The Word-Nerd’s Homestead – Summer 2021: Blog Edition #5

Welcome back to the Homestead, Happy Readers!

Can you believe there’s only 2 Weeks Until Fall!?

Yeah, tell that to the sun and the 86 degree heat & 1000% humidity.

The garden is already gone. I had a few peppers left, but I let the chickens and ducks in to get at the ‘grass’ and now all those are gone too. Here’s pic of the two hens who decided to climb up and raid the last of the purple hulls growing on the trellis. For Velociraptors with little arms, they sure can find unique ways to reach things!

I kicked them out after that, but it was already too late to save anything else. Oh well, no big deal. I need to pull my tomato stakes up and just plow it under. I wonder if I could get anything to mature before frost? Hmmm….

Anyway, this blog is going to be focused on a specific project. No, not the Bubba Yaga… that’s still in the works.

But the PVC Guinea Run IS done!

I’m getting ahead of myself though. First…

What in the Flock is Going On?

The reason Bubba Yaga is not done (besides heat & mosquitoes) is that I had to engage in a Wild Duck Chase yesterday. I got up early and let the little flockers out around 7 AM. My thinking was that they were not getting enough sunlight hours being cooped up until I got to them at 10-11 each day. So, I growled myself out of bed at 7 (after tossing & turning and falling asleep at 4) to let them out. Then I went back to sleep and got up again once I felt human.

By the time I went to check on them a little after 1 PM, the ducks had vanished.

That’s right. 13 ducks gone without a trace. No quacks to be heard anywhere nearby. They had been staying close to home, not venturing past any of the gaps in my fencing. So, I thought predator. Coyotes or dogs or foxes or… something. There were no signs of a struggle though. No feather or blood, so I figured they had been chased and ran beyond their normal bounds.

Needless to say, the hunt immediately started.

I called in reinforcements for the search (mom) to ‘help look’. I rounded up the chickens thinking a predator had gotten after them all and caught the ducks because they are the slowest. Being the middle of the day, the chickens were very uncooperative and caused the burning of many calories and gallons of water. My ‘helper’ also does not understand chicken behavior and caused me many extra laps by being in the wrong place at the wrong time when herding birds. *sigh*

After that, I began walking the perimeter of the property, including the edges of my neighbor’s that is close by. Up and down very steep hills. 90 degrees or better. Ninjain’ spiders and braving ticks mosquitos, & chiggers, etc. For the better part of 2 hours, I walked and sweated my butt off looking for where they might have gone, all to no avail. They were nowhere to be found.

I was pissed and tired and mad and tired and angry and pissed and itchy and did I mentioned pissed? I was not a fun person to be around. I have spent a good chuck of change on those ducks and lot of sweat equity setting up their pen, plus the feed over the last six month. To have them gone… poof… in a span of a couple of hours was very upsetting. Burn it all down levels of upsetting.

But you know what made me even more aggrivated?

The fact that the little shitheads were back at the pen when I finally came back from my search.

[Actual clips of my emotions at that moment]

Where the ‘f’ they had been, I do not know, but they were back. Perfectly safe and wanting by their pen to get to the water.

I put them up and called it a day. I was worn out physically and my blood-pressure was not in a good place.

I did not maintain the Duck Bucket treatment regimen that day, nor did I get to it today because of the other stuff I was working on. I’ll have to take it back up tomorrow. I’m not seeing a lot of impact so far, so the last resort surgery is looking more likely. I do not look forward to that, nor the post-treatment upkeep. *sigh*

Enough of that though. Let’s talk about Guineas.

The Dirty Dozen get a new house.

The Dirty Dozen were two weeks overdue to get out of the brooder. Over the last few days, I’ve put together a pen for them. Here’s the step by step of that build.

Materials:

  • 3/4″ Schedule 40 PVC – 10 foot sticks (x10) [plus a bit extra that I had laying around for the door frame]
  • 3/4″ PVC Corners (x8)
  • 3/4″ PVC Tees (x9) [6 would have been enough, but I had to substitute some for elbows]
  • 3/4″ PVC Elbows (x1) [should have been 4, but I didn’t have as many as I though and underbought]
  • 1 x 6 x 5′ Board (for a door frame/brace)
  • 33′ of 6′ Ht. Poultry netting – 2″ holes [5′ Ht. will work, but you’d need 40′]
  • 6″ Zipties – 100 pack
  • 1 pair of PVC cutters
  • 1 gallon of Deep Woods Off
  • 2 gallons of Gatorade

Build note: If you start at the midpoint in front, the wire gets cut at the edge of the door and actually becomes the hinge of the door along with a couple of zipties.

