Chicken Swap, Surprise Addition to the Family & a Pretty Trailer

Well, its been a busy few weeks. This is the laundry list of all of the projects on the go & nearing completion. It’s a bit boring – you may want to skip down to the next paragraph for the good stuff! We moved 10 yards of soil from our old compost heap to the veg garden & also to the “fill spot” by the pool. We built a 12×12′ deck for the pool shed at the front of the property using salvaged lumber from my dad’s old deck. With the help of 7 strong friends we moved the shed to the new deck & I built & filled 1/2 of the 12’ long planter boxes to go around it. I am the “prettier upper” and hubby is the heavy liftinger (; The kids happily destroyed our old privacy fence separating the pool area from the rest of the yard with sledge hammers. In the meantime hubby & I carefully dismantled the old pool shed deck. We are using the old lumber to build more veg garden raised beds. Next we started on the 50’ railroad tie retaining wall. It is about a dozen pieces of rebar away from being finished! Wow, railroad ties are heavy in 14’ lengths. We put one end of the tie on a dolly & I pulled, hubby lifted & pushed the 100 feet from the driveway to the side yard. My aching back. When we were all done a neighbour showed up with his tractor to move them for us (ARGH!!!) I finally dug out the 25×2′ perennial garden along the back of our chain link fence. I have a big garden inside the fence line but grass grows up the back & makes it impossible to keep weeded. Now it will be easy once the perennials take hold. I will do a more detailed journal on the yard renovations later, when the “after” pics are ready (:

In our spare time (ha ha), we sanded down our old homemade rustbucket trailer & got the eldest kid to paint it shiny black to match the truck. Hubby’s dad & brother originally designed & built the 10’ long trailer to carry camping supplies on the bottom & a canoe on the top. They made it insanely strong. It held 4 14’ railroad ties (about 1200 lbs) easily & could have taken more, but the wheels weren’t rated for any more weight. The coolest thing about the trailer is that you can carry lumber on top, put in the removable side panels & carry a yard and a half of manure at the same time! A gardener’s dream.

For a break from all of the work of the last few weekends, hubby & I went to a chicken swap on Sunday morning. Held by the Fur & Feathers club at the fairgrounds in Mount Forest, the swap was PACKED! There was at least a thousand people crowding around with tons of birds & livestock. We parked miles away & walked to the fairgrounds. As we walked, we discussed our strategy. Hubby (know for spur of the moment purchases at chicken auctions – Rooster – in the past) was looking for 3 specific breeds of ladies to add to our gang. If he didn’t see any of the 3 specific breeds in specific colours he wasn’t going to get any. The 3 specific breeds plan was nixed within 3 minutes of entering the swap, as he fell in love with a shiny black Wyandotte (not on the list). I named her Elvira immediately because of her huge Elvis sideburns. Poor girl.

 Next he spotted a white Polish (Polish on the list – white not). She is lovely & calm. She already lets us pet her!  Update:  She even laid her first egg the next day!

The surprise of the day was on our way out of the fairgrounds. It is my fault (just don’t tell hubby). He has been talking about getting a bunny or 2 for a couple of years. I always say no. As we passed by one of the vendors hubby stopped to look at more hens (not on the list) and I caught eyes with a little brownish-greyish Lionhead rabbit (VERY not on the list). Woops. I couldn’t help myself. She was so cute… {{sigh}}. Now we have a rabbit living in our downstairs bathroom.

 We are going to build a rabbit hutch that will look like a 2 story garage to go with the hen-house. The rabbit will have her own run & also be able to go in the hen run. We are planning on finding her a friend when the hutch is built – but 2 rabbits can’t fit in our 2nd bathroom. I am very happy – think of all of the instantly useable manure!!! Bonus is that it comes from the cutest little thing – names are being negotiated – hubby likes Fluffy (BAH No way)!!!

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