We have exactly eight days of hands-on experience with the ladies now, and we’re already realizing how much knowledge we’re gaining in such a short time. After all, we had so much to learn! After a brief stab at allowing them to free range on Veg Hill, we realized we really needed to find a way to allow the ladies to scratch without giving them free reign to wander throughout the garden. The solution we are using – at least for the time being – is an 8 foot square run where they can scratch, peck, pee, and poop during the day before they retreat to the coop at night.
They have taken up residence now on the orchard floor, and they get a fresh square more or less every day. That means we already have had the chance to see how an 8 x 8 square looks after they’ve worked on it for a day. And that news is all good. If you want bad news, we can give you that too. Oddie, our Springer Spaniel, is continuing to find it irresistible to get after the chickens. This stresses them (and us) terribly, so something needs to give. We have ordered an e-collar, which may work wonderfully. If it does, we will be singing its praises and crediting it with saving Oddie’s life here on the farm. If it does not work, Oddie will not be long for this farm. We simply cannot have him disrupting their lives so completely.