Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Going Home to Roost

Ever since we got the chickens, we’ve noticed how many sayings are inspired by them (and how many we never understood until now!).

All cooped up, going home to roost, flew the coop, ruffle your feathers, and quite possibly the most accurate:  bird brain.

I actually think they’re pretty smart, but mostly because they decided to like me. They still run when I put my hand in their cage, but instead of shaking frantically in the corner, they now come to check out my hand and peck my ring. May have something to do with the fact that I’ve started giving them treats. Nope, they just like me ;)

The little chickens have been consuming my thoughts and weekends lately. They’re still so young and small I worry about them all the time. I can’t wait until they’re big enough to go outside. It’ll be nice to have my dining room back and I’m hoping I’ll worry less :)

I’ll share more details about the coop when I’m all done (so I can tell you what I’d do differently!). But here’s a look at the progress.

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We’re converting the old shed we never used into the new chicken digs. We tore off the walls (and we’ll replace them with hardware cloth) so they can have a nice open air run to hang out in during the day. The white walls you see are the half-built coop, a nice, warm, protected place for them to hang out at night while they’re sleeping.

I’ve only primed the two walls and floor. I want to finish painting those before putting the other two walls and ceiling on the coop, which  I’ll paint before they go up. It’ll be much easier than getting myself through a doorway designed for a chicken :)

The part I’m most proud of so far is the nesting box.

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(Please ignore the crazy hair and awkward position. I was trying to prime the box without killing/painting all the raspberries. BTW, not successful. We now have white raspberry plants.)

I’m mostly proud that I was able to cut all of the pieces and they actually fit together reasonably well. Nothing a little trim can’t fix. Having the nesting boxes on the outside of the coop will make it easy to get eggs without entering the coop.

So that’s it. I’m surprisingly sore from cutting all the boards with the circular saw (free hand!) and still have quite a bit of work to go. While I was working on the coop, Matt (nearly) finished digging the hole for our kitchen foundation.

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Did I mention he is crazy? We (mostly Matt) have dug that entire hole by hand. In related news, we turned in our plans for the permit! We had to draw floor plans, foundation plans, framing plans; all things I wanted to hire out. Matt has far more patience than I do for reading code books. But he did a great job on the plans. The reviewer at the count office said she didn’t see any problems so we should have a permit to start building in a couple weeks!

So while we’re not working on anything pretty here at the Newcomb home, we’re definitely making progress. Now I just have to find energy to actually make dinner after work and chicken coop-building!

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2 comments:

  1. So cool you live where you can have chickens. Matt is brave and strong. I'd given up. Hopefully you didn't have a bunch of clay, and concrete bits to have to dig up. Our regional clay sucks! Our backyard is nothing but clay (which is why I have raised beds!) We brought in a bunch of soil for the front yard, but the back yard has been neglected. :(

    Has your Farmer's Market opened yet? Ours opens this weekend! I so wanted to sleep, but really want to see early crops. :D

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  2. Such a hardwork to do but fulfilling when finished.

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