Today was unseasonably warm for November. I didn't actually look at a thermometer, but I'd guess it was in the mid to high 50's (I just checked Weatherbug and they say it was 59, so I was pretty close). It was very nice because we had a lot of outdoor work to do. This morning my Dad arrived to help me butcher 5 of our roosters that had gotten rather large and annoying. We had 12 chicks hatch this summer and 8 of them turned out to be roosters. Now there are three remaining, plus their Daddy, Big Red, and our free-range friend, Big White Chicken. Probably one or two of the others will have to go eventually, because we really don't need 4 roosters in with the hens, but since they are not causing problems now (harrassing hens constantly for example), they can hang around a while longer.
After that chore was done, Dad stuck around to help Ken in the barn, finishing up the second coop, and starting on a pen for the sheep. There's a door in the side of the barn that was boarded up by the previous owners, and we've left it that way, but it would open into what is now the sheep shelter. So we are building a small pen inside (for isolation of sheep if/when necessary) that will be accessed from the shelter, and we'll have a sliding door outside to close it off when not needed. They had to move quite a bit of stuff around to make room to work. I keep saying that eventually we'll get the space organized so that Ken can have a nice work area. After we get this pen done, I think we'll be able to really work on organizing the rest of it.
I raked up a bunch of leaves, fallen pine needles, pine cones, and maple seeds and spread them on one of the muddier areas of the sheep yard. The pines needles really help a lot because they form almost a mat which helps to hold everything else in place, and all the organic material helps to firm up the sticky, clayey mud, and make it less slick. Over the winter this stuff should break down and mix into the soil and improve it. Then at some point in the coming year we'll re-seed it to a pasture mix. The one good thing about too much rain, and all the resulting muck and mud and sheep churning up the ground with their hooves, is that perhaps the Creeping Charlie will be wiped out, or at least severely curtailed. That stuff is nasty, covering every inch of ground it can reach, and out-competing the grass, and the sheep won't/can't eat it.
I did some inside work too, updating our church's directory with hopefully the final updates. Then I just need to get it printed and distributed!
Tonight we went to a local eatery, Casey's Malt Shoppe. The owners, Carl and Karen, have become friends and we really like going there. We were their last customers tonight so they came and sat with us and chatted. They keep horses, as well as running the restaurant, and Carl has another job besides. Busy folks but they really enjoy the restaurant business.
The sheep are in the midst of breeding season now. I think things are going well. Orange calmed down after the first day, and she no longer has head-butting contests with Flint. I'm hopeful that she'll lamb.
Guess that's all the news that's fit to print!