Our concord grape vines bushes are severely over grown. What you don’t see behind this picture is that some of the vines have snaked their way into the brush behind them, into the back yard and up the pine tree. We actually have Tarzan worthy vines to swing on in the back yard thanks to the grapes.
But anyway, despite the not-so-ideal set up, there are a decent amount on grapes on the vines. To protect them from the birds we have confined the vines behind a big net.
If this works, we should be blessed with some delicious grapes for grape jelly after the first frost. Cross your fingers!
Grapes in the spring:
Grapes by mid summer:
These chickens are growing like weeds! Long gone are the days of fluffy little cute chicks. We have fully reached the gawky stage that only a mother can love And love them I do. This chicks provide hours of entertainment and hours of work…
This week they were introduced to their new run. They are still rather small so they only get to explore the run when I am working neat by. I am still worried a hawk might swoop down and grab them! I probably don’t have to worry too much though. They don’t do much outside. They are more interested in the ants and moss in the doorway!
Of course Mohawk and Tofu (there was a name change from Toes to Tofu recently, haha) always the leaders were the first to come over and check things out.
Their first steps outside were VERY cautious.
Instinct kicked in as soon as they stepped into their run. The chicks knew to scratch and were searching for bugs moments after stepping into the grass. I can’t wait to put them to work cleaning up the garden this fall!
Putting up the run for the chickens has been on the “To Do” list for a while now. Luckily we really don’t need the fence until they are a bit older and that bought us some time to work out the details. There were many factors that we needed to consider to keep the run as safe as possible.
- Has to be tall enough that they won’t fly out
- A fence that they can’t run through
- Welded wire for strength
- Part of fence should be buried to keep animals from digging under
- Must have a gate for egg retrieval and clean up
- Must be as animal proof as possible because we have fox, raccoons, coyotes, etc. in our woods
We wanted to build our run with all of these features without incurring too much expense. In the end we used leftover 4 foot high welded wire from our garden. Attached to the top of that we ran 2 foot welded wire we discovered in our garage (we later ran out of that and found another roll in our woods). To the outside of the welded wire we attached a 5 foot tall chicken wire fence. Once everything was said and done we basically put up three fences!
The right half of the run (and me building the chicks a rock step to get out of their coop):
Here you can see how much taller the run is than the garden fence:
The gate was recycled from my parents house. It was originally used as a gate for our sheep when I was a kid, but is going to work perfectly for our purposes. The gate was COVERED in rust, but it was nothing a little spray paint couldn’t fix
The fence was quite a project, but the piece of mind is worth it. The goal is to allow them access to the run all day. When we are working in the yard, we hope to let them free range. We will have to determine if that will work by how well they stay out of the road. In the spring and fall we will put the chickens to work in the garden eating bugs (and as a result fertilizing the soil) and scratching up the plants. In return we hope they will provide us with many delicious and nutritious eggs!