There has been absolutely so much going on that I can't keep up. I'm lucky if I jot notes down in my garden journal. Can I put there that my son has lost his first two teeth and remember it? I've given up on being the kind of parent who writes down the funny things they say; the least I can do is keep track of big milestones.
One milestone seemed to happen really quickly here. After the chickens were put on restriction, we had to make them a new, contained container.
On one of the hottest days in the year so far, Eric thought it would be a nice chance to practice some fancy Japanese-style joinery.
I got to dig holes. Being the unskilled labor kind of stinks. Thank goodness for sandy soil.
In one week, we went from tank tops and buckets of sweat to sweaters under jackets. The coop area went from a prison to this nice (although sorely in need of painting -- maybe I'll think of a way to indulge my wanna-be muralist side), but more importantly, secure, coop. It was finished on a raw, cold pair of days.
The old coop was big enough to walk in, but this one has a hatch that serves for both egg removal and clean out -- we raised the nest boxes just above a the height of a rake.
The old coop had a dirt floor, which meant it was filled with dust-covered spiderwebs. Now that old coop is only a pile of needing-to-be-sorted-and-reused lumber and screen.
A side panel lifts for food and water changing. We're still working on securing the roof, made from almost-clear panels for more light, and the food will be suspended from one of the wooden supports for that. There's got to be a better way to secure the water, also. The roof will ideally have some hardware-cloth screened vents on each end, since the coop is so tight. When the little girls get in there too, there's going to be a lot of body heat inside.
There's a hatch in the pen for scrap and weed and other chicken amuse-bouches, and the little ramp ladder leads to a door that slides, guillotine-style.
And, we got it done in time for the first city bicycle coop tour today! What seemed like a whole bunch of us roamed around and visited seven different coops.
It was interesting to see the different approaches folks have to the issues of safety, convenience, health, and access. I bet there are many more coops on our little island -- maybe next year the Tour de Coop will be even bigger.
The chickens at our house seemed to greatly appreciate their new digs. What's this pile of damp feathers? Why, it's Gondor the hen -- I didn't think she was going to leave that dirt bath all day long.
But not only did she, by the time I went out to lower the door after a day full of friends and good times, I heard only quiet contented clucking from the hens, all arrayed on their perches for the night.
The many faces of Tulipa 'Antoinette'
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