Tuesday, January 11, 2011

One chicken house disaster diagnosed, others pop up in its place.

We lost a lot of chickens this winter and I finally figured out why: I was trying to keep them warm in their coop by leaving a light on all night (this also keeps them laying eggs in the short-daylight months). But the light inside the coop was shining out on the ground somewhat, fooling the chickens into thinking it wasn't curfew yet - while the Teutonic VSB Electronic Doorkeeper made no exceptions and closed at the correct time. Chickens, by ones and twos, were left outside and eaten in the night. (Ez compares this to the astronauts in sci-fi movies who get shut out of the air-lock and float screaming off into the dark of space.)

Now, however, the door has suddenly stopped working and I don't know enough about it to trouble-shoot. I fear I'll have to send it back to Foy's Pigeon Supplies, whence it came...

And, also now: the chicken-house light circuit is shorting out over and over in wet weather. We replaced the circuit-breaker and on the advice of my long-suffering electrician-music partner Bob I disconnected the addition I'd made to the circuit and that didn't help...

And, also also: recent ice and snow snapped the screws off Jethro's tarp roof, bending its supports into nigh-pretzels. Ez and I went out yesterday and did a rather bogus repair.

Livestock: one step forward and two steps back.


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