There may be no snow sticking yet, but winter is here and has brought the cold, dreary (and short) days and everything that is green and grows has turned brown and retreated until spring returns. What better way to make things cheerier than with the Rainbow Hut Crew of little chickens and ducks, who get brought in from the fields each fall and lined up to make caring for them through winter easier on me!
This year the rainbow is finally complete with the addition of the purple and orange huts (and a few repairs/modifications to some of the others). One or two others will pop up in spring to give the chickens stuck in the barn a chance to roam like their peers.
Their runs have been prepped for snowfall (hopefully coming soon) with the plastic cover over the top (chickens don't particularly like walking in snow, even if it's just a little) and heat lamps to keep them warm when it gets into the teens and below and lights to give them more awake and active time which helps them to keep laying eggs but also to stay warm and keep them full and hydrated in the cold.
Speaking of keeping them laying, there will be a special pre-thanksgiving egg/microgreen delivery tomorrow, Wednesday November 27th from 1030-11am. Me and my black truck filled with eggs will be in the Fireman's Park parking lot (where you park when you visit The Farmers Market at Libby). There will be a limited supply of chicken eggs (they haven't wholeheartedly returned to laying yet), duck eggs (excellent for baking all those tasty holiday goodies), and some freshly harvested yummy microgreens (local grown green things in winter!).
The regular weekly deliveries will be each Friday (starting Dec 6th) from 12-1230pm (which may change if weather or road conditions are particularly nasty some weeks, but I will notify by email, facebook, and instagram if it does). There will also be a break in deliveries in late January as I will be out of town for a visit to family and an organic farm conference.
A 'Before' look at getting all the huts and runs in their row as each run (the arched structure that they roam in during the daytime while safe from predators) is repaired from the brutality of being pushed around the bumpy field, and the huts (where they get locked in at night as well as lay their eggs) are attached to each run and hooked up with a maze of cords and switches to power their lamps, lights, and heated water & food bowls.
An inside look in the newly constructed orange hut which became the new bachelor home to the roosters Elvis (seen in center) and Jimmi Hendrix (not shown) so that the hens can live more comfortable and peaceful lives without their attentions and squabbling, which aren't required for egg laying, only for the eggs to be able to hatch.
The yellow hut (home to the main ducks) got a new sloped roof which will make it a little heavier to move (it was already the largest hut) but will make collecting all those yummy duck eggs in winter much easier and help keep moisture out as it used to sneak in and make an interior pond which the ducks loved but me not so much.
The red hut (home to 4 hens and one lonely drake who was bullied and exiled by the others but has found a home with the little ladies) got a new access hatch to replace the older failing one that was a rush design and built last winter. Hopefully the new design will outlast the old!
And Hella the farm kitty has retreated to a life of leisure in the warmth of the cabin, only willing to venture outside with company and when the sun is shining and it isn't too wet. There are plenty of varmints that try to enter the warmth of the cabin too so she still stays somewhat busy but also likes to nap on the clean laundry pile (always the clean pile, not the dirty pile), play hide and seek in the cardboard and paper fire starter pile, and play dress up with her festive holiday wear. The last one she doesn't enjoy as much as I do.
Where to find it all?
Starting December 6th, the egg/microgreen delivery every Friday from 12-1230pm.
Saturday, December 7th, I'll have a table full of everlasting wreaths, hair clips, handwoven scarves, hen saddles, and other wintertime farm crafts in Troy at the 4-H Christmas Bazaar from 9am-4pm at the Morrison Elementary School.