Saturday, July 04, 2009

Vacation Time

I'm late adding a post this week, or early for next week, because we are officially on vacation for three weeks. Unlike most people we don't go away for vacation. Instead we stay home and work on projects that require more than a day or two to complete. We may take the occasional day trip but we are never gone for more than a few hours.

This year is turning out to be even harder to get the jobs done since it has rained every single day except one so far. Sometimes we will get 6 hours of work done before it rains and others, like today it rains on and off all day making it impossible to get anything done outside. On days like today we either clean the house, or more often sit in front of the boob tube and turn into vegetables.

And what is our project this year? A chicken coop. Yep, you read that right. A chicken coop. I have been given the go ahead to get a few laying hens. We ordered 10, one day old chicks from the feed store. They are arriving next week, and will live inside for two to three weeks in a small brooder box. After that they will be moving into the Grand Sparrow Haven Lodge, a two story house of leisure for the ladies complete with fenced in yard, large nest boxes, and a lovely view of the garden.

I spent several weeks over at Backyard Chickens looking at different coop plans before I decided on the coop for us. It is 5' x 4' with double wide barn doors for cleaning out the coop itself. The interior is going to be painted semi-gloss white to make it bright and easier to clean. It will have two high windows that will prop open to allow air flow in the summer. It is insulated and has a 60 watt bulb installed to keep the girls comfy in the winter. And it has an external next box, also insulated, so I can get the eggs every morning and evening by simply popping a hatch off the back. And, finally, the girls will have their own chicken door for descending down into the fenced in yard that includes the space under the coop as well as a movable cage that will let us move them around the yard with ease.

I am both excited and incredibly nervous about this new venture. I was raised around chickens but that was in Florida where they didn't have to worry about freezing to death. In truth, the chickens I was raised with pretty much took care of themselves except for the occasional cast of feed and the fall culling of the older girls and roosters. I really hope we do well by our new pets and they live long and healthy lives.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Good luck with your chickens. I hope everything goes well with your project.

Janet

basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

Chickens - yay! You know how much I love my chickens and I'm going to bet you're going to love yours every bit as much.

Are you insulating the coop? If so, I'm sure your hens will be just fine. During the winter there were many threads about the cold weather and chickens - and people in Alaska had temps below 0 for many days in a row, and the chickens did just fine. With insulation our coop stays 15 - 25 degrees warmer than the outside temps. Chickens put out some body heat! And even when it was in the low teens outside and the coop was below freezing, the chickens still did fine. The only issue I had was frostbite on Duke's comb, and that ended up just fine.

I'm so happy for you! Enjoy those little babies! And I would just love to see pictures of the coop and babies.

basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

OK, I gave you an award http://backtobasicliving.com/blog/honest-scrap/ I know, I know - you're on vacation. But you can do it when you have time. Plus it'll be fun!

Angie said...

Chickens! w00t! I am a mod at BYC. Please show us what you are building. Back To Basic Living sent me here this morning. :-)