Wild Things Farm

  (Crab Orchard, Tennessee)
Farm life adventures of the Happy Hoer
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Update on the Happy Hens at Wild Things Farm

One of the highlights of Wild Things Farm are the Happy Hens.  They scratch and jabber and do chickeny things all day, every day.  Last week there was a breech in security....aka the fence came loose from the chicken house....so about 9 chickens decided to go for it.  I've actually let all the hens out this time of year to scratch around and "fly the coop" so to speak, just to break the winter boredom.  Well, this day a hawk decided he would also check out the chickens.    I arrived at the pen just in time to persuade the hawk to fly back up into the tree where he came from, but the chickens were all spooked and one buff orpington was "hiding" somewhat under the edge of the coop, but I picked her up and put her back in the house. 

The next day was "wing clipping" day.  One of my jobs as a chicken momma is to keep them safe and you know, EVERYTHING likes chicken.  So, early in the morning, just at daybreak (brrrrr) each chicken was caught and one wing clipped then moved to the pen outside.  When all were done I left the door open and no one offered to come back in---imagine that!

Now, every time I get near the pen to feed, water, collect eggs, or just say "hi" they all run like haints to the other side of the pen.  Maybe they'll get over it soon.

On Monday another group of lucky girls was brought to the farm to be part of the Happy Hens at Wild Things Farm.  They are called Production Reds and they are 8 weeks old.  They spent the first night in a big cardboard box in the shop, the second night in their box in the henhouse, and last night they stayed in the chicken house with the big girls and Mr. Rooster sir.

The coop was originally constructed to house more birds than were occupying it, so now we're up to capacity----except a few more nest boxes need to be built--that's a project for a warmer day.

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Keeping an eye (and bucket, and board, and stick) on the weather

Here we are, "knee deep" into winter.  December around here was as cold as I remember it being for such an extended spell.  At least the temperature has gotten into the double digits now, although still quite cold. 

Back in the fall someone from the NOAA contacted the farm to see if being a daily "weather observer" was something of interest.  The duties include reading and reporting the temperature maximum and minimums and temperature at observation time,  every day, which is all done with this handy-dandy inside unit:

The temperatures are detected by this strange-looking thermometer on a stick in the back yard:  (the blocks are part of the future fireplace/chimney project)

 and when it rains or snows, the rain gauge, a fiberglass snow board, and a measuring stick come into play.

The rain gauge is pretty cool though, because you can measure down to the hundredths-of-an-inch of rain.  A plexiglass "cutting board" is utilized to measure the snowfall depth.

The weather service utilizes observers to more completely get a picture of weather and climate in an area.  It's also interesting to see how many degrees difference there are between Wild Things Farm and the local airport.  Airport you say?  Why certainly---the Crossville International Airport-----just kidding.

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