Finnie- Finally A Journal

Finnie

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Index:

African violets:
Post in thread 'Finnie- Finally A Journal'
https://www.backyardherds.com/threads/finnie-finally-a-journal.44036/post-732079

Post in thread 'Finnie- Finally A Journal'
https://www.backyardherds.com/threads/finnie-finally-a-journal.44036/post-732404

Peach trees:
Post in thread 'Finnie- Finally A Journal'
https://www.backyardherds.com/threads/finnie-finally-a-journal.44036/post-732672

Crochet chickens:
Post in thread 'Finnie- Finally A Journal'
https://www.backyardherds.com/threads/finnie-finally-a-journal.44036/post-744145


Beginning of first post:

I posted this over in the “When I am 64” thread, and got inspired to finally start a journal. I had been planning to wait until I was moving to a “real farm in the real country” before starting a journal. I might not add much to this until then, but I guess I will start it now.

Copied part:

It has always been my dream to live way out in the country and have some kind of hobby farm. When the (5) kids were little, I dreamed of homeschooling them, teaching them to work hard, and using the land for science lessons. 20 years ago DH worked in Kalamazoo and affordable land with an ok commute would have made that possible. But his company got bought out and we had to relocate.

Indy is a much bigger city, so finding land with a big enough home that wasn’t an hour commute wasn’t possible. We looked for 6 months. We finally ended up compromising with a house on a 4 acre lot in soon-to-be suburbia with a 40 minute commute that DH has always hated (the commute, not the house ;) )

We disagreed about homeschooling so that means we didn’t do it. Our suburban home is in one of the better school districts, so that meant no moving until youngest was out of high school. I began searching farmland his senior year, but then DH said he didn’t want to move until he retires 🙇‍♀️.

Well retirement is only a few years out now. :fl Fingers crossed that I will finally have my dream for at least a few years. I know hard farm work is not what DH wants for his retirement years. I think he will indulge me for a little while, and then start talking about having an easier life. He has already said NO farm animals, NO new species, JUST my current poultry and maybe an LGD. I don’t know if I can agree to that, but since I want to add vegetable gardening to my workload, I will put off adding any other new stuff for at least a few years and then see how the land lays.

End of copied part.

I guess I should also describe my current “not a real farm” poultry farm. I’m running short on time now, so I will try to make it short, and then add more later. (Edit: Ha ha! Short it is not!)

We have 4 acres. Been here since June of 2004. At first there was a lot of vacant land around us and only a few neighbors to the west who each had 5 acre plots. Ours was 5 acres originally too, but the people who built our house in 1990 sold off the front acre with their old house when they moved into the new house. Before we bought this house, we did check to see what plans were in the works for all the empty land. In our 6 months of house hunting, we had learned to check that, because a lot of places we looked at had commercial, retail or industrial zoning next to them. We did NOT want to end up living next to a Walmart parking lot!!

Fortunately (alas, not so happy with now) it was owned by a developer who planned to put in high end McMansion neighborhoods. That raised our property value, but we had to watch as the woods and beautiful rolling fields got razed and replaced with streets, retention ponds and big houses with noisy neighbors. (Ok, I’m pretty sure my poultry is noisier than they are. 🤭)

The trees along our narrow country road got cut down so they could widen it and repave it, landscape it and put in walking paths. It looks nothing like it used to 19 years ago. It is true suburbia. When we moved here, we felt like we were isolated out in the country. The road had no shoulders and there wasn’t even a stripe down the middle! Now there is no vacant land left and traffic is heavy. And there is a double yellow line.

I used to be able to kneel in the road to tend my mailbox flower garden. But now I have to quick dodge in to pull a few weeds and then dodge back out before the next car comes. Fortunately we are the 4th house from a corner with a 4 way stop, and I know just how much time I have to weed in the street before any car coming from that direction gets to me. :rolleyes:

The one thing I am supremely thankful for is that our house is way way back from the road. The driveway is 600 feet long. (On my car odometer it clocks as 0.10 miles, but that is not an accurate way to measure) There are some good pine trees between us and the 1 acre property, so we have very good privacy back here. From the road. But the new neighborhood is built all along our east property line, so in the winter when the trees and weeds lose their leaves we can see all their houses. Even so, the developer was kind enough to put the retention pond even with our house, so the closest people are still a distance away from our actual house. Another thing to be very thankful for.

