Rainy Tuesday

Standard

A little less than six weeks left until this baby is due, and this morning I’m what my mom calls “all stoved up.” Probably because I spent an hour or so yesterday afternoon digging a couple hundred pounds of wet leaves and mud out of the chicken run to try to improve the drainage situation. Our plan is to dig a deep trench across the front of the run and fill it with gravel, then cover the whole run with several inches of sand. I found a fantastic idea from The Chicken Chick for a sand litter scoop here. I love anything that I can make with wire and zip ties!

Well, one rooster gone, and one on probation. I went up to collect eggs, lifted the roof of one nest box, and found the prettier of the two roos standing there with two broken eggs in front of him. He had just enough time to give me a “And? What are you going to do about it?” look before I grabbed him.

I have to admit that I briefly considered a quick neck snap. He was a good-sized roo and would probably have been pretty tasty… But I restrained myself and rehomed him instead. The great part was that I was able to find him a new home very quickly. He really was a beautiful guy, but I haven’t had a single broken egg since he left, and we’ve been getting many more eggs than we were. Have to wonder how many that rascal was eating…

I finally finished the Joel Salatin book I’ve been reading off and on for months. (Yes, the one I mentioned here ages ago.) It was pretty amazing. Full of common sense (or at least, what should be common sense) but also packed with so much information. Now I’ll be passing the book around — to my husband, my sister, my mom, and possibly the mail lady and the cable guy. If you are even remotely interested in the food you eat — where it actually comes from, who makes the decisions regarding its safety, and why it’s worth paying more for local foods — or if you just realize how backwards and out-of-touch our culture has become, you really should read Folks, This Ain’t Normal.

About the same time that I finished the book, we watched Fresh on Netflix. Salatin and Polyface Farms are heavily featured, and Ben and I both laughed out loud watching the happy chickens pour out of the eggmobiles to range in the pastures. Not to mention the pigs, the cows, and the family dinner out in the field. And of course, it’s not all about Polyface. There are naturally raised hogs in the Ozarks, a conventional soybean farmer who talks rather wistfully about organic methods, and a couple who raise chickens for one of the major poultry companies. It made me sad to hear them talk about all the recent improvements and how much “healthier” the scraggly, overcrowded birds are than they were a few years ago, as well as the fact that the company has to bring in prison inmates to work on processing day because conditions are so bad that people won’t take the jobs. It’s another really eye-opening movie that I wish more people would watch.

Well, I’ve put it off long enough. It’s time to go outside and see if my temporary drainage solution is holding up in the chicken run. I really hope it is, because I’m pretty sure the neighbors are going to pull out their video camera if the crazy girl next door gets back out there in the mud with her eight-months-pregnant belly.

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