Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Free Range

The turkeys are being free ranged right now, although it was not my decision...


They're loving their freedom, and I have to admit that it's kind of fun to see the mob of them running around like the prehistoric nerds that they are.


And why are they free ranging if it's against my wishes? Sigh... Dear friends, Heidi the goat has finally taken her wrath out upon my chicken tractor...


And it now looks like this:


Believe it or not, it's actually not supposed to have those rips, or the broken top bar, or the bowed in sides, or the mangled chicken wire. Nope, it used to look pretty nice.


This is not the first time Heidi has assaulted my chicken tractors. One of the reasons why I hated this year's batch of meat birds so much was because of Heidi. She was continuously busting into them and eating the chicken feed as well as injuring birds. I have duct taped, stapled, screwed, zip tied, and nailed my poor tractors back together more times than I can count... Heidi is such a greedy creature that no barrier can stop her when she smells chicken feed. In today's case, when she found that I cleverly put the feeder at the back of the tractor where she couldn't reach it, she decided to climb on top of the tarp and get in that way. Apparently the tarp couldn't handle 200 lbs. of caprine. 

So it is now demolished... My lovely chicken tractor... Finished. Darn that goat. 

Thankfully, I have some sweet new friends nearby who offered a grand barter: I'm helping them build a website (Goat pedigrees and HTML codes: those two things I can quote in my sleep) and in exchange they are building me an authentic Joel Salatin styled chicken tractor. You know, those fancy ones with the metal on the top and sides instead of a cheap tarp? Yeah, that one. ;) 

Having a new, armored chicken tractor is going to help things immensely around here, but I think it's high time I stopped avoiding the inevitable and realize that Heidi really needs to go to a home that doesn't have chicken feed at such close range... My Nubians respect boundaries very easily; the La Mancha cross does not. And chicken feed is ridiculously expensive. :( 

This morning I filled the turkey's feeder half way up. Two hours later I found the wreckage and a feeder that had been licked clean. Observe:


Somethin' has to happen here. Either the goat has to go, or this farm girl needs to permanently give up poultry of every kind. And somehow I don't think I can do without the poultry...

P.S. Did you notice my pathetic grass??? Even Oregon is now being touched by the drought! I'm praying for rain! 

7 comments:

nancy said...

Well atleast you have done some problem solving! I'd do a steep pitched roof too, to discourage that...

Eileen said...

My idea would be a little bit of solar electric fence, offset around the pen. It would help reinforce the suggestion that Heidi give up the turkey feed habit.

sailorssmallfarm said...

I have(had) a shelter that looks just like yours - tarp roof, damage, the works. No goats were involved, it was just time and weather. We finally knuckled down and did it properly with the metal siding and roof and are MUCH happier - you will be too - BUT it will be much heavier - get a dolly. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear you all are suffering from the drought. I wish we could share our rain here in South Central PA with you.

It has been raining everyday here for the past month and this is normally our dry time. I would love to be able to get my second cutting of hay in between the rainstorms this week. I'm sure your area would be happy for some rain just to grow anything at all. Mother nature needs to find a balance this year.
Heather in PA

Mary Ann said...

The turkeys look great anyway!

Melissa said...

Hmmmm, I'll send you Ranger's dog collar, chain, and stake!!! =)

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