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It took more than a week, but I finally got over the stomach flu.  Then I caught a cold.  Which I think might actually be a sinus infection (going to the doctor on Monday).  But – I got out of the house and back to work.  Now things don’t feel so overwhelming and look so grey.

Must always remind myself – this is a ten-year project, not a one-year project.  Things don’t have to be completed by next summer.  One project at a time.  One small piece of the whole.

This year’s projects:

  • Chicken Coop
  • Barn
  • Chicken tractor
  • Water

Chicken Coop – 95%

This is (nearly) done.  I successfully converted the old grain shed next to the barn into a coop for our laying hens.

Before:IMG_0423

After:

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Fully enclosed run

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Chicken wire extends out along the ground to discourage digging

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Enjoying their new ladder roost – although this makes the pecking order painfully clear.  Poor Ginger.

All that’s left to do is set up a new water bucket (the water nipples arrived in the mail today!) and cut a window on the south side (I need Will’s help with that.  As much as I love the Sawzall, I don’t trust myself to cut a large hole in the shed).

Barn – 15% done

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I finished mucking out all the stalls this week, including taking apart the disgusting old brooder made from pallets in the first stall near the front door.  I found a desiccated rat in the 8 inch pile of old manure.

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So many times I’ve wished for straight hair.  Sigh.


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Dead rat.  Gross.


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Future home of pigs or goats?

What’s left to do on the barn:

  • Power wash and disinfect the stalls
  • Fix the back door
  • Fix the windows
  • Power wash the exterior
  • Prime and paint the exterior
  • Fix the eaves troughs
  • Fix the back corral

If all we get done this summer is fixing up the barn and the back corral, I’ll call that a giant success.  The wind was so strong the other day, it blew out one of the three remaining windows.  Grrrr.

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Chicken Tractor – 5%

Haven’t actually started any work on building the chicken tractor, but I have a design and plans, so I figure that counts for at least 5% of the project completed.  I was hoping to have this done before I head to Regina for my next gig at the beginning of May so that I could order my meat chicks as soon as I got back in mid-June, but . . . well, we’ll see.  The plans I’m using say that you could build it in a weekend, so I figure it’ll take me at least two weeks.  I’m running out of time (and money.  Need to start bringing home a paycheque).

Water – 25%

We had a technician come out and look at the well.  He gave us lots of useful information – the pressure switch is good, the pump is good, the pressure tank looks okay, 29 feet top to bottom with about 20 feet of water.  The only thing that was wrong was that we needed 240 volts to run the pump, and we were only getting 100 volts.  Huh.  Turns out the electricity to run the pump is in the old house (so when we demolish it, we’ll have to get it connected to the new house – $$$) and the line from the main power pole to the old house was broken, so Will shut down the power to the farm, climbed a very high ladder, and hooked it back up!  Hurrah!  We have running water from the well.

So with Step One completed (get the well working), we moved on to Step Two (test the water).  We shocked the well, which involves a lot of bleach, and took a water sample in to be tested for potability at the Saskatchewan Research Council.  Bad news – it tested positive for total coliform and the nitrate level is approaching unsafe amounts.  Not drinkable.  Perhaps usable as household water if we can get rid of the total coliform, but at the moment, I don’t want to wash with it.  We’re going to shock it again and test another sample.

If we can move past Step Two, then Step Three would be hook it up to the house or at the very least, get a long hose and fill the cistern because right now it’s costing us $130 per month to haul water.

If Step Two and Step Three are a no go, then Step Four takes drastic measures – refurbish the old outhouse.

Yup.

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Farm selfie – Felfie?

Feeling a lot more optimistic about the property now that a) I’m not vomiting every hour on the hour and b) spring is starting to arrive.  The other night, Liam and I were wandering around on our usual after supper outside time, and there were geese honking, and ducks quacking, and cranes hollering, and frogs croaking – it was like everything had come alive suddenly.  The air was cool and fresh, and the sunset was amazing.  It felt good to be here.

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You can’t take your chicken for a nightly walk in the city. 

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