I was thinking about adding the board to the top for more bracing, but decided to use it as a door jamb instead. I pulled it a bit too tight in places, causing some bowing, but it’s not too bad.

So, I finished this on Monday. The Duck fiasco happened on Tuesday. Which means I waited until today (Wed) to actually move The Dirty Dozen.

I got there food & water in there, then loaded them up in a doggie igloo and introduced them to the pen.

I was hoping to get some work done on the Bubba Yaga trailer as a roosting house, but it was simply too hot & buggy to get any more done today. That meant I had to do something more predator-proof for the night. So, I used the old duck brooder box as a temporary shelter.

The Dirty Dozen are now outside birds! Woohoo! Now I have to clean up the stinky mess they left in the shop brooder! Yuk!

Anyway, I think this is going to work well once I get the trailer finished. I have the tires now, so that’s the next step. Wish me luck!

Other Random Stuffz

I crafted my very own Precious!

I took it off, though, when a weird guy on a black horse stopped by and asked for directions to the hardware store.

I got my biggest egg haul so far, today (Wed). 4 duck & 3 chicken. Still no idea what’s going on with Lavern (Guinea) who seems to have stopped laying. I should be getting 16 chicken eggs & 9 duck eggs each day by now. Again, that was why I let them out so early on Wild Duck Chase day. I got 1 egg that day, so forget that. I’ll let them out when I get there. LOL

Big Ole Fence Lizard. The scale is hard to understand, but that dude is big. That’s a 2x board he’s hanging off of.

The Chicory is blooming! I had no idea what to expect with this plant, but it looks awesome. I think I’ll plant a bunch of them in the main flower bed next year, or maybe even along the garden fence. I hope I like the drink you make from the roots. I’ve never actually tried it, so I’m interested in finding out.

Welp, that’s it for this edition.

Until next time…

Happy Reading, Prepping & Homesteading!


Help Feed the Chickens! Buy a book! Pick up one from Amazon below, or now you can even buy directly from me if you want a signed one! Check out my Autographed Books page.

Check out my books on Amazon.

Or, even better, support me by buying some Autographed ones directly.

If Science Fiction Space Adventure is what you crave, then you should check out my anthology, Horizons Unlimited: Volume 1.

HORIZONS UNLIMITED

Matter conversion technology—Matt-Con—has broadened the scope of mankind’s existence. It has opened up the real possibility of viable colonies on other planets in our solar system, and even space itself. Anywhere matter can be captured or energy from the sun can be felt, the possibility of expanding human habitation exists.

In this volume:

Quicksilver (short story)

The space station Chariot of Helios—on its way to Mercury to become a power collection station for Earth’s growing need for energy to power matt-con tech—encounters a strange anomaly that threatens ship and crew.

Null Gravitas (short story)

New crew and new relationships form above the skies of Venus. A post-prequel to Escaping Aurora.

Escaping Aurora (novella)

The sudden destruction of mankind’s first atmospheric terraforming platform leaves three unlucky exonauts struggling to survive in the skies of Venus aboard a cobbled-together airship. Meanwhile, the commander of the space station above battles obstacles that might keep her from rescuing her stranded husband and crew in time.

If you like intrigue, humor and a bit of speculative technological supposition, you should pick up a copy of my technothriller-comedy eConscience Beta from Amazon today!

Peacekeeper Incorporated’s breakthrough nanotechnology could bring repeat offense crime to an end, freeing society from the need for criminal incarcerations. But first, they have to finish testing it. With funding on the line, and time to prove out the project getting short, the lead scientist must find a way speed things up. That’s unfortunate for his guinea pig, and anyone who would stand in his way.

Can the goal of ending most crime justify committing one… even a few?
And what happens when you conflate altruism with egotism?

Find out in eConscience Beta, where two lab techs and an uncouth petty criminal must outwit a brilliant but sociopathic scientist who’ll stop at nothing to establish his legacy as the man who ended crime.


HAPPY READING!

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