Today when farmboy and I went to feed the animals, we were greeted by one of the sad but real parts of farming. A chicken had flown into the goat pen, and became a chew toy for the overgrown Great Pyrenees puppy. He didnt mean to hurt it, but it was so much fun to play with and tasty to chew on... unfortunately she didnt make it. And sadly, this isnt the first time he has done this. We quickly went to work re-designing the portable chicken fence. Our hope is to making it more difficult for the chickens to fly into the goat pen. So far so good. Our other design had a flaw in that it was surrounded on one side by the goat fencing, so they could fly up and perch on the wire, and then fly over to the other side. We moved it far away from the goat fence so that they are surrounded completely by the soft chicken fencing. The hope is that there is no firm wire to perch on, so they should not be able to fly over. So far so good. I really don't want to lose any more chickens to my own dog if I can help it. I am told by farmers who have raised GP that this is a puppy phase and he will outgrow it. I hope they are right. The chickens seem to like their new yard and pecking at the fine fresh grass.
A word of advice... If you have no place to store hay, don't buy 100 bales and put it under a tarp for a couple of months. Hay likes to mold in those conditions. Especially freshly cut hay thats still a little moist. You might lose at least 30 percent of it before your sheep have a chance to eat it. You'll probably lose at least the entire top layer and some of the bottom, depending on how well you get it off the ground.
If you cant afford a barn, try one of these portable garages. It looks pretty sturdy and versatile. It took a while to get it all coordinated, but... its finally done. Connor was the engineer who read the instructions. Carmen and I fit the peices together and tightened the screws. We only had to track down a few mistakes to get it right. Overall, if you follow the instructions it was very doable for us.
Complete with an elevated floor for ventilation. The floor looks crooked, but its actually level. Its the ground that is slanted.
Here comes a load of hay. Looks like enough to last a week or two. I'll let you know how it goes.
My name is Christy Franklin.