Sunday, March 27, 2016

Up With The Chickens

Hi there, Farmer Bob back at you again.  I'm gaining an even larger respect for farmers.  Oh, wait, don't get the wrong impression.  I've always respected our farmers and the work they do, but now that I'm doing more farming, in a sense of the word, than most, I'm gaining more respect for the unsung heroes of the fields.

We (the average person) are a casual people. We scratch the surface ground, cast a few marigold or zinnia seeds on the dirt, water them and a few plants grow. We toss maybe 50-60 seeds and get 10 or 20 plants.

Now, consider the farmer. He plants acres upon acres of soybeans, corn, or wheat. He's out there plowing, disking and sowing.  Up at dawn, back home at sunset - if he is lucky.  He has purchased bags and bags of seeds.  If only half of them come up, he is losing money.

Okay, I'm not quite that involved in farming.  BUT, I do have my garden and chickens.

I started my flowers and vegetable seeds.  Last year my greenhouse ripped and I had to toss it.  This year I am attempting to grow plants without it.  Not the best thought-out idea, I'll admit.  My seeds are coming up real lanky - falling over.  I planted 10 expensive petunia seeds.  My return, at this time, is like 4 plants - maybe, if they continue to survive.  My tomatoes are like about 2 inches tall.  Uh, this is before the first true leaves even show.  Not good, but I think when I transplant them, maybe I'll be able to plant them deeper and that will help.  One can hope, yes?

Chickens.  My boys have started the chicken coop but haven't been able to finish it because of other "fires" to be addressed.  I originally bought 8 Red Rock pullets (aka egg-laying hens when they grow up) and a week later, found five ISA chicks (meat chicken) for $.50 each.  They are now about 1 month old. They no longer can make it one day when I fill their water or feed station.  I have to refill it multiple times each day.  I'm a busy farmer.

If that wasn't enough work for Farmer Bob, I went to the store today to get a larger water bucket and feed dispenser for the extremely maturing chickens.  Notice I didn't call them chicks.  They've lost the cute fluffiness and are getting their true feathers.  They're really looking nice.

Well, guess what?  They had some left-over chicks on sale.  So I bought another ten chicks.  Of course, they can't be placed with the older chickens at the current time, so they are now living in a huge 50-gallon long aquarium.  They should be able to live there until next weekend.  Hopefully, by that time, the new coop will be done and the original chickens can be moved to the coop and these new chicks moved to the 4x8 pen in the basement for a couple of weeks until they are large enough to move outdoors.

LOL.  By that time, I'll probably buy another ten or so chicks and hopefully have all my chicken stock purchasing finished.

As I write this, I randomly stare out my window at the backyard and well, dream.  I see a pumpkin and squash bed developing for this summer.  It is the old garden and I just can't grow things in it since it is too close to the woods and wildlife seems to enjoy the harvest before I get to it.  But, pumpkins and squash, they should do well out there since raccoons and possum hate to pussyfoot through vines.

I'm wondering exactly how Farmer Bob will interact with Traveling Bob?  I can take the pet dog along on a trip in the RV - but chickens?  Sure, I could get them harnesses, but I can only imagine how I'd look walking my chickens at an RV park.  Think I'm kidding? Check out the harnesses at this site.  Then again, I might make a dashing look with my brown chickens and white chickens in different colored harnesses.  Imagine, fresh eggs when traveling.

Of course, one can only wonder how Author Bob is going to handle the shenanigans of Farmer Bob and Traveling Bob?  Parent Bob is just shaking his head.

See? Farmers do have a sense of humor.

Until next I ramble on...


  1. Wow! What a lot of work. Last Saturday we watched "The Martian" from a Netflix mailing and marveled at the difficulty he faced trying to grow potatoes to survive. Farming becomes much more serious when your life is on the line. Rent the movie and think about your plants. I'd never raise chickens but have respect for those who are willing to do it. Hope you don't name them all or no chicken dinners later. If you walk the chickens in a harness, I'd really like to see pictures. LOL

    1. 've seen "The Martian" and yes, growing a garden is not all that easy, even on Earth. LOL. I haven't named any chickens, don't plan to, but my granddaughters tried to name them but couldn't keep straight who was named and not named and finally decided to chalk up my sidewalk - a much better idea when it comes to chicken dinners. And, NO, I don't plan to walk my chickens on leashes - at that point they become pets and not dinner.

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  3. Harnesses to walk your chickens! Love it!

    1. My DIL is demanding I get a couple of harnesses - just for me to use as an exercise to walk. AIN'T NO WAY!!

  4. Seriously, how are you going to do all your traveling with all that livestock? You're CRAZY!!! Why do you need all those chickens!? LOL - I give you such credit. I am a terrible gardener. I'd be the worst farmer ever, though I'd love to do it.

    1. Farmer Bob is also known as Lazy Bob - I'm looking into an automatic waterer which connects to a hose so they always have fresh, clean water. If I get a couple of LARGE feeders, chickens are smart enough NOT to overfeed, so I could put enough food out for a couple of days. We usually do short trips - a day, up to 4 or 5 days. Longer and I would need my boys to check on the livestock. As to the garden, most of the time I allow God to tend them, I just do a little weeding and if it gets too long since the last rain, I'll water them... but I do get involved with the harvest.