Saturday, May 7, 2011

Holy Coop!

I'm going to try to craft this coop building tale as accurately as possible. It's been a massive learning experience and at times, very stressful for me. I've built it almost entirely alone (with London's not-quite-3 help) and it's taking forever. Really, this is because of the weather. It would be finished if we hadn't had MONUMENTAL river/street/yard/basement flooding everywhere for about 2 weeks now... Luckily, we haven't suffered any flood-related damages. But, several people we know have. Even family out of state have dealt with loss of electricity from tornadoes and well, too much rain. This wet weather continues, too. Tomorrow is Mother's Day, and should be nice for building a bit. But, Monday looks nasty...

ANYHOW... We are very lucky our landlord is intrigued by the Urban Chickens movement, and let us keep them here. AND, there was already an overly tall doghouse-type out-building in the yard. I have been determined to purchase VERY little new material for the project. That defeats much of the purpose. :)

Picture time!!!

Ugly, old, tall... USEFUL! 
Woman, you crazy...



This is how it looked for a week! The dead doghouse is just beyond, and to the left of the boat Ian and I lifted and moved over ourselves... We had wanted the coop to go in front of the boat so we wouldn't have to look at it anymore (It's not ours) But, the massive rain showed us a nasty low point in the yard there which filled with about 6 inches of water at times.. So, clearly, this would not work out well. I sadly, grumpily, moved the site forward and just adjacent to the garden. 
Can we go home now?
Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... This is how it looked for a whole day.. While I built and re-built parts upon discovering they wouldn't work out as planned. Working with scrap wood and found materials was like GIANT Jenga that matters. It was very frustrating and tiring. But, I thought every angle through pretty hard. London managed herself very well most of the time. Thanks, kid.. very handy of you! 

A FLOOR!!! And, nest box! This moment was MONUMENTAL. I had been working things out on paper and in my head for an eternity and it occurred to me to do this first. This was followed by more rain. So, by Easter I dragged this beast in and out of the garage another 3-4 times and FINALLY the weekend after Easter I had helpers... and got 
this.... Thanks, Ian.

and this.... Thanks Mom and Ben

And, even PAINT! Thanks Dad!

You'll have to wait for the rest... It's my bedtime. :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

So, it begins...

Ok, so it really began about a month ago. Even though we were all quite sick... Bad colds that hit us twice in a row - leaving us sickly for about 2 weeks... We bought 3 Buff Orpington chicks.

 All cute and fuzzy and yellow... Awwwww. At the time the feed store folks thought they were about 5-6 days old. Buuut, I think they most have been a bit older. Also, I had set out to have 2-3 different breeds. But, the Orps were the only ones sexed (no roosters, PLEASE!) There were Barred Rocks.. and I almost grabbed 2 more assuming the 50/50 chance of being a roo, etc etc... But, I played it safe. I was already fearing the "I told you so"s from Ian... so... you know... I've been to a few feed stores with chicks since the ladies came home.. I've been awfully close to stuffing a few in my pockets. Really, the biggest deterrent is the poo pockets thing.. Oh, Johnny Law, too. But, mostly just poo in my pockets.

So, they came home in the car with London and I. So funny in their little box. And, they moved into a Rubbermaid storage tote with a lamp in the laundry room. This worked well...but not for long. (More on the current lodging in a new post)

In an effort to capture this in sequence, although quite behind schedule, I'm withholding the latest news on you. I'll try to post a few bits a day to get caught up. I KNOW, you're just dying out there 0 followers. Be still.