Minding the Garden Muses

I’ve tried. I’ve REALLY tried. Honestly, I tried. But I can’t help myself. The Garden Muses own me. They tug at me unceremoniously until they get what they want. This year they’re making me improve our chicken yard. Since it’s in our front yard having a welcoming area makes sense.

Well, it’s actually a chicken AND goat yard for now. We’re breeding a buck with three delightful ladies and needed the space and shelter. Sooooooooooo the chickens had to move over.

This picture was taken last summer (2009). Jordan (my goat-helper) went bonkers on us after sheering 25 goats. By the time she got to Lester, she HAD to express her creativity.  Lester deserved it, don’t feel sorry for him. Mr. Wonderful is our beloved pain-in-the-bottom. More about him later. His antics could fill volumes. Every farm needs a Lester; he’s ours.

The chicken yard is in the background. Containing two structures: a 10×10 chicken house and a 4×10 chicken tractor (designed to be portable), the area is shaped like a kite, sort of. With only two 90 degree angles and long unused algebra, I have no idea of the square area. It isn’t THAT important.

Since this photo was taken we’ve added heavy mulch and steel edging around the beds OUTSIDE the chicken area. Notice the bird bath area. The rock driveway was added last year. While clay makes for highly nutritious mud, tromping through mud at the front door is NOT good.

The umbrellas have been removed (needed for summer shade); and, the goats have eaten down the grass. The chicken tractor (first photo foreground) has a brown tarp wrapped around it so the goats would have shelter apart from the chicken house. The tractor’s floor began as dirt but with all this rain it’s major muddyyyyyy. Since goats don’t do wet feet, the goats are residing in the chicken house. Sigh … .

The trash cans are food containers and store various chicken-related tools. With the land grade being slightly down hill from the barn (see background) all water drains through the chicken yard down to the front door. NOT a desirable result.

Lots of mud. Lots of wet, slimy, slippery mud. Did I mention that this mud has chicken AND goat poop mixed in with it? If you’ve ever fallen is ‘poop enriched farm mud” you’ll know the choice words used on the way d-o-w-n. Luckily water hoses are everywhere. In the summer I don’t mind hosing myself down before going inside; but, during the winter it’s tufffffffff. But poop drenched clothes are NOT permitted in the house. Not even mine.

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