Monday, May 30, 2011

Poultry Keeping...The Transition Pen

New pullets just starting to "feather out" in the transition pen.
   The awkward transition from fluffy little chick to gaudy pin feather pullet happens rather quickly. In a short matter of weeks the tiny birds outgrow the small, warm brooder and its confinement; now the desire room to roam and earth to scratch. The are not quite big enough for the freedom of the great outdoors and the challenges it presents; for our farm, the middle ground is a transition pen.
   For the original flock we set up our permanent coop, adding an enclosed run to give them protected outdoor space. When replenishing or adding to our existing flock, this is not practical. We created a simple transition pen using a six by ten covered kennel and a large light weight dog house.
    Soft shavings from the brooder are initially placed in the dog house to provide familiar scent decreasing the stress of the move. The pen itself is positioned near the main coop in the loafing yard. If night time temps dip very low a heat lamp can be attached to the inside of the pen for warmth. Feed and water fountains from the brooder are set up to hang by small lengths of chain hung from the ceiling.
    Curious and hungry pullets quickly scratch up the small pen area, so the lightweight pen is gently moved every few days to provide new ground. Nosy older hens visit the perimeter of the pen throughout the day checking out the new girls; roosters stop by to size up the new boys. All of the livestock that share the loafing area get an opportunity to get acquainted with the new babies.
   Poultry develop quickly; soon a cull must be determined. Extra roosters are separated to a "meat pen" and started on a meat development plan while older hens (no longer in production) are also evaluated and removed. Our focus is to maintain healthy, productive flocks for our family.
   The transition pen may only house poultry for a short period of time, but its versatility keeps it in use throughout the seasons. It serves as a holding area for animals needing special attention (for example, it is used at feeding time to separate growing does from adult does to ensure the little girls get enough). Sometimes we use it as a quarantine if an animal is injured, ill, or a new arrival. The pen can be used to graze out older poultry or small stock in a restricted area- for example, an unused area of the garden can be cleaned out quickly by a few goat kids or some hens.
   Versatile, useful, and efficient--poultry keeping with a transition pen.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

It Is Sunday

"At that day ye shall ask in My name...the Father Himself loveth you."
John 16:26-27
At that day ye shall as in My name, i.e., in My nature. Not - "You shall use My name as a magic word," but- "You will be so intimate with Me that you will be one with Me." "That day" is not a day hereafter, but a day meant for here and now. "The Father Himself loveth you" - the union is so complete and absolute. Our Lord does not mean that life will be free from external perplexities, but that just as He knew the Father's heart and mind, so by the baptism of the Holy Ghost He can lift us into the heavenly places where He can reveal the counsels of God to us.
"Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name..." "That day" is a day of undisturbed relationship between God and the saint. Just as Jesus stood unsullied in the presence of His Father, so by the mighty efficacy of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, we can be lifted into that relationship- "that they may be one, even as We are One."
"...He will give it you." Jesus says that God will recognize our prayers. What a challenge! By the Resurrection and Ascension power of Jesus, by the sent-down Holy Ghost, we can be lifted into such a relationship with the Father that we are at one with the perfect sovereign will of God by our free choice even as Jesus was. In that wonderful position, placed there by Jesus Christ, we can pray to God in His name, in His nature, which is gifted to us by the Holy Ghost, and Jesus says- "Whatsoever ye shall as the Father in My name, He will give it you." The sovereign character of Jesus Christ is tested by His own statements.
My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

Saturday, May 28, 2011




Submitted by: trish z
Author: Trish Z
I see you standing among them all
Standing so strong ,proud and tall
The world looks at you, but does not see
Everything you sacrifice to keep us free

I'm here to say, to let you know
That you are loved, even if it doesn't show
You fight for our hopes,dreams,and liberty
You fight for our freedom...... A hero to be

We want you to know, your never alone
For we are waiting, for you to come home
But the hardest thing for a person to be
Is you.. A SOLDIER, fighting
To keep us free


Friday, May 27, 2011

Then and Now..The Wonder of It All.

Afternoon sun glares down upon the farm; breeze graces us with relief from the stifling heat. In the shadow of the farmhouse we gather on medal lawn chairs with buckets and bowls. The mornings' pickings need prepared for canning; our noon day heat will be endured with light hand work. 
Each in place, the work begins. Conversation flows freely as our hands knowingly snap the beans into pieces- just the right size. The price of feed and the latest garage sale finds are hot topics along with who's expecting and who found their way to mischief. A little tiff breaks out when it is realized that Great-grandma has been putting the snapped beans in the stem job is to quickly remedy the problem. She smiles at me and bites her tongue..we giggle together at my Grandmother's grand reaction to it all. All is right again- harmony restored as we continue on this task. Together we sit, sharing the work, sharing the worries and the wonders of it all. 

Afternoon sun settles over the little farm; sweltering heat indexes already plague our farm. In the shade of the house we sit together longing for even a slight breeze to ease the intense heat. The shadow of the house is where we gather on wooden gliders with buckets and bowls; this mornings' pickings need prepared for canning. Our work will keep our mind off the stifling heat.
Conversation flows freely among us as our hands mindlessly snap green beans- just the right size, the way I have always done. The price of gas, the latest movie..our hearts are shared over this mundane task. A little tiff breaks out when someone shares a tender secret from her own heart...lovingly teased all is well. One shares a shy smile and I give a knowing look...we giggle together at the grand reaction to it all. The subject changes as we return to our work. Together we sit, sharing the work, sharing the worries and the wonders of it all.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ten Fun Farm Facts

1. The barn is cleaner than the house; the garden- even cleaner!
2. When the gate us shut turn around and come back when it's open.
3. Sweat is part of our daily life- no, it doesn't bother us.
4. If you don't work, you don't eat.
5. Goat kids are like farm kids- just as much fun and they get into just about as much trouble.
6. Yes, we all drive trucks...there is a reason.
7. We grow it, we clean it, we eat it and we like it that way.
8. Laundry gets hung on the clothes line-- yes, all of it.
9. We dress for our work; denim, boots and tees.
10. Every day is an opportunity to learn something new- we embrace that and live it!

Hope you smile today!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011