Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Coop Progress

My Honey took some vacation days this week and some of our family came to visit. They left yesterday so we worked on the coop a little more that afternoon and today.


My Honey had planned out an in-the-coop feeder that will give The Ladies more floor room.


Here's the indoor view:


Here's the outdoor portion, minus the removable, yet watertight cap:


We moved the regular feeder down into the run.

I've been told that a certain brilliant builder around here is making mental plans for a large adjustable, removable run to use for more grazing room...This nugget of knowledge makes me happy.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Coop Progress

We've done lots of work the last couple of nights, and I have failed to daily blog it. Therefore, you get a summary post. My Honey made roosts inside the coop.


I "caught" a couple of the chicks on it the next morning.

I spent most of yesterday painting. First the white primer:


Then the main color.


I had lots of help!

When my Honey came home from work, he got to work. He began hanging the hardware cloth.


He finished that job in one working session! We were able to let the chicks out the next day. They loved it!

Today some of the children spent some quality time with the chickies.



My Honey installed three roosts in the run this afternoon, but I didn't take any pictures of them. Last thing to build and install are the dropping boards.

Didn't he do a wonderful job??

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Coop Progress

Yesterday was "Making the People Door" Day. Measurements were taken, wood cut, laid out and strapped together.


Then it was hung, perfectly, I might add.


By nightfall, I had a beautiful and effective People Door.


Next up is the painting of the entire coop. I might be able to start this afternoon, but we'll see. We'll then hang the outside roosts, the hardware cloth and decorations. We also need to hang the indoor roosts and make the dropping boards for inside the coop.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Sad Tale

Yesterday as we were working on the coop, the chicks were in their tractor. I turned around and saw this:

He is King Friskies, though, and won't even eat canned wet food. I didn't think anything about it until later....when we found this:


He somehow caught the wild dove that lands on our roof and coos at me every morning when I'm outside. sniff sniff... Of all the neighborhood cats, I never would have thought it would be HIM that got it. I think we'll add a couple of zipties to that tractor.

Coop Progress

OK, so I have updated pictures, but forgot to take some of the mechinism mentioned in the last post. Sorry!

We worked all afternoon yesterday and made LOTS of progress. The latches were added to all the doors, and the few protruding screw tips were filed off.


The roof was attached, secured and approved by The Master Builder.


The electricity was run in a temporary fashion, feed and water containers were added.


We added the chicks last.

They settled in quickly and began exploring all the room they now have. They will reside in the Boy-built little chicken tractor when the remaining work is done.

ETA: They seemed to sleep fine last night, the temperature was nice and steady when I checked, and they are chipper and happy this morning. The water container slipped on the carabiner and the water spilled into the shavings. They are changed and dry now, and the water is on the floor. My Honey will add a bit of a dimple into the handle this afternoon to hold the water more securely.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Coop Progress

My hardworking husband worked more on the coop today, with the help ("help"?) of a friend. They installed the ramp mechanism. Isn't that cool? I have mechanism on my coop! I'll take pictures sometime this weekend. Tomorrow we are spending some time at the range with some friends in the morning and will build in the afternoon.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Coop Progress

More work tonight. We sanded and framed out the nest box opening.


My Honey finished building the nest boxes themselves and we mounted them.


Here's a side view:


It was a lot of work! We are getting close to being finished. I have the primer and the paint. I expect to be painting by next week.

Sons and Zipties

You can't have too many. Really!

I wanted a bigger space for my 'teenage' chickens to run around outside. I had been putting them out in a rabbit cage, but they couldn't get really good access to the ground due to the bottom of the cage.

My husband and I pondered a cheap, easy solution, and came up with a temporary chicken tractor design. Today, my sons Vik and Troubles assembled it.


When it was warm enough, we took them outside for their first real scratch session.



I baited the grass with some king mealworms. You gotta make the first time rewarding, right?


Grow and learn, Ladies, grow and learn. Thanks, Boys, for the makeshift tractor!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What To Do When Its 75 Degrees

We are having beautiful weather right now; in the mid to high 70's. You have to visit the park when spring gives us a sneak peek, right?! Here's how we spent the our morning:


This is a game they play when we visit this park. Two swing as fast as possible and two run through the middle of the swings, attempting NOT to get hit.


The Littles love this 'rock'. It was base during chase-and-tag and was leapt from repeatedly.

I rarely get good pictures of this Lambie. She decided to be camera-shy several months ago. She didn't know I was snapping this one from far away. hehehe


Coop Progress

We worked a bit more this afternoon. My Honey hung the muck-out door, cut the egg collecting door out of the south wall of the coop and got the nest boxes about three-quarters of the way finished before it got dark.


Tomorrow and Friday's plan is to finish the next boxes, sand the opening they will fit into, attach them, add the ventilation screens and begin the roof.

Wordless Wednesday


Monday, March 15, 2010

Coop Progress

More coop building pics!

Here's the result of the first day of building. It was too late to take a picture when we were finished the night before.


The floor:



The ramp:


Three walls done!


We attached the front wall last night, with the door cut out, but it was too dark to take a picture. Tonight's plan is to complete the front wall, with the door and window, build the nest boxes and put the mounting boards on the roof. Next comes finishing touches, paint, then the roof itself. It's coming along quickly!

I am so impressed with my husband's building abilities. He drew a plan, without much detail, and is making it work. He's so mechanically minded! His drafting teacher from high school would be proud. I know I am!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It Has Begun

We began actual work on the coop today. I thought I'd share a few pictures of the process. Here we are building the bottom frame.


The basic shape of the coop and run.


Almost done framing!


What handsome men!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chooks! Pt. 2

The chickens are growing quickly! I thought I'd give you a new snapshot or three of the little darlings. She how many feathers they have now?


They are able to flutter-fly and get on top of the feeder and water bottle, as well as jump to the edge of the container they are in. The kids like when they escape! I keep the lid on unless someone is sitting with them to prevent lost little chickies.

They are such funny little creatures. The children love giving them worms and crickets. They fight over them like nothing you've ever seen!


I am going this afternoon to get a couple more chicks. A feed store in another town just got a shipment of assorted breeds. I believe I will choose Ameraucanas. They are the ones that lay blue, green, and sometimes, pink eggs. You can't tell what color they will lay until they begin laying. I hope we get one of the rare-pink-layers.


ETA: I was able to get the new chicks! Here they are:


Aren't they adorable? We added them to the pen and physically protected them from the pecking for a while, before my Honey decided to separate them altogether. I really, really didn't want to wake up tomorrow to pecked babies.


We are hopefully finishing the coop this weekend so the older ones won't be in the house too much longer. Soon they will have beautiful, roomy accommodations. We'll likely get another clamp light and give the tiny chicks their own home regardless of the coop progress. In a couple of weeks they will be big enough to stand up for themselves.

New Hoop!

The children have been enjoying their friends' basketball hoops this winter. They showed no interest in basketball before a certain pickup game a friend called. No is all about basketball when they go outside. So, I put out a query for a hoop on our local homeschool loop. It took all of a couple of hours before I had an offer. When Daddy got home, we went and picked up a wonderful, inexpensive hoop!


Where do you think they have spent all the afternoon hours since then?


With the neighbors having basketball tournaments, of course!


We have a great group of homeschoolers around here!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Bees and Tomaters


I stepped outside for a moment and was struck by the sound of buzzing bees. I LOVE the sound of bees in the blossoming trees. It makes me think of springtime, warmer temperatures and fresh tomatoes. I miss fresh tomatoes terribly right now!