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The Belgian Mare Says Hello!

Monday, June 27, 2011


Hi All,

Sorry for the off-topic post, but I forgot that I had a fire department drill tonight.  It was a good thing that I went.  Unbeknownst to me, the Assistant Chief had decided to make this the night of my check-ride on the tanker.

To give some background, our new tanker is a 410HP turbo charged, ten wheel drive, 44,000lb beast.  Needless to say I had some apprehension about taking a check-ride in this particular vehicle. Then again, I never back down from a challenge.

Let me tell you, this thing handles like a dream. In fact that is the biggest danger of driving this truck.  It handles so well that it could lull the driver into complacency.  One must always keep in mind just how much weight they have behind them when driving this truck. Modern technology is a good tool, but no substitute for an alert driver.

I made two runs with the tanker, emptying it into a swimming pool and refilling it at a lake.  I even managed to back it into the station on the first try.  In the end, I passed my check ride, though I still need more practice driving, and am allowed to respond to calls.

Pretty cool.  Yep I feel good.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

More Chicken Stuff

Still needs some work...
What week it was.  The new birds are growing fast and needed to get outside fast.  So I really needed to hammer on the coop.  I worked on it from sun-up to sundown on Sunday and Monday last week.  I was so tired that I fell asleep in the coop when I sat down to rest as the sun set on Monday. 

We moved in a few adult birds and they made do with a tarp for roofing.  This past Sunday I finally got the tarpaper on.  None too soon as the first raindrops fell as I was driving the last nail.  So it is now a secure little home for some of my birds. Trim work still needs to be done, but at least it looks
 like a chicken coop.

New coop door.
I like to make my coops look nice.   I decided to make the door out of one inch thick and 12 inch wide rough pine boards that we were given as scrap. The hinges and ring are reproductions made in Massachusetts.  The window is a real antique salvaged from a home that was being remodeled. The birds seem to enjoy the view.

One of the monsters.
The monster chickens continue to grow.  They are quite mobile and thus quite hard to photograph. Their patterns and colors vary somewhat, however most are patterned something like the lady in the photograph at the right. They learned quickly to go into the coop at night and were able to free range at an early age. Now they remain in a closed run until the hatchery chicks learn to go into the coop at night.  With luck, soon everyone will be free ranging.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Little Bit of Progress

Tomorrow is another farmer's market.  Tonight was another night of cleaning eggs into the late evening. The girls have slowed down a bit, but I still have plenty of eggs to sell.  Last market I sold 12 dozen total, let us hope for better this time.

The new coop is getting close to being done. I managed to get the tarpaper tacked down on the roof just as the rain started to fall. So I am still not truly finished with the new coop but at least the chickens do not have a blue tarp for a roof!  Putting up drip edge and tarpaper is a real pain when you are doing it alone.

All chickens are now out of the house.  The incubator and brooder are shut down until next spring when the idea of chickens in the house will once again seem appealing.  I love having peeps around but admit that I reached my limit this spring.

Hopefully tomorrow I willbe able post a few photos of progress around the farm.