Now that we don’t have to race to build new infrastructure for every new stage of our chickens’ life, agendas have become more flexible on the farm.  We still have plenty to do (thank goodness), but now that the schedule is more malleable, we are making room in the day for little bits of recreation.

It’s not much, but the variety has been lovely and really made us enjoy our work on the farm a lot more.  Shae has been doing more craft work at home and finding time to work with her pressure canner that my mom surprised us with before we left San Diego.  The change of pace and ability to add some variety to her day has really seemed to perk her up, and it’s been filling our pantries with some delicious looking stuff, too.

I have been content with less productive activities.  I have continued my sporadic effort to learn to play the ukulele.  I’m luckily past the point of having those around me suffer while I practice, but because I’m working the same two songs over and over, I give Shae a break and go outside whenever I can, the chickens don’t seem to mind.  More than anything, just engaging the severely under-used musical part of my brain has been well worth the effort.  I’ve also had the chance to start reading fiction in earnest again.  My addiction to British nautical adventure was rekindled last June when my dear friend Vera from school bought me the first book in the Aurbrey/Maturin series.  The series is 18 books or so long, so like all good addictions the first kick was free and there is essentially no end in sight.

(3 Days Later)

So…it would appear that Shae and I have tempted the agricultural gods by talking too much about recreation.  I wrote the top part of this entry on Sunday and since then we’ve gotten word that our first rains might be coming tomorrow (we are not prepared for that), a pack of coyotes has attacked and killed 5 turkeys, and the wind/turkeys have destroyed the turkey shade structure that I was planning to write the next blog about.  Awesome.

Really, Turkeys?
We have since had to rebuild and re-fortify their house and get the farm ready for what might be a light drizzle or torrential downpour.  As for the coyotes, our first preference is obviously to let them live.  They are an important role to the farm’s health, even if we can’t quantify it or see it easily.  However, now that they know they can get such a big and delicious meal (these turkeys are looking absolutely stellar!) so easily, their cost benefit analysis is telling them it is worth it to go through a 6,000 volt fence.  I’m actually writing this now in our truck that we’ve parked out in the pasture to watch the turkeys and see if the coyotes come back.  The sad reality is we might have to intervene with lethal force to convince them their analysis is not as robust as they think.  I knew my graduate school years would pay off.