Tuesday, December 15, 2009

31. December...

Yes, yes it HAS been a while since our last update!
With the early December baby long overdue, Mom has a few moments to get to details that have been missed these last few months.

So, without further procrastination, we recently had our first snow!!
Here is a view of the coop:

video

Pablo, the reigning coop rooster, and some of the new as-of-yet-still-unnamed hens test out the first snow of the season. He soon calls them back in with a few roo-clucks. Along with the weather came some wind and falling branches which took down the netting roof... so add another project to the coop to-do list!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

30. September Arrives

Over the summer we finished the roof, enclosed a run off the coop hatch and netted over the top. Since then, we've been trying to get other projects on and around the house done and this coop blog has been sorely neglected because of it!!

So, to keep things up to date, we still intend to paint the coop red to match the house and center supports will be needed for the netting before the snow comes... However so far so good. Aside from hearing some raccoons through the woods and the soaring above of hawks and owls, our flock has been safe this season... The fall may bring about new animal antics so we have our eyes out and our ears open.

Inside the coop we created another roost since the newly hatched flock was using the nesting boxes as their night time sleeping spot which, in turn, kept some of the older hens from wanting to lay eggs there during the day... Also, we added some new nesting spots. At next coop clean I will take out the camera and post the photos.

Monday, July 6, 2009

29. Roof is DONE!

Amazing, I know... The roof is finally done!
The next projects are to make another roost inside the coop for the new birds (so far they have been sitting on the nesting box supports which is not ideal), siding the one last interior wall of the coop, bird netting the top of the fenced in run, tying up all loose ends of hardware cloth on the fence and then super-finally painting the structure!!
The fenced in run has been a wonderful addition to our coop project - assuming we can get the chickens to stay inside (hence the cover netting on the to-do list!). Also, if we need to leave the house through the evening, there is some peace of mind to having them kept inside the fence (assuming again that we can get them to go in the fence all together once they have been enjoying the great free-range outdoors!

Either way, in or out, life with chickens is wonderful and I can't see myself living without a few beauties in the future...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

28. Not Lazy, Just Busy!

Yes, yes -quite a lot of time has passed since our last post and quite a lot of things have happened!
The big fence has been completed and the new chicks are living inside the coop! Wow!

Also, blogger-mom just graduated from college, and we are expecting a new baby! Oh my, what a spring it has been!

The coop set-up, now flushed with spring greening, looks like the real thing.
The little chicks were separated by a low fence away from the big girls for a few days, but they are all combined together now -although usually with the young ones running for cover inside the coop when the hens strut their stuff.

This photo was taken two weeks ago - the new chicks are even bigger now! At a quick glance it is difficult to tell them apart from the Araucanas.

From our batch of 12 hatched, we ended up with three gray/blue, 5 hatched from Araucana eggs (now Ameraucana or "Easter Eggers") and 4 Wyandotte looking ones. I have a feeling that we are an even 6 males to 6 females, but we will wait a little while longer yet before finding new homes for the crowers.

Monday, March 30, 2009

27. Sly Fox = Big Fence

So much for hitting the shingles and red paint for our little coop on the first days of spring...

We recently had a very unwelcome Mr. Fox prowling around (killing 3 of our birds!) so we decided to step up the pace on what is most important: the fenced in run.
Builder/Dad dug holes and cemented in posts. Turned out the cement was too old and everything had to be re-dug!
Later, with the posts in super firm, cross bars were put in place. Since then I have been busy hardware cloth-ing the frames. Just to foil the sly fox (and anything else that tries a daytime dig) the fence material will stretch out 2' under the soil around the whole structure - just like the coop. No fox is getting a free meal here...
This weekend, after yet another trip to Home Depot, we should finish up this project and get on with the roof, etc, etc, etc...

Monday, March 9, 2009

26: Guesssss Whaaaaaat?

We decided to incubate 12 eggs - unsure of how many, if any, were fertilized. Either way, hatch day is March 21st! Updates will be posted on Meet-the-Chicks.

And oh no, that is not all... We procured another rooster! Cassanova is still in the integration phase of meeting the hens, but as you can see, so far so good!
He is a beautiful Golden Laced Polish.
Exciting!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

25. Sad News...

This past week our little Buff-Laced Polish "Lucille" was attacked by a predator in the early evening just as the flock was making their way back into the coop. Dottie, our faithful Wyandotte rooster, came to her rescue but sustained severe injuries which he died from. We are all very sad and missing our cock-a-doodle-doer and the little feather-headed girl. What a loss!

This afternoon we borrowed an incubator from a neighbor and chose a dozen eggs to hatch - we are not certain which are fertile, but are giving it a try just the same. In three weeks we might have new chicks - the countdown begins!

I am going to try and keep a blog-journal of the basics of coop/chicken life on the meet-the-chicks blog. Check there for an update of how - and if - we progress!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

24. Mid-Winter News

Freezing temps? Snow falling? We are surviving it!

Aside from a normal slowdown in egg production from the girls due to the decreased light this past month, so far so good! We picked up a heated dog bowl and put that inside the coop so when their regular water bucket froze they would have at least something.
Slogging through the snow and ice to check on them has not been terrible, but that is in part because they are living in an insulated house out there so I know they are kept free from drafts.

Projects for the spring: roofing & painting!