Well technically, Friday chores. But Friday is practically the weekend. Yesterday afternoon was spent taking care of our chickens and getting our outdoor cats ready for winter.
The hen house was cleaned out, something that we do about every two weeks. The boys empty out all of the dirty bedding, and either Jonny or I replace it with fresh shavings. The dirty shavings are placed in the compost pile in the summer months, but over the winter we will distribute them amongst our dormant garden beds.
Yesterday the girls tried to pitch in by carrying the chicken feeder to the front porch to be refilled with feed.
After a pretty big molt, our chickens are finally starting to grow their feathers back, and aren’t looking so much like little neglect cases.
Yesterday’s other big job was to empty the old straw from our cat’s outdoor shelters, and replace it with fresh straw. The chickens get excited about straw so they were in and out of the cats houses as we cleaned them out and got them ready for winter. We have a variety of shelters for our outdoor cats including a few shelters that I was given years ago, that can be found here (just in case someone is looking for cat shelters, right, doubt it, but just in case!) We don’t have a barn or garage, so we have to provide the kitties with some source of winter shelter. I keep these houses under a huge hedge we have, so you can’t see them unless you go looking.
We have a dozen outdoor cats that fall into various categories, but mainly cats who were born outdoors and have no desire to be inside, and a few “bad” cats who were indiscriminate in their toilet habits. I spent years doing volunteer work to help people trap and spay or neuter stray and feral cats that they were feeding, and my dozen cats are the result of that. Some of them ended up with no place to go, so they came here. A couple have just shown up over the years, but thank goodness since I “retired” from my cat work, there haven’t been any newcomers. I suspect word got around that I helped with stray and feral cats, and a few were dumped on us. I am glad that this seems to have stopped because we can’t afford any more cats!
While we don’t have a barn, we do have this old shed-like building that we call the “lower shop.” It is honestly a big ugly mess. We use it to store firewood, and lots of other things.
It may not be a pretty place, but it’s functional! I am glad to have my cats all set for winter now.
The last outdoor chore yesterday was to plant bulbs. I bought a bag of 50 assorted daffodils months ago, and just rediscovered it. I had planned to get them all planted yesterday as this should have been done weeks ago. But, my little helpers wanted to do it, so I left it to them.
They spent a really long time digging those little holes and and only planted a few bulbs during that time (by the time they quit, I needed to move on to other things), so I will have to get back to that myself soon! They had a good time planting them though, and it’s always good to know how to plant a bulb properly! I will be interested to see what comes up in the spring and where!
I hope you are all having a great fall weekend!
I will be ready to share more of Beatrix’s birthday gifts next week!
p.s. I really appreciate all of the kind comments on my last post about our lost twin and new baby, and for sharing your own stories. They mean so much to me! I am always so touched by all the kind people who read my blog and reach out to me, and often finish reading your comments in tears (I know I said that I don’t like to cry in front of people, but I do cry- actually quite a bit and especially when I’m pregnant! I just try not to do it in public!) Thank you all so much.