Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How Glorious a Greeting the Sun Gives the Mountains!

Thanks to John Muir for a most fitting quote. It has been just beautiful around here, and the sprigs of green and wafts of pollen in the air have convinced me that spring is here to stay. It's a fortunate thing, because while I'm getting more and more fond of the little flock encamped in our kitchen, I'm getting more than a little weary of their messes. I'm weary of sweeping the pine shavings and chick down from our floor and changing water bowls multiple times a day, and dealing with poop. I'm ready for them to move to their own house.

"I am weary of chickens. How they look up at us with their small eyes as though we were unimportant." - Pablo Naruda

"Well they do. And we are. It's just hard to take it from a damn chicken!" - Greg Brown

The girls get outside almost every day now, and seem to really love it. I spied them popping up and down in their box yesterday and it looked just like a little chicken puppet show, with a wandering dog extra in the background.

They're getting big and I'm sure feel a bit crowded in their little brooder, so the great coop race is on, and we're hoping to have their permanent digs ready for occupancy this weekend. The coop is largely constructed, save for the parts that must be added once the walls are assembled onto the base. This plan is a bit odd in that details like doors, ventilation, supporting beams are added to the OSB walls before they are erected.

Friends were visiting over the weekend for the opening of salmon season, and the Lovely Miss Heidi helped me with the painting. It will be tight quarters in there once it's all put together and will be tough to access. I would have loved to buy some wonderfully colorful paint for the coop and trim, but instead settled for re-purposing some leftover blue paint we had in the garage, so, for now, until the house is repainted, the coop will match.

Chicks, Day 19

We are reinforcing the chain link enclosed run with some hardware cloth near the bottom because I've read some horror stories about raccoons grabbing chickens through the chain link and pulling them through. The roof of the run is nearly enclosed with chain link as well. It may not be required as the hen entrance won't be more than about a foot off the ground, but I will build a special little ramp for them.

Details like automatic feeding and watering are being worked out, and we may even be close to having some names for our girls. On my shopping list is roofing, more hardware cloth, PVC for a water reservoir, and ramp materials. How exciting that their Independence Day is almost here!


vintagebluestudio said...

Oh my goodness they are so cute!

kate mckinnon said...

organic eggs from the farmers' market are seeming more and more affordable....
; )

Patty said...

Yep, I hear you can spend a small fortune on a chicken palace. We're not in quite that far, and it's still worth it for us. There are so many other benefits than just the "free" food.


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