Thursday, March 24, 2011

Keeping the mozzies (and everyone else) at bay

Well, we seem to have stuck on 14 sales... It's been a long and mostly entertaining day, with the usual visitors and tribulations (you ever seen that cartoon about the DIY canoe - that the maker had one point up and the other down?) I did that to the chookabago AND the door-screen (to allow door to be open and dogs not to go in.) Yes, I am gifted.

And we had a South African visitor for supper this evening, which was fun. I am really good at asking questions just as someone's mouth is full! Now if I had that kind of timing with the Scottish dancing... We fed her on abalone, roo and granilla fool. And garlic.

And then took her to the dancing.

We're nice people. Really.
Just not to be too close to ;-)


  1. Sounds like lots of fun to me.

    Is the chookabago a complete enclosed pen-and-coop that moves around on the grass, with the birds always enclosed? Or just the night-time coop and roosts, and they are out roaming in the day? How big?

    Now that the bees seem to be thriving (going to split and make a second hive in a couple of weeks!) I'm starting to think chickens. I have a neighbor whose red hens roam in the woods, as well as his peacock -- quite startling for my workers-guys who were out there in the brush near his fence cutting out privet and greenbrier. But in this suburban/rural interface there are many coyotes, a few foxes, and a well-documented bobcat. So I'm thinking fully enclosed might be wiser.

    Question from a few days back -- what do you do with all the abalone shells?(*covet*) Seems like those could add to the exchequer if you could get them to the places where they sell for $10 each....

  2. $10 each? I make jewelry and abalone pendants just a few inches big sell for that...

    Dave, bought crawlspace, and then just because I couldn't pass up that title, Goth Sex Kitten! Looking forward to some quiet reading time now. We've been boiling maple sap out in the woods, so I haven't had much of that recently!

    Abigail, plan to enclose your chickens. We tried free range last year and lost all of them.

  3. Abigail you can probably let them out during the day to forage, but definitely keep them locked up at night. The only possible exception to this would be if you're buying adult birds from someone who free ranges outdoors, birds you raise from chicks are beyond stupid.

    In ~20 years of out during the day my parents have had 2 daylight attacks (dogs) and one was the same dog coming back around dawn for a second meal (and caught a few loads of shot for its trouble).

  4. You'll get more sales as word gets around. Terrible time for the Bar to have troubles.

    But people, like me, will get off our duffs and get Kindle apps for our PCs (Free at we simply must have our Rats and Bats.

  5. Abigail - permanantly enclosed. Mobile and quite large. - roughly 5 metres by 2 metres. Intended for 4 chooks.

  6. Cedar ? what $10? I am quite interested in abalone shell jewelry as a future direction. I have tons of shell.

    Um. You know me right? You DO realise it's almost certain to be a feline goth?

  7. Danneely - we've been told we can let them out in the afternoon, once they been in for several weeks. We've got a 2 acre vacant field in front of the house, and I gather they won't go far from the cage? How plausible is this?

  8. Dave - yes, I know you. I have a pretty good idea of what to expect and am anticipating :)

    As for the shells, I mostly do chainmaille, but occasionally add shells and beads as pendants and accents. Here in the US, abalone well polished is quite dear. One of my favorite bead shops has some nice bits but at $10-$20 per I can't afford to add to my work, usually. If you have the tools to cut and polish (a dremel, perhaps) you might be able to make a little pocket change off the shells. Try Etsy. It's cheap to list, your customers pay shipping, and it's a good place for crafty people to sell stuff.

  9. My grandfather raised chickens for eggs and had an "egg route" of deliveries. His three houses of birds - maybe 60? went out in the day to scratch around in the chickenyards and woods, and came back into the chickenhouses (solid stone with a bug netting window that opened and closed) at night, except for one that might occasionally fly up into a tree to roost instead. But I was too young to be aware of how they learned or were trained to come in at night. I guess their feeders and waterers were in there, as well as the laying boxes. Grandpop could gently slide his hand under a hen and retrieve the fresh egg she was sitting on. I always got pecked.

  10. Oops, I didn't mean a bug netting window, a BIG netting window - half a wall was a frame of chicken-wire, that propped open in the day and was closed at night.

  11. The two batches of adult birds my parents bought (normally they raised chicks) both tended to behave like they did at their old owners. The ones from a commercial farm almost never went into the fenced in run, nevermind the rest of the yard. The barn birds who weren't used to being locked up at all were a much bigger, and when they perched high in the trees down right impossible, challenge to get closed up at night. I suspect if you buy birds from someone who only lets them out during the day you should be OK.