Saturday, March 18, 2006


This winter, Jim's been modifying the existing electric tape fencing to goat fencing that will keep both the chickens and the goats in our pastures rather than the neighbor's yards. We're fencing in about an acre around the barn, which basically divides the main pasture in half. We'd been talking about dividing our two existing pastures each in half in order to maximize pasture rotation as we acquire animals, so this was a useful excuse to begin the process. Of course, he's been saving the tape he's taken down to use on the fence elsewhere, running a single line of tape along the goat fencing at nose height. The chickens will be permanent residents of the field-fenced upper pasture.

Currently, the plan is to keep the meadow unfenced and naturalize it with wildflowers and grasses for wildlife habitat. We're in the process now of clearing out the invasive chinese sumac as we attempt to seed the heads of the few staghorn sumac we have growing on the property. We also dug out several native Eastern cedars before Jim mowed the meadow and transplanted them along the property line. This spring we hope to hatch some northern bobwhite quail to release on our property, with the hope that they will colonize the hedgerow. Our plan is to house the heritage turkeys in the bottom half of the newly divided pasture, keeping them separate from the chickens. This spring, we plan to build the chicken house off the current barn, large enough to house three separate flocks. At that time, we'll make some changes and repairs to the existing barn, widening the door out to the pastures to accomodate the tractor.

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