Fall Cleaning

Welcome back!

Do you remember how River likes to get herself stuck in places?
She got herself stuck in the feeder yesterday.
Silly River!
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Do you remember the new chicks from the beginning of school?
They are growing up. Their mama hen is a banty. A banty is a small chicken. You may have a small dog, and your neighbor may have a large dog. Lots of animals have large and small breeds or types.
Look how big the chicks are! They are as big as their mama hen.
The mama hen is the grey one in the front. She still takes care of the chicks.
She shows them where food is, and she keeps them warm at night by sleeping near them.

When the chicks are grown up they will be much bigger than their mama hen.
That’s because she didn’t lay the eggs they hatched from,
she only sat on them and hatched them out.

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If you think it’s fun to live on a farm, you’re right. 
If you think there are times when it isn’t fun to live on a farm, you’re right, too!

It’s fall on the farm. It doesn’t matter what season it is, there is always a lot of work to do. In the fall we do a lot of cleaning and repairing. We want to make sure things last through the winter weather. We want to make sure that the animals have clean, dry bedding (that’s the stuff we put on the floor of the barn). I’m sure you would rather sleep in a dry bed than a wet bed!

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Last week it was time to clean the chicken pen. Eeeeewwwww!

This is what it looks like under the chicken pen after a summer.
We clean it in the spring, and again in the fall.
If you are saying, “Ewwwww, yuck!” right now.
I don’t blame you!
It’s pretty yucky!
Chickens poop where they sleep so this is a summer’s worth of poop under their roosts.
(A roost is a place where a chicken sleeps. They sleep on their feet, not laying down.)
Here’s the first wheelbarrow of poop.
Here’s the second wheelbarrow full.
How many wheelbarrows do you think I filled and dumped in all?
Wheelbarrow three.

Wheelbarrow four.

How many piles do you see?
How many full wheelbarrow pictures did I forget to take?
If you said there are five piles and only four pictures of wheelbarrows, you are right.
I was getting tired and forgot to take a picture.
I don’t spread out the piles. The chickens help with that. Over the next week they scratched through the piles and they are quite flat now.

Here’s what the same spot looks like all clean.
Yes, I even brush the spiderwebs and dirt off the walls.
What tools did I use to clean the pen?
I add a bale of shavings underneath because shavings make it easier to clean.
You couldn’t tell in the wheelbarrows, but we put a bale of shavings underneath in the spring.
This is what the shavings look like when they are spread out a bit.
Here’s what the coop looks like when it’s back in place for the winter.
The tarp keeps the wind away from the chickens.
The wire cage keeps the raccoons and mink away from the chickens.
How long do you think it took me to do all that work?
It took me about 2 1/2 hours.
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I had to replace hinges on the shed door this week, too.
This hinge was broken and wasn’t holding the door up.
I had to screw the boards in the door back together,
and replace the hinges.
I put two hinges on that look like this one.
They are much stronger and will last longer than the old ones.
Now the door works much better!
I did a lot of other work this week getting things ready for the winter.
I had a little bit of help with some things, but I did the chicken pen, and the shed door by myself.
Phew! That was a lot of work for one person!
Do you do hard things all by yourself?
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Your teacher told me that some of you missed last week and were so sad about it! I’m sure you had a wonderful time doing what you were doing.
She asked that I post one more picture of Johnny Appleseed Day for you.
It looks like everyone enjoyed their drink of cider!

I hope you are learning how to work hard, and to do things that aren’t always fun. It’s a great feeling to finish a job whether you liked the job, or not!

We all have things we don’t like to do. The best thing is to just get to work and do it!

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