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TBN Ranch is a private hobby farm nestled in the foothills of a five hundred acre mountain range in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert.

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Restoring Our Farm’s Pre-Storm Dignity

There are subtle hints that Fall is not that far away. This means Phoenix’s brutally hot summer is finally going to let up and we can get back to working outside. This season we’ll have a totally different agenda, clean-up from the monsoon storm is first priority, then the repairs and rebuilding of what was destroyed.

Although the temperatures are still a steamy 109, the sun isn’t quite as intense as it was a month ago and there are signs of relief. School supplies are on the store shelves, summer clothes are hanging on store sale racks, and that means only one thing to me. Phoenix will soon turn from a hellish territory to lush paradise for seven whole months!

Seven months… plenty of time to restore the farm to it’s pre-storm dignity. There’s a plan for the new shed row barn, and the replanting of lost trees and foliage will begin in November. There is progress, we’ve made a dent in the clean-up and the shed row barn is half down and  salvaged materials neatly stacked.

Our in-home remodeling projects are starting to look worthy of our efforts, and it looks like we just might meet our Spring completion deadline. However, take note I didn’t mention which Spring!

There will most likely not be any chicks in the brooder this Oct. With the barn construction, there will be too many disturbances and my hens will probably be unreliable setters.

Changes are always going to be a part of life, and none of us are immune. Rather than wallow in woe…

Perhaps change is the ladder forced upon us when we quit reaching for higher levels of accomplishment.

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The Egg Basket Says it All

Chickens are incredibly adaptable to almost any living condition. They are hardy in inclement weather, require few amenities, no luxuries, and will thrive in modest accommodations with gratitude.

It’s amazing how little chickens really need. But, my hens have proved me guilty of not practicing what I preach.  I didn’t really learn this valuable piece of information until our farm was recently hit by a massive storm, destroying our chicken housing.

Chickens have been around for thousands of years, I knew that, and without anyone endlessly fussing over them either… I knew that too! They’ll eat whatever you give them, and are smart enough to find their own groceries if given the opportunity. Chickens also have a built in GPS system! Like clockwork, they will always return home every night at dusk to roost… once again, I knew that! But regardless, I still searched for my feathered lost storm victims in the middle of the night.

I’ve spent years trying to make my chicken yards the ideal environment to assure a healthy and productive flock. Well, since the storm from hell flattened the chicken palace, my hens are living in primitive shambles… and are egg laying machines. More than ever!

It’s hot (107 degrees) and there’s no longer electric available to run their fan. Do they care? No! They are too busy taking dust baths and foraging through the rubble for whatever eatable prize they might find. If they had chicken lips I’m sure they would be in a constant state of smile.

I may have been forced into this situation of what feels like chicken neglect, but as it turns out, my hens might be better off not having me as an overprotective mother hen. They have proved to me they are not only capable, but willing to accept things as they are… gracefully.

Bottom line, happy hens fill the egg basket…  point taken girls.

Did you know Silkies are classified as fair layers… really?

Posted in Chicken Yard News, Chicken, Managing the Flock | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Versatile Livestock Enclosure

Your imagination is probably going wild with this awesome structure, but to me, it seems ideal for goats, and with a few modifications, chickens.

It’s easy to visualize a structure like this, the hard part is explaining it to a barn builder! Having a pic is the best only way to get exactly what you want. I found this pic online at FCP Barns.
Livestock-Stalls-2

I’m looking at every option to build something suitable in replacement of the barn I lost in last weeks storm. So far, I haven’t come up with much that fits my specific needs… or budget.  I have 3 building plans and until October to decide.  This disaster has totally messed up my fall breeding. There’s no way my Silkies will go broody when they are being moved from one coop to another during the construction. :(

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