An unexpected vet bill a couple’ve weeks ago (furbabies are epensive when they get sick!) ate into our infrastructure funds a little, and although we do have pet insurance, it’ll take a few weeks for any of those funds to get back to us for use.
In the mean time, we have ten baby guinea fowl which are almost big enough to need their own grown-up enclosure, so they can start learning where home is. Not to mention the five wyandotte chicks which are growing daily, and sharing a brooder box with the guinea fowl keets.
We do have a little sheltered ‘baby run’ for young chickens, but it still has the last lot of babies in it. Because I have a breeding program in mind for my chickens, to produce a specific type, I need to keep multiple roosters – and that means multiple pens for the birds. At the moment, we’re not letting them free range because we don’t have fenced paddocks for them to discourage local dogs and foxes, so the pens have to be big enough that all the birds have enough space, too.
Necessity being the parent of invention, we’ve rescued a few more of the unwanted old truck tail-gates from our neighbour’s yard (with his blessing – he wants to be rid of them) to use as the base structure for (a) the new A-frame guinea fowl house, to be located in well away from the house this time, and (b) splitting one of the existing, oversized chicken runs into two smaller runs which can each house a little tribe of a rooster and three hens. We have a roll of wire netting, so we should be able to get that done this weekend. Yay for free stuff, and for saving a lot of very useful steel from the tip!
The other project which is on my mind is the rose arbor I want to put up on the north side of the house, to extend the summer shade cover offered by the verandah. The verandah is amazing, but in late summer we get the winter solar path while we’re still getting summer temperatures, and the house gets hot. Best solution: more shade, provided by beautiful, deciduous roses. They don’t do much except feed the bees and make me happy, but not everything is about pure utility, and roses do make me very happy.
In the same spirit of re-using stuff we already have or have access to, I’m thinking that we could make the uprights for the arbor out of the logs left from whent he builders came through with a bulldozer to make a pathway to get the house in. They shoved everythign into a big pile, so it’s a huge job to dig all the good timber out again, but on the bright side, all those tree trunks have been drying slowly in the dirt, so they haven’t cracked. I think we could get something really lovely out of them, as long as we put down concrete footings and stirrups to keep the timber off the ground and away from the ever-hungry termites.