Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Almost Done

So here is the chicken coop almost finished (does that seem to be a theme?). Finally! It lacks, as you can see from the picture, paint and trim. The trim is just to finish closing up the corners. Telephone post don't make perfect corners so trim is needed for the bit of gapping that occurs no matter how well you do the siding---besides it does make it look nicer.
Last-- paint is needed for the other three sides. I would have finished more yesterday but I knocked over my roller and tray and it landed "peanut butter" side down. Of course everything stuck to them and so they had to be rinsed off. Now they are calling for rain today ---which is fine with me since we can always use it. I think I will have my son finish it after it dries off though and pay him for it since he is always looking for ways to earn money. By the way---the building actually looked "cooler" when it was wood colored since they metal showed up better in a kind of contemporary way. We personally don't like the color BUT I was determined it would be cohesive with the other buildings. Someday a better color will come......(hear the song "someday, over the ......) My husband complains about it each time he looks at it though.

Lastly, the trim will go on, since I want the wood under it to be painted first. I hate putting on trim that is not painted on both sides and the wood underneath is also not painted. Seems like a warping waiting to happen---to me anyways. All in all I figure there is about 2 to 3 more hours of work, at the most, left on it. Not too bad.

Yesterday after I dropped my painting accessories, I went down the road and picked up some wood chips from the local sawmill. We have painted the floor of the coop but obviously the wood chips will make it smell better, keep the poop from sticking to the floor and also: fresh chicken poop is slippery.
So now the oldest batch of birds are ensconced in the coop. I think they like it---there's more room than their cage had. This weekend I will put up their fence and let them go out while I am working in the garden but for right now I have to wait for the paint (the fence will attach against the house) and also be out there since they are still walking nuggets. They have lots of room currently in the coop but it would be a bit tight for all of them to stay in (all day) once they are full size---even after we weed out the extraneous roosters. Good thing they will have a fenced yard to go out into and we have fairly nice winters.

I have to admit I am glad they are out in the coop now. I am also looking forward to when the other batch goes out. The second batch is not fully feathered yet though and who knows what the weather will do. Between hay in the garage all winter, then two batches of chicks and the last of the hay left in the garage, it has been a super pain trying to get to anything or do any work in there. I will be glad to be able to re clean and organize my garage in the next month or two. Yeah! I know it's odd to look forward to that but when you are constantly moving this, that or the other thing to find something or tripping around all the displaced items well...argh.

I will take pictures of some of the chickens soon and post them. Some of them are beautifully marked. The "mystery" hen we received and thought was an english game hen----I think we were wrong. She is very attractive with white on her breast. I will post pics and maybe someone will know what she is. One of my cuckoo maran roosters from Murray McMurray is gorgeously marked and most of the feather footed cuckoos from Ideal Poultry are too. The feather footed though are wild and flighty---I lost 4 of them as chicks (over a week old) since they would stampede just trying to get far away when I fed and watered. We will cull all of the feather footed roosters since I don't like the "personality" and breed the hens to the non feather footed cuckoos, including the nicely marked one from Murray McMurray.
The Delawares we have found are very good at foraging----they will practically take your hand off if they are hungry while you reach to get the tray out of the pen. I like them---we can even reach in a pick them up without really any fussing from them. Nice birds. Very curious and human comfortable. I have two roosters I like well out of them---both nicely colored and grew quick. So they will be my breeders. These birds will actually move down to the barn to live so they can eat flies, barn bugs and small feed room mice. After what I have seen of these birds in the pen: they will be great mousers. I don't think I need that barn cat now.
The wyandottes are a bit more reserved, but not really flighty, and very attractively colored. So much white speckling on them. Some of them look like they have freckles. Their pretty neat really. We will see how they are as foragers and I will decide if I am going to keep them or sell them as pairs.

Good day all

SmallMeadow Farm Icelandic sheep, Irish Dexters and heritage chickens


Stuart and Gabrielle said...

We've heard of chicken houses and chicken tractors but yours is definitely a chicken palace! I've seen houses locally not that well constructed.
A tip for the floor and droppings tray: cover it with waste corrugated cardboard (we get ours by the wastebins of larges hops or the local tip) then cover it with the sawdust or straw and when you're ready for a clean, just roll it up and place the whole lot on the compost heap. the cardboard is just carbon, a perfect partner for the almost pure nitrogen of the chicken poo = perfect compost material.

Cheryl said...

I for one like the blue chicken coop (especially with that nice white door).
I had no idea that chickens were good mousers!

farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

I didn't think of that Stuart. Good idea---I will see if I remember it next time since it would be a bit easier. Of course currently I have a teenage son who will soon need gas money to clean for me :-) That's the best way--some one else doing it hahahaaha

Thanks Cheryl---I was going to paint the door but I too like the color-- so creamy white it will stay (unless I come up with a really cool color ;-)
Yeah! funny isn't it that they will mouse. Our barn mice are small though and chickens will "take down" a number of small animals and reptiles. Our old batch used to steal the cat's catch---he wised up and started hiding until he finished killing it and ate it or they would do it for him :-D

SimplyTim said...

Hi Monica,

Great job.

I noticed the block of wood to the left of the door.

Is that for sittin' or, gulp, something else.



farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

No Tim that's not a nefarious block of wood. It's there to stop the door because we didn't plan well and that lower pane of glass hits the corner of the "stick out". So we will try and save the glass---then replace it with plexiglass when we do (of course) end up breaking it!

Have a good day :-)

Stuart and Gabrielle said...

In that case, pass our cardboard tip on to your son, so he can earn his gas money for less effort, unless, that is, you pay him by the hour, in which case timesaving tips aren't profitable!!
Stuart & Gabrielle

El said...

Hah: you have discovered that Trim Covers All Sins. Trim and caulk are the two things that save my architectural a** every time.

That is some big load of chickens, Monica. I am sitting here wondering how I will do with just 8.

That coop looks great. We didn't get around to putting a concrete floor pad in to our coop last year. I put about 1 1/2 feet of bedding down for the winter, and dang but the girls figured out they can still dig down and get themselves some worms. (There's a very deep foundation around it so we're not worried about predators digging under; we just wanted the concrete for ease of cleaning, but now we are wondering if we'll bother. All that bedding makes some great compost fodder.)