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Day 34: Coyote Proof Fence

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If you own live stock, you have to take steps to keep them safe from predation.  Whether its raccoons, hawks or neighborhood dogs, something wants to eat your tasty farm animals.  Here in the quasi-rural desert, its neighbor dogs and coyotes.  So of course, since we want our animals to stay safe, we have to protect them.  Our yard is currently surrounded by a 5 foot chain link fence, that I am pretty sure keeps everything out.  Pretty sure, is a pretty good way to be sorry, so we decided to coyote proof it.  I suggested barbed wire, but Jenn was opposed.  She pointed out that she talks to the neighbors, and they lean on the fence.  Not so much an issue for me, but I figured selling a house with razor wire is probably hard.

Now if you are lazy, there is a company you can hire, called coyote rollers.  They will sell you a kit that you can attach to your fence, and you will be fine.  However, they will be charging you several hundred for materials that cost you about $50.  So if you are willing to take a little time, you can save a boat load.

 

So this is your typical suburban chain link fencing.  Its actually pretty good at what it does, and is the best fencing for containing both goats and pigs.  Both of which are animals that like to try and escape.  Coyotes and large dogs though can jump, get their feet on the top bar, and basically pull themselves over.  So what we are doing, is basically putting a roller on top of the fence, so if they try to pull, they just roll back down to their side.

So first step, get some small L brackets, and drill them into the fence with self tapping metal on metal screws.  The brackets I used were 2 X 2.  I wouldn’t go any smaller than that, but going a bit bigger probably wouldn’t hurt.  Then, in the top hole, you are going to run some braided steel cabling.  I used the cabling coated in plastic, and I believe the rollers will slide better.  If you get a different outcome, please let me know.  Measure between each L bracket, and subtract about 1 1/2 inches.  Then cut a length of 1″ PVC piping to that length.  Insert it onto the cabling between each L bracket.  For reference, the tubing rolls better when left as a solid length, do not cut into sections.  You will get an end result like this.

Now, you may or may not need this step.  We saw that our pieces were sagging in mid span.  I don’t believe it was the cabling, which we pulled taught, I believe the PVC was simply not straight.  So we needed something to hold it up.  Thus, I McGyvered some more L brackets into this shape.

Which I then put in the middle of each span.  With a loose twist tie, it still rolls perfectly, and will stay in place on the guiding middle bracket. We don’t have any way to test this yet, and hopefully it won’t come up, but our yard should now be proof against coyotes and dogs.  If you follow along, you can too.

I also cut down a large portion of our Oleander tree yesterday.  Oleander is poisonous to just about everything that eats it, so we can’t have it in the yard with goats.  I got about half of it gone, but the former owners of this house let it go to crap.  Its all suckered out.  Downside is that it was a great visual screen with the neighbors.  It was also planted near the gas line, which means I can’t really plant a new tree to replace it.  Perhaps some blackberry bushes or something else that will climb the fence.

That cornucopia of sharp pointy sticks still has to come out.

Paleo Portion:

Breakfast

3 tomato egg cups

7 sausage links

 

That was my awesome tasty breakfast yesterday.  Its actually a pretty poor picture, but the food was epic.  Jenn hollowed out some organic tomatoes we got from the Market on the Move.  Baked them in the oven for a bit, then added some eggs inside, and popped em back in.  They basically become soft boiled eggs with tomatoes.  Add in some epic dickmans breakfast sausage, it was an awesome meal.  It kept me going through a hard days work, and I still barely wanted dinner.

Dinner:

Egg Drop Soup

Cucumber Pepper Salad

We had some leftover egg drop soup tonight, and made a quick salad with ranch.  Very good after a long day of working.

Weight: 235

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Day 29: The Chicken Brooder is Ready

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Today was a busy day, for at least one of us here in the Ayers house.  Jenn spent the day getting our baby chicken brooder ready to receive our baby chicks.  We have, hopefully, only 4 days until ship day, when we will get our baby peeps.  We are both very excited.  I am sure they will be super cute, and pretty darn funny.  Here is a cool shot of our chicken brooder.

As you can see, we used our dog cage, and covered the bottom to protect it from chicken poops.  We just need to get some cardboard to protect the sides as well.  Food and water bowls of course for the chickies.  Also the heat lamp for them, shining on only half of the cage.  This allows the chicks to self regulate their temperature.  If they get too hot, they go to the shady side of the cage.  I think this should work out well.  I mean, although these are our first chickens, we do have experience raising dainty boned sedentary animals.

Note the highly successful chihuahua brooder in the exact same bedroom.  Pudgy little spoiled so and so.

Paleo:

Breakfast:

1 cup of coffee with cream and cane sugar to go

My company wanted me to come in early for a network install that didn’t happen until 10.  So I didn’t have time for my coffee on a day I really needed it.

Lunch:

Nothing, although unfortunately I was really hungry today.  It doesn’t happen often, but I developed a craving for bacon at like 1pm.

Dinner:

Chicken leg quarter

Salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, bacon and ranch

cauliflower

Dinner wasn’t anything super unique or special tonight.  Mainly I was exhausted after a long day.  I browned up the chicken quarters in olive oil, then covered them with lemon juice and fresh black pepper.  Baked them in the oven at 425 for 45 minutes.  Tasty lemon pepper chicken.  Pastured chicken leg quarters are much smaller and tastier than regular chicken legs.  There was a big difference between the two.

Also, the bacon was epic with the ranch dressing.  I fried up some bacon while I was cooking everything else, then we crumbled it on the salad.  It was awesome.

Dessert:

Smoothie

Once again Jenn made us awesome smoothies.  Strawberry and banana once again.  My favorite.

Weight: 233