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Life on the Farm


A shocking lesson in fencing

By Dean Mullis
Dean Mullis
Dean Mullis writes from Laughing Owl Farm in Richfield.

Levi and I moved his chickens to some real pasture, ladino clover, and put up some poultry netting to give them much more room than they were used to.

They are loving it. I electrified the fence with a battery charger and decided to use an insulated alligator clip for a switch. Testing it out, I grabbed the alligator clip, yelped, and thought, dang that hurt. Switched out to what I thought was a better-insulated alligator clip and said some words not suitable for most people. Went to Tractor Supply and bought an electric fence switch for less than $5.

I am a slow learner.

Then Levi and I moved the piglets to a garden section with waist-high vetch and rye. They have not slept in their hut since we moved them. They have been making tunnels and caves in the vetch and sleeping in the cover crop.

Getting help

Jenifer hired a neighbor to help her 8 to 10 hours a week. Michelle is working out great.

We met her and her family at a Joel Salatin Field Day up in Virginia in 2012 and then found out they live about 2 miles away.

Jenifer and Michelle got up our entire crop of garlic in one morning. Much to Jenifer’s delight, she adjusted the cultivator to dig garlic and ran the tractor after I told her that was something I needed to do.

She is a little too giddy about the whole thing. I almost told her I was proud of her but her head would have just ballooned up more.

Dean Mullis writes from Laughing Owl Farm in Richfield;
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