Guest Post: Dan (part 7)

Good Morning Mr. Sunshine

After weeks of off-and-on rain, we are finally faced with a predicted week of sun and temps in the low 80s.  Ideally you want clay soil damp when working it because it becomes hard as concrete during the hot summer months.  If you have never experienced red clay in the summer just know that the soil starts forming cracks that can be up to 2 inches deep.

If the title of this article sounds familiar then you’re an old soul like me.  It’s from the Bee Gees Song, Lonely Days.  It placed the group on the charts for the first time in the US.

I have about a week and a half to get this chicken coop done based on Beth’s imposed deadline.  This weekend she learned how to cause a chicken’s demise.  Her friend had three roosters and a hen to do.  It did bring up a couple of questions though.  According to her it takes 2 people to kill a chicken.  Also you have to use a hook to stretch the neck out?  What is the purpose of the funnel like things we see in our catalogs?   They also use a pair of snips to clip the legs off.  What are they and what is the best kind to get?   Beth actually enjoyed the process and didn’t have any problems with doing it.  When she was getting her cosmetology license she would come home and practice on me.  Hopefully she has not plans to do that with her chicken training.

I was lucky to get close enough to snap a picture of one of our three permanent residents of our pond.  This one is about half the size of the granddaddy of the pond.

What is nice is all three of them have different mating calls so at night we are serenaded when we go to bed.  Of course the pond has a lot of smaller frogs take up residence but they are only visitors who answer the call of the bulls. I also managed to snap a picture of one the temp visitors.

This past week I did manage to get up a privacy fence and build two firewood stands.  As you can see it is all using salvaged wood and fencing.  The privacy fence was from a yard down the street where the house was demolished and I asked for the fencing.

Since we are going to build a structure using pallets to form our compost bins we decided to incorporate it into our chicken yard since they love to scratch through the refuse and add to the compost as they do so.  It will also add an extra 8×12 open air space for the little ladies.

Since this is going to be built on the side of the shed it has turned into a puzzle on how to do this.  We have to take into account that we and the chickens need access.  We need access to the compost bins from the outside and the chickens need access from the inside.  Plus we need access to inside this area of the pen in the off chance we need to crawl or clean under the shed.

We have been in the 13 years cycle of  Brood XIX Cicadas.  During the day you can hear the millions of them singing in the trees.  It sounds like a constant buzz saw that goes on and on.

I took a picture of one of them resting.  (There is a lightning bug in the picture also.)  You can’t walk anywhere in the yard without seeing their wings on the gound.


Dan Shaw: Chicken Farmer someday.  From now till 14 June, only for the readers of Julie’s blog I have a special offer at:

For related articles see:

Dan: Part 6

Dan: Part 5

Dan:Part 4

Dan:Part 3

Dan:Part 2

Dan:Part 1

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One Response to Guest Post: Dan (part 7)

  1. Julie Helms says:

    Hey Dan,
    Your way of dispatching sounds more complicated than ours. When we did more than just one, we strung a line like a clothesline. Then from that we hung a noose/slipknot kind of thing. Then there would be a table or surface underneath. So in one smooth movement the feet go in the noose, the head on the table and disconnect the head. I never heard of leg snippers–a butcher knife works fine. I keep the feet on pretty long too because they make it easier to handle the bird while cleaning it.

    About 5? years ago we had a huge cicada hatching and it was funny watching the chickens chase them. They would snatch them out of the air and snap the wings off all in one movement, then gulp down–they got it down to a science. I never recorded it but I bet my feed bills were very low that summer! This year all we have is stinkbugs and I don’t think the chickens like them…. 😛

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