Friday, April 27, 2012

Daisy's new Dog House

She would like to think that, but she would be WRONG! It's the new CHICKEN COOP! Once I got the floor installed, She decided to test it out. She spent the rest of the day inside testing it out to make sure it was good enough for the Kids!

She supervised from this position for most of the day. But she was not much help with the construction!

Roof, side walls and back walls installed. Daisy still supervising.

The back walls. The left one is the door that I will use to clean out the coop and where I will have access to feed and water containers. I cut and installed the two turn locks (?) so the door will be secure.

The door opened and Daisy though this was a good idea! Flow-threw ventilation! It was the only time she got up and moved all day. You can just see Elli (Terri's dog) to the right of Daisy. She was in there too at times. But she enjoyed being underneath the coop in the shade.

So, only a few more things to do before the Kids move in. Extend the walls a little and install chicken wire at the top to keep unwanted guest out. I also need to cut and install a Chicken door on the front. I built the frame work for that already and installed the ramp.
I also need to build a set of roosting positions yet. I have an idea on what I want to do for this. I will build a wooden frame about 4' long and then install 1/2" PVC pipe across the at 1' spacing and then use a couple hinges so I can swing the whole thing up out of the way for cleaning!

So my next post will be my 100th and I will celebrate  that by moving the Kids to their new DIGS!

The next project will be the Chicken yard. I already have it pictured in my head. 8' wide and 16' long on a wooden frame, covered with Chicken wire to keep them safe until they get big enough to start free ranging during the day time.


BEE GIRL, What do you think? Seeing as you and TOOL LADY gave me the inspiration for the Brooder and this construction project to begin with! Many Thanks!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Building has started

Holly Molly, Its been a while. But now that Spring is here (I think!), I have been working on all the things that I only could think about all through this past winter.
Like, The Chicken Coop!
Yep, I started building the Coop yesterday! And none too soon! The Chicks are fast out growing out of the brooder and I need to get them out side

All of the lumber is recycled, so that was a big plus! I planed all of this in my head, and not everything came out the way I wanted it to. I sure could have used TOOL LADY'S and BEE GIRLS help on this one!

I also now know how badly I want (NEED!) a work shop!

But as you can see, Framing is done and to day I got some framing done for the floor.
I had to build it near to the house, as I did not want to run over 100" of extension cord. But Mark helped me move it to it's place back near the "Back 40"

As I posted before, the tractor and bush hog are down and I have not been able to get them fixed yet. But my kind friends next door felt sorry for me ( I think they were tired of the jungle in my front yard!) and let me use their riding mower this morning. I got the front yard done and was just starting on the back, when the right front tire just came off the mower! I couldn't believe it! The mower is sitting out back and Mike will send his son over tomorrow to load it up in his truck and get it fixed.
He said not to worry about it. But I feel so bad that this happened! I broke my tractor and bush hog and now his mower! I offered to pay for the repairs, But Mike said "Hell, it was going to happen any way". So he will take care of it!

So I spent the rest of the day cutting the walls and flooring for the coop. I didn't want to install any of that, as it would have been way to heavy to move. But it's all cut and ready to install in the morning. All I have to get now is a set of hinges for the back door and put together the door for the Chickens. When that's done and the Chicks are in their new home, The next project will be the fenced area on the front of the coop to keep them safe. After they get older, I will figure out a bigger yard for them and may even let them free range some!
 Next post, Finished coop!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Chick Update

I have had the new Chicks for two weeks now and they are so much bigger now. I though it was time to show off the Kids again!

And here they are! They seem to be putting on the feathers well.

And this little girl seems to be the biggest of the flock!

They are always running around the brooder and trying out their wings. They do not trust me and they do not like to be handled much. The one in the upper left is "Chipmunk". I can tell because the stripe on her head is more brown the that on "Odd Ball".

They are in need of a roost and I need to get one put together. The other day it was 84 degrees outside and much warmer than that up stairs. All of them were holding their wings out and patting. So I turned out the heat lamp and opened the windows to get some air flow going. I left it that way when I went to work that night and when I got home the next morning, it was in the 50's. They were all huddled in a corner of the brooder, so I turned the lamp back on and closed the windows.
They were ready for breakfast and some cool, clean water. They are getting to the point of not having enough room in the brooder. And I have had to put a top cover on it. I'm afraid that they will figure out that they can jump up to the top and get out. And I do not need them running around the room upstairs.
So the first thing I will have to do on my time off is, Get a coop built! And figure out some fencing! I have an idea of using PVC to build a temporary fence until the budget will allow me to get the stuff to build a proper fence and a better coop.
After all, The Easter Egger's will be in the 16TH! MORE BABY'S!

The back 40 and trees

 The first two pictures are of the area of our land that I refer to as "The Back 40". It's not really 40 acres, more like 3! And it is the combined area of Mark's place and mine. As we work it all together and are trying to get the land back into some kind of production, I refer to it as ours.

This is a view of  Mark's land on the back of the place.
And this is mine. Yes there is a lot of weeds and grass here and it needs to be "Bush Hogged". But the "Bush Hog " is down again and I'm not sure when I will be able to get it up and running again. I will be on vacation starting Saturday, What I plan to do is hook up the tiller to the tractor and turn it all under!

But I wanted to show you that there is something that is growing back there! TREES!  I noticed late last summer that trees had started to grow back there and I left them to see if they would survive the winter and  continue to grow this spring. Well, it looks like they did and I see new growth on most of them. There are only a few Pine Trees,

But there are at least 20 Maple trees! They seeded them self's and are spread around the "Back 40". And if they grow as well this year as last, They will be a pretty good size by the end of the growing season!

I hope to some day to be able to fence this area and turn it into pasture. Maybe raise a steer or goats on it?  But that's another thing to add to the "WISH LIST"!
But just getting it turned under right now is the plan and letting the trees grow.

Sunflower bed done

The sunflower bed is filled and planted. 60 bags of top soil and 4 bags of Pete Moss! The top soil was on sale at $1.24 a 40 lb bag. That's 2,400 lbs to fill this puppy!

We got 100 bags, for a total of 4,000 lbs. TWO TONS! We planted 4 sunflower types here:
"Skyscraper" in the back along the house. They can get to be 10' to 12 ' high.
"Autumn Beauty" in the next row. They can be 5' - 7' tall and will be a branching plant with multiple heads of different colors.
"Mixed Colors" in the next row. They can be 4' to 6' tall.
And "Dwarf Teddy Bear" in the last row. They can be 3' tall.
We also planted a Rosemary plant in each corner and lots of Marigold seeds along the outside edge as a deterrent to the Rabbits and Deed. I will rap the whole bed in Chicken wire and leave it in place until the plants are big enough that the Rabbits will lose interest in them.

Was it cheaper to get the top soil by the bag and not go with a bulk delivery? I don't know, But we were able to use "PLASTIC" money on this and get it while it was still on sale. We laid a soaker hose in the bed and will keep it moist until the plants start coming up!
So if all goes well, we will have sunflowers by July!