These last two weeks marked the beginning of harvesting vegetables for the Northwest PA Grower's Co-op CSA and attending the Franklin Farmer's Market. We've really enjoyed all the great people we've met so far and all the gardening and cooking talk! As we harvest crops, we'll turn the beds over and plant succession crops to have a supply throughout the growing season.
Last week, we moved our laying flock and all of their housing to fresh grass. An important aspect of giving livestock a more natural life is to raise them outdoors. We use portable electric net fencing to let them roam a bit, but keep them safe from predators. Last year we had some visits from bears and foxes! This fencing also allows us to easily move the birds to clean ground once they have fouled their current area.
One disadvantage of electric net fencing is that the strength of the charge can be reduced significantly if the grass is not kept short. The fence needs to be moved to mow the line, then put back in place.
A new batch of broiler chicks arrived, and the first batch is growing well. Can you see the two darker colored birds in the lower right hand corner? These are young roosters from our laying flock, hatched for us by a family with a lovely flock of Buff Orpingtons.
The rabbits are getting really big. We bred our doe again and plan to wean these young ones sometime this week. Our pasture pen is under construction, to be completed this coming week.
Today we moved our turkey poults to their pasture home. This is always a great day because the birds seem so happy and excited to have more room and be outdoors exploring. They will stay inside the shelter for around one week to be sure they know it's their home, then they will range inside a fenced area during the day.
Have a wonderful week!
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