Wallabi's Farm: The English Hototogisu Bakery and Farm Blog

Hello, my name is Sara. In 2005 my husband and I bought an old farmhouse in Okayama, borrowed a few fields and set to building ourselves a pleasant rural life. Now, several years on, we have fields a-plenty, what was until the end of 2012 a wheaty bread bakery and is now prepping to be a gluten-free space, and have incorporated our efforts into the Hototogisu Bakery and Farm. Welcome!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Busy Busy Bees

We`ve got honey! Fresh golden honey! The second honey harvest of the year is in and bottled. Beautiful jars of sweetness line the walls of our shop and make my Market Mobile display prettier than ever. Good stuff!

Meanwhile, we are busy as bees ourselves. We are just back from Kyobashi Asaichi (thanks to everyone who came out this morning!), an early morning market we have been a part of since opening the bakery, and the list of to do`s stretches far and wide - chicken fencing to be secured, chicken tractors to be made, the goat run to be relocated, tomatoes to be planted, the wheat harvest to be prepared for and, of course, because it is Japan in the late spring, laundry to be done.

Wanna see some photos of the chicken tractors?

Here`s one for several hens, 1 meter by 2 meters: 

And here is the one that houses the chicks at night. The bottom of this one is screened over to keep them safe, but since it is just chicken wire, bits of greenery poke through. Right now we have it set up inside a larger chicken netting yard, so the chicks (both 2 week old actual chicks and 6 week old no-longer-chicks-not-yet-chickens) can run around more in the day and be tucked in safely at night. Plus, the roof provides rain and predator protection during the day. 



At 9:23 PM, Blogger thefukases said...

wow. Your honey looks fabulous! Bees are my new dream project. Do you have any website/ book recommendations? And your chick tractor- the 2week olds and the 6week olds get along ok together? I am already worrying about introducing our chicks to the chooks....

At 10:31 PM, Blogger Sara said...

Late reply here but fwiw - the two week olds and six week olds got along just fine, and still do at roughly two and three months old. We just moved the whole mass of them in with the big chickens, where there is plenty of space, counting on the not-overcrowdedness and the sheer number of little chickens (five times more than the big chickens, maybe) to keep them safe. So far so good! The big chickens roost up high at night, while the small ones crowd themselves into the nesting boxes (safe and warm, I guess), and the middle size chickens are to be found in both attitudes. Enough space and enough diversion, so they don't get annoyed or bored, may be key.

At 10:37 PM, Blogger Sara said...

For clarities sake, I might add that the hens and one rooster, plus the juvenile chickens, have a tall coop sort of a thing in the middle of a fenced in patch of the blueberries. They all sleep together in the two meter by three meter, two meter tall structure, and have a large run during the day. The shorter chicken tractors you see in the above post are currently occupied by grown roosters. We tried having the six week olds share a tractor with one of the roosters, hoping he would guard them, but the rooster was unable to play nice, so we gave that up pretty quickly.


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