Tuesday, October 17, 2006

That Was Close

Our current home remodeling project almost expanded greatly overnight. Nature has a way of testing our patience, especially when we are right in the midst of making things happen. We are currently finishing up the improvements to our home that Julie mentioned in a previous post. Additionally, I have just completed a new chicken tractor and had it in service for about a week. We are about to make some changes to our barn to accommodate a new milk cow coming from Tn FarmGirl. All this and we wake up to the pictures below. The area we live in has extreme wind storms about 7 or 8 times a year and last night was the worst we've had since we moved here. Wind gusts near 100 mph. Oh well, I need to get to cleaning up, and wait for the insurance adjuster. More to follow.
God bless

My work car is not in a good spot.
My new chicken tractor, roofless.
The old chicken tractor, roofless.
The kids' trampoline had fight with the clothes line, still not sure who won.


Chicken Mama said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. We got some good gusts on the west side of mid TN, but nothing like that. Downed branches is all we had fortunately.

I'm curious about your chicken tractors- are you planning to use them all winter? Have you done that in the past? I have 2 tractors "in service" right now and I'm wondering if the birds will have enough warmth and shelter in biting winter winds. It has annoyed me that they are sleeping in the nesting boxes even though they have roosting rails provided, but it occurred to me that being able to pack themselves in them in the really cold weather may make them usable year-round- just a pain in the neck for me having to clean them out nearly daily.

I'd appreciate any lessons you've learned, especially since you are in my same zone.

Thanks and I'm sorry you had such a bad time in the storm.


TnFullQuiver said...

We do use them through the winter. Believe it or not, we typically don't get extreme cold temperatures. We will get periods usually in Jan. and Feb. that have temps in the single digits, but is usually short lived. In the event that we have a stretch of really cold weather, we'll place a heat lamp in the enclosed house with an extension cord coming from the barn.
We are constantly looking for better ways to do things. We have to plan things around the high winds we experience and are currently looking for better ways to house our chickens. We ideally like to free range the birds and house them at night, but that has proven very difficult with the layout of our farm.
One idea we've been considering is a large portable coup on skids that can be moved with the truck, and keeping a yard fenced off with electric poultry netting. This requires more dollars than we care to spend at this point. Any ideas you come up with, we'd be happy to hear.
By the way, my wife and I grew up not far from where you are. We are originally from a little area just north of Bowling Green, KY.

Chicken Mama said...

Like you, our temps only get in the teens or single digits a couple of days at a time, but we are on a ridge and it seems the wind really cuts into you in the winter (my mom's suggestion for our farm name was Breezy Hill :-) ). My concern is more for wind chill than actual temperatures. I like the heat lamp idea- I use one in the dog's house at times and have used one in an outdoor brooding coop for the late setters- but our tractors are used in pastures unreachable by fewer than a dozen extension cords.

We are still pretty new to pasturing our poultry. Have tried just free-ranging but have lost dozens of birds to predators of all kinds. I'm afraid I don't have much wisdom to share with anyone else yet (unless you count mistakes we've made building our present tractors!).

I like the idea of housing the birds in a portable coop and allowing day range, but like you, we can't put available resources into that right now. We've got more pressing projects at present.

Thanks for the nice comment to our blog about the guys' camping trip. You probably noticed that although I said the whole family is welcome along on those, my daughter and I didn't attend this time. I'm greatly with child and my daughter was looking forward to a "Girl's Weekend," so we stayed home and warm with painted fingernails and hot-rolled hair. :-)

Will be back soon to read more. Thanks for your reply about your tractors.