodness!

On Thursday, they strung chain link and got the gates ready to hang.  Looking through the new partition fence walkgate opening to the trail gateway.

The walkgate opening and the double drive gate opening into the future vegetable garden area.

The garden partion is 5 feet high, all of the perimeter fence is 6 foot.  I figured 5 foot high was good enough to keep chickens out of the garden...hopefully.

So straight! So shiny!  Doesn't lean in 9 directions at once!

The corners all meet correctly and the fence goes all the way to the ground!  No furry critters can enter!
I may have petted the new fence and cooed at it.  Just a little.

Friday was the last day!  The new double drive gates are installed.

As is the new gate to the trail!

Future vegetable garden area, yay!

Dusty the dog, who has been confined to the front yard all week, is finally allowed out back again.

She is understandably confused.  The guys had peeled off the old chain link that used to seperate Dusty's yard from the chicken yard.  Out of habit she entered the back part of the property through the old gate.

We told her this was going to be her one and only chance to roam the full extent of the property.  Once the fence is done, the chicken yard is off limits forever.

The chickens are cooped until tomorrow, when they will be allowed out of the coop and run for the first time since we moved in here 2 1/2 years ago.

It's been a long time coming, and we feel bad that it took this long.

But they'll have a nice, big area!  It still needs some trees and shrubs added, that'll be next.
Weedcat is NOT impressed with the dog sniffing around and keeps an eye on her.

The chicken/dog yard partition fence ready to go on.  I will NOT miss the old horse-damaged chain link.

DONE!  This part was the last to be done, along with some minor tweaking of the existing gates on the property to make them hang straight and open and close properly.

For the chickens, tomorrow is the big day!  I'm so happy I could spit.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New Fence, Day Three

The chain link went up today, yay!

Looking from the existing double drive gates towards the back of the property.

The new partition with the double drive gate openings. We wanted a straight shot through from the existing drive gates to the new ones.

The new partition with the walk gate opening and chain link ready to go up. We left room to drive around the back of the chicken coop/run.

The partition again, with the top rail attached and the retaining rod along the bottom.  The partition fence is 5 foot, the perimeter fence is all 6 foot.

Looking back towards the house from the future garden area along the fence.  It's soooooo shiny!

The chain link along the very back of the property ready to go up, the trail behind the houses is beyond.

One of the back corners all laid out.

We decided to keep a walk gate to the trail.  No more craptacular falling-down joke gate, yay!

Looking from the future garden area through the walk gate opening towards the coop and house.

Where the garden partition fence meets the perimeter fence.

Looking through the garden gate opening towards the trail gate opening.

NOW it's finally possible to really see what we've been planning (and hoping works out).  We put a lot of thought into the layout, trying to foresee any future problems or needs, and I think we did pretty well!  I hope...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

New Fence, Day Two

Day two of the new fencing saw the return of the Bobcat, this time with a giant fuck-off auger to dig postholes.  Take THAT, rocks!

Not to say that they didn't put up one Hell of a fight--that Bobcat twisted and bucked and sometimes didn't have all of it's wheels on the ground.  But the postholes got dug!

Another advantage to the Bobcat running around was it's ability to grind any die-hard weeds into bits.

The section on the right will be my future raised-bed vegetable garden.

The yard, just to be polite, obligingly barfed up some yardgarbage for us.
It's a hubcap!

The garden area again, looking towards the chicken yard and house.  We'd like to run electrical out to the chicken coop for lights and heat in winter, plus an outdoor electrical outlet back here would be spiffy.

Another look at the garden area.  We will still have to run pipe for a hose bib or two out here (winter weather/water pressure permitting), right now the only one is by the back door of the house, and that's a loooong stretch to get out here.

It's gettin' there!

Monday, August 11, 2014

New Fencing!

Today the guys from Florence Fence showed up bright and early, and they brought a backhoe with them!  Goodbye, craptacular old field fencing!

They estimated that the job would take about a week, and they said they concentrate on the perimeter fence first out of consideration for our neighbors, which they did.  We were right, the old wooden posts just kinda fell over when they leaned on them a bit.

New chain link fence posts going in.  We gave up a small amount of real estate to our neighbors all the way around.

The old wire they hauled away.

One of my neighbors had asked for the old wood posts, I think she has a project in mind for them.

It's really weird seeing the property without fencing.  This is the back of the property where the old crazily-leaning field fence and gate used to be.

The poor fence guys did have to take a break for about 20 minutes when the thunderstorms and hail moved in for a bit, then they were right back at it.  By the end of the day the old fencing was gone and the new was ready to go in!

Tail Molting Season And Battle Chickens

Fall is coming on, so some of the chickens marked the occassion by molting ALL of their tail feathers.  This makes them look weirdly stunted and about half their normal size, it's very disconcerting.

Skillet and Bruce, our two MilleFleur/Black Mottled Belgian d'Uccle sisters who do everything together anyway (including brood), started it.
They looked like little quail.

Chickens get grumpy when they molt and tempers can be short.  Also they feel kinda crappy and know they look funny, so while they want extra attention, the rule is 'Hands Off'--new feathers coming in hurt when handled by humans.  So sympathy and TLC, carefully administered, is the rule of the day.

BadMrFrosty has dropped his tail, but that doesn't stop him from climbing into the kid's lap.
When Frosty sits in your lap, you know it.  He's gettin' big.

But CM, our tiny porcelain d'Uccle hen, has issues with Frosty getting pets from one of HER humans and starts to posture, threaten and growl.

Despite her warnings, Frosty doesn't listen.  So CM picks a fight, growling loudly and starting to puff up as they circle each other...

And it's on!

I think that the thunderstorms that had just finished up had inspired her.  The other hens were a bit freaked, but clearly on her side against the icky, uppity rooboy.

I love how her feet are braced with her little toes gripping the mud.  After this Frosty finally showed some smarts and wandered off.

Don't mess with banties, man.