Tag Archives: chicken tractor

Summer Delights

Yesterday was miserable!  My day started with dog and chicken chores in the rain, not a gentle summer shower, a torrential downpour.  I had moved Broody Girl to the auxiliary chicken run and chicken tractor the day before and had put her in the chicken tractor with some amusing effort the night before.  Her food was in there, but not her water.  She squawked unmercifully until well after dark.  Figuring she was better off in the tractor since it was raining, I attempted to put her water in with her, but she dove past me into the run in the rain so I just left the door to the tractor open.  Now I have heard that turkey’s are stupid enough to drown in the rain.  That may be an old mountain tale, but Broody Girl was stupid enough to stand out in the pouring rain nearly all day instead of going back inside the tractor.  Last night I felt sorry for her and returned her to the coop, very wet and very agitated.


The first thing she did was go to the nesting box and I ran her off.  She is showing me her wet displeasure.  This morning she exited the coop with the others and has stayed outside.  Yay!

Once those chores were done, I spent 90 minutes in the dentist chair getting a temporary crown on the tooth I broke 7 weeks ago when I went to Northern Virginia to pick up Grandson #1 for the summer.  As soon as I got home from that, the dentist did a build up so the tooth wouldn’t break anymore until he could see me for the crown prep.  This is not a fun time.  It is my 6th crown. 

As we were headed home, still in the pouring rain, we picked up the power washer as scheduled and in spite of the rain, our neighbor with my help cleared the covered front porch and open back deck of plants and furniture and he power washed both.  He was soaked from the effort and the rain and I was also from helping to move furniture and the hose from front to back.

Today is still overcast and has rained off and on, but not like yesterday.  The weather broke enough after we returned the power washer for me to do some harvest.  It is definitely that time of year. 

The two trips out to the garden resulted in a huge bowl of mostly hot peppers and another of tomatillos.  A few tomatoes are getting picked each day and a few lemon cukes.  The counter full of goodies encouraged me to haul out the water bath canner, a box of jars, and the other necessaries to put some of it away for the winter.


The cayennes were strung to dry, the habaneros and a couple pounds of tomatillos were made into another batch of the I No Longer Have Taste Buds XXX hot sauce (son said it was wonderful), the jalapenos pickled for hubby, the rest of the tomatillos canned in quarters and the lemon cukes pickled in a dill brine.  


One afternoon’s canning session cooling on the counter.  A good addition to the goodies accumulating on the shelves for winter consumption.  As I’m a rather adventurous cook at this age, the XXX hot sauce must be documented so I can duplicate it next year.  My basic idea came from a visit to Mexico where the woman house staff made a salsa for us from Jalapenos, tomato, onion and garlic.  That one is good too.

I No Longer Have Taste Buds XXX Hot Sauce

a dozen or so medium Habanero peppers

2 lbs (16-20) tomatillos

1 medium onion

3-4 cloves garlic

2 Tbs. lemon juice

1 tsp pickling salt

1/2 c fresh of 2 Tbs dried cilantro

In a heavy non reactive pot, heat a couple of Tbs of Olive oil and saute the onion, chopped coarsely.  Quarter the habaneros with seeds (gloves are advised), peel and chop the garlic, remove the papery husk, wash and quarter the tomatillos.  In a blender, place the peppers, garlic, tomatillos, sauteed onion, lemon juice and salt and blend until fairly smooth.  Pour back into the heavy pot, add the cilantro and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep it from sticking.  If you are going to can this for shelf stability, it should be water bath canned for 20 minutes in pint or cup jars.  It will keep for months in the refrigerator if just packed in hot jars and lids with bands applied.

I do love this time of year.  Enjoying the spoils of our garden and the labor of putting is away for winter enjoyment.  Soon I will be canning tomatoes and tomato sauce nearly every day, but it will be so good later.

Life is an adventure!

Moving Days

We have a streak of warm days and mild nights ahead and the chicklets have gotten way too big for the brooder. They are able to cope in the garage without a heat lamp now and get absolutely frisky if taken out in the sun or on a really warm day.  They clearly need more space before they start pecking each other.  I hung a “Baby Block” toy/feeder in their brooder to try to help and put two perches in there, but they need more room.


They can foul that cage is less than a day.  Preparations were made today to do some moving around.


The coop is 4 X 8 feet inside, discounting the 6 nesting boxes attached to the outside of one wall.  Since the plan is to leave only the 2 Buff Orpington hens and the 1 Americana hen and possibly Cogburn, but I am leaning toward removing him as well, I have created a divider that will give the 10 chicks 2/3 of the coop and the 3 hens will have 1/3 with 2 nesting boxes for nighttime and egg laying.  After they all go to bed tonight, Jim and I will remove the other 6 hens and Cogburn, maybe to the chicken tractor and temporary run.


This is going to stir things up in the pecking order.  I installed two nesting boxes in the chicken tractor today, but I anticipate the girls going on strike and either not laying for a while or laying their eggs on the ground.  After the coop is opened tomorrow and the remaining 3 hens go out to eat and drink, I will use the staple gun to erect plastic poultry fencing over the new framing and to close off the 4 remaining nesting boxes and the chicks will be moved into the coop.  They will be able to see the hens, but for now, they won’t be able to leave the coop.  After a few more weeks and some growth, I will make a passageway for them to leave the coop, but scoot back to safety if feeling threatened.  For a while, they will have food and water in the coop with them.  Once they are large enough to share the coop and run with the big girls, the netting and framing will be removed and they will share the coop.  My goal is for the hens to sit eggs for future chicks, but that will either mean keeping Cogburn or another rooster, or buying fertilized eggs and slipping them under a broody hen for hatching.  I’ll have to make that decision before eldest son comes in late summer to put the hens in freezer camp.