We've made a lot of progress around the homestead this year. Earlier in the spring we finished the fencing in new goat yard. We fenced off part of the old goat yard, and planted clover and grass. We also fenced in three of our vegetable gardens, and really switch up our original garden plans. We added a second chicken coop, and 7 new laying hens.
Although we got the coop in February, it took almost a week before we got it off the back of the truck. There is sat for at least a month, before it was finally moved down to the area where i wanted it. One of the neighbors came over and helped move it with a couple of metal poles and a tractor. Once it had been moved i went out to look at it, and was some what annoyed to see that the coop was facing the woods. At this point, i should really know better than to assume the husband and i are on the same track... but really? It made absolutely no sense the way it was set up. The chickens run would be facing the woods, in order to clean out the coop i would have to take the wheel barrel into the run just to access the door. When i asked about turning it, i was told there is no way, it's too heavy. Hrrmmpphhh. So i rigged up a temporary fence, so the birds were contained and then i let them out into the yard in the afternoons while i waited for the husband to put up permanent fencing.
i don't want to sound impatient, but two months after getting the new coop it still was not fenced in, the chickens were constantly escaping my temporary rigged fence and i was extremely frustrated.
Then to my surprise, about two weeks ago my husband brought over his shop mate and they turned the coop. :) That weekend he put in the permanent fencing too. The coop now sits so that we have access to the door without having to go into the fencing. i can pull the wheel barrel right up next to it, to clean it out. Their is a small door for the chickens to enter the run, and the eggs can be collected without ever having to go inside the fencing. After a lot of grumbling, and complaining my husband did eventually admit that i was right. lol. This set up made the most sense.
Once it was completely set up, i added a few personal touches. :) i'm going to add a water barrel on the backside to collect the rainwater, and then use that to water the birds. i still hope to eventually get it stained to match our house.
we added a door to connect the chicken run to the old goat yard. That way the goats didn't have access to the chicken feed, but i could open the door and the birds free range in this space during the day. They are much more protected within the fences than they were just in the yard.
They LOVE coming out each day and nibbling the tasty greens.
The goats are also loving their new space. They have a nice area to browse. We planted clover and alfalfa, but the area is also full of small tree shoots and weeds like poison ivy, and blackberries. They seem to love the variety. i still need to have some kind of lean-to put in the area so they have shelter, but i now feel like we have enough space to finally breed Delilah and add a few more goats to the herd.
It is so nice to not be dependent on just the dry hay. The goats seem so much happier, and content now that they are out foraging. It is so nice to see things finally come together and feel like we are making progress.
The next big things for us is to finally finish up the house construction that was started several years ago. The entire project was put on hold, and it will be so nice to finally start moving forward again.