Saturday, October 17, 2015

Behind the Feathers

It's occurred to me that I didn't show the construction or interior of the coop and run.  What was I thinking?

Eric did the whole thing after a lot of research, but basically without any plans.  It started, as most construction projects would, with a frame.

He made sure that 3 of the sides would be on or butted right up against a cement walk, since we do have quite a few predators in this area, and didn't want to get up one morning to some random feathers and no chickens.

That platform base over on the right is where he built the coop itself, lofted above the 6' x 12' run below.

I lined the coop floor with linoleum tiles we picked up at the ReStore.  It's not the prettiest, but it's whole purpose is to make cleaning the coop easier, so that's quite all right.

If you haven't ever been to a ReStore, you should check it out, by the way,  Everything's wonderfully inexpensive, but also all the proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity.  In fact, all the "employees" there are actually Habitat for Humanity volunteers!  How cool is that?  While we were there, we also got the roof shingles, since Eric built one heck of a serious roof for the top, to foil any hawks that might try to use our girls as lunch.

Inside the coop, Eric built removable roosts (left) for the girls to sleep on, and cut out the entrances to the nesting boxes (right).

I'm honestly proud of all the great construction he did, and especially impressed with the nesting boxes and other doors.

That unstained piece on the front is a double door, the nesting boxes are easy to get to, and to the right of them is another small door with easy access to their feed bucket.  Everything has double locks, too, in case those wily raccoons figure one kind out.

Inside, there's a sliding chicken door with a cord and pulley, and Eric built the ramp for them too.

Overall, it's just really gorgeous.

And another shot of the girls, just for good measure...

Going around from the blonde down front, that's Adele, Reba behind her, then Lita.  Martina's in the back middle, Miranda's the other blonde, and Cher the black Australorpe up front right.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

I know, I know, I've been a slacker

Actually, the problem is that we've been really, really busy.

We had our honey harvest back in July, and then had to bottle and label it all, because we were almost immediately sold out.  It was crazy!

We did save a bunch for ourselves for the year, and there's a it more almost honey to extract to make mead.

But of course, because one of the season's big things was nearly over, we had to take on another.


First came the coop and run, so they'd have somewhere to live.

Eric built it, with some help from his brother and our friend.  I helped stain some of it and pitched roof shingles up to Eric to fasten down.  He's pretty proud of it, and rightly so, as he did it with pretty much no plans and just a bunch of research.  The run is 6' x 12', and the coop is that closed area raised up on the right.  He made the ramp for them, and the nesting boxes are sticking out on the right.

And then, because their feed and supplies needed a place to reside, a storage bench to match!

Yes, he made this too.  My only lament is that it's a custom piece, so it's too long and wide for commercial cushions.  Since I'd like it to have a cushion, I'll have to make one.

After the bench, he finally made the compost bin he's been talking about!

Yep, that matches too!  He did a great job; the top folds in half to throw in food and yard wast, or lifts off completely.  And there's another hinged door on the bottom to shovel out compost.  I'm a little obsessed with bringing out every possible bit of compost for the bin. I just love the feeling of "garbage" not actually going to waste.

And then, since there was wood left over, he made a matching snack table for next to the bench.

And then the finishing touch... ferns!

Conor is obviously very interested in the girls, both boys are.  But I haven't introduced the girls yet!  We got six hens, all pullets, so they're not laying yet.  Hopefully very soon!

Miranda is our buff orpington, and will be largest, fluffiest of the birds.

Our silver laced wyandotte is Martina.

Lita's the barred rock.

The australorp is Cher.

Our blonde araucana is Adele.

And the red araucana is Reba.  Obviously.

Now we just wait... impatiently... for eggs!
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