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Free Range Chickens, Yes!…Free Range Cows, Forget It!

> Phillip & I welcomed another new addition to AmByth Estate this week (besides our 4 kittens born on May 1st)–chickens!! Gustavo & Lety built a portable chicken coop on top of a newly purchased trailer. The idea is to wheel them throughout the vineyard, let them free during the day to peck the ground and search for bugs while benefitting our soil by their presence (you get the idea?). We used vegetable crates for the brood boxes and the most enviable ramps were built so the hens can perfectly snuggle in to lay eggs. We plan on feeding them purchased chicken food, as well as give them all compostable items from our kitchens. We are starting out with 3 full grown hens (and we’re praying the dogs get over their curiosity), while we have 10 chicks and 1 rooster still on their way–they’ll be here in about 2 weeks.

The portable chicken coop! The idea is to let down the black, metal ramp every day to let them roam freely in the vineyards. Meanwhile, their manure is able to fall through the metal floor when they’re closed up, safe and sound, for the evening.
We’ve asked Phillip’s Mum, Marjorie, to paint a farm scene on all 3 sides…so we look forward to having an artistic chicken coop!

Oh yes…the dear, sweet roaming cattle…NO MORE!!!! Twice last week I woke up to inspect the gardens and found all of my beets pulled out and every tasty green devoured (they especially love mustard greens). So before risking the demise of my summer plants, the steers were taken back to their pen. The vines were safe, the cows didn’t touch them. It was just the family gardens that peeked their interest.