If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It
I think I have mentioned a few times before how, having bought a property with the infrastructure already built and planted, is both a blessing and a curse. Having things already there makes me very reluctant to change them. I worry that it won’t work if I change it, I mean, if the previous owners did it that way it must have worked for them right?
Some things, such as the fruit trees, are a matter of taste. Our family has never eaten huge amounts citrus. We loved the mandarins, use the limes, lemons and lemonades as much as possible but there were still loads of oranges and grapefruits which we sold or the birds feasted on.
We are slowly adding to the orchard to make it more to our taste. This week I planted a mango, fig and avocado (the avocado came from a seed potted by my parents)
and we plan to add more mangoes and avocados along with some apples and maybe some exotics like the black sapote.
The chook pen and house has always been an issue for me.
The hens free range, which is great and what I wanted. The problem was that they would rather be down around the house, the drains from the sink and the gardens than up around the orchard where I wanted them, controlling various pests. Last week Quinn and I attacked their main point of entry. So far it has worked, but they still either hang around the gate or around the pen. Not where I want them up in the orchard. In a perfect set up, their ‘pen’ would enclose the orchard area. They would be confined to that part of the farm and dutifully attack the fruit fly, coddling moth and eat the fallen fruit. If I ever build a new house for them, it will be in the middle of the orchard, in the hope of encouraging the above behaviours. For now however, I will feed them their scraps under the trees, in the hope they will eventually settle in there.
The other problem we have are these critters.
All of them have been sighted in or around the chook pen in the last two weeks thanks to the warmer weather. One of the problems with the current hen house is that the laying/nesting boxes are on the ground – meaning easy access for all and sundry who like the taste of eggs. Although I hate to change things that have worked before, this is something I will be changing. Sometime in the coming weeks I intend to place the boxes up high, above the goannas and snakes, in the hope of happier chickens and more eggs.
It may be a temporary fix and I have dreams of building a deluxe hen house in the orchard sometime in the future, but for now we have other projects, such as fencing for cows, that take precedence over new chicken houses. So we won’t fix what ain’t broke and will make do, for now…