So we have 4 acres, and it is laid out in a super long, super narrow rectangle. The house is in the middle. That’s great for looking north to the road or south to the back property line which we can’t even see. But it feels a little tight to the neighbors to the west of us. Their house is even with ours, so I have to be careful about my poultry going to their yard when I “free range” them. There is a large gap of pine trees between my fence and their fence, so it’s mostly ok, even if the birds jump out of mine, they don’t usually jump into theirs. The closeness didn’t bother me at all before I had chickens, they are awesome neighbors. The best you could ask for. But once I got chickens, I began to long for a wide property with no one that my chickens could bother.

The other thing about having 4 acres is that in our county you have to have 5 acres to own livestock. (So technically my poultry is illegal. 🤫 Shh, don’t tell anyone!) Fortunately, there are a lot of chicken owning properties between here and town, so I don’t think anyone notices or cares. Some of my 5 acre neighbors have poultry. My birds were here before any of the houses got built along that side, so I think all those people who bought those houses just accept them as normal. But it has always caused me to try not to invest too much capital in my building projects just in case someday the city tells me to get rid of the birds.

I either put in temporary structures, or build permanent things that can be used in other ways for future landowners. (The one thing you are allowed to have here is horses, so I built a “run in shed” that could be a horse barn if necessary, with a little reinforcement.) The result is that my poultry yard looks really hodge podge. When we move to a real farm, my husband has agreed that it will be worth spending money to build nice looking things that are more efficient to use on a daily basis and easier to maintain. At this point, I have a lot of pens that are nearing the end of their lifespan, and getting really degraded. Since we only have a few years until we move :fl I’m looking at downsizing instead of rebuilding.

Well, this got longer than I intended. A lot of boring words with no pictures. I will hunt up some property photos to post.
 
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Finnie

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This first photo is kind of a “before” picture. Taken in 2017 or 18. Not before chickens, but before I built a lot of stuff so I could move them further back from the house. And before we let so much of the scrub grow up back there. The whole back area looks smaller from this angle.
Wow. My chicken area looks nothing like this any more! Even the white step in posts for the electric fence are pushed back more.
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The next photos are from about halfway down our driveway. There is a culvert under the drive at the low point, and I planted flowers to make it easier to mow around the ends of the culvert. First looking towards the house. You can see how close we are to the westward neighbors (blue house).
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Now looking towards the street.
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This next one I took from closer to the house. After a storm knocked a huge branch off a pine tree. Earlier in the spring, so the culvert flowers were not blooming as much then.
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SageHill

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It looks super nice! Your poultry yard is beautiful. My chickens are now lobbying for something better than they have (fort knox of chicken runs) :lol:
Love the way you treated the culvert by planting flowers there. Genius for mowing. LOL and a mailbox that's pretty and "close" -- ours is a mile down the dirt road.
Ya' know since everyone else is on 5 acres, they probably don't realize you're only on 4 :) which is good for the chickens!
There are areas in this county that it's basically horses only. I think it's the prestige of horses. Pretty areas. There's at least on that everyone has to have white rail fences. A nice idea - but when everyone has them things look really chopped up.
Love all the greenery you've got. We're mostly brown :rolleyes:.
 

Finnie

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I thought I would post some more photos. I had a goal this weekend of finally getting all the plants that I have been watering all summer into the ground. I was mostly successful. I got all but 2 done.

I didn’t take pictures of everything. But I got some of what I was working on this afternoon. Both sides of the culvert have been weeded, pruned, a few plants added, watered and mulched.

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Last week we had wild visitors. A flock of Canada geese were coming to our driveway to eat the corn I put out to attract crows that I want to chase away the hawks that eat my chickens. Each day the geese came closer to the house. This was Thursday:

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Just after I took the photo, the neighbor’s lawn mower went by, and the whole flock took off flying. It was a sight to see! I wish I had still had my video camera going. I have not seen the flock since then. Which is a good thing, since they were covering the whole driveway with their poop. Somehow that’s worse than my own geese’s poop. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Speaking of my geese, I took some photos of them recently for my Craigslist ads, so I will post those too.
 

Baymule

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I’ve never had geese. A neighbor has geese and he loves his gander. The gander leads his girls up from the lake to the house every evening for corn. He keeps the dogs in line too and quickly teaches any puppy the Goose Rules.
 
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