again with the chickens…

Sweet Mother of Pearl was it ever HOT on Sunday. I was sweating like a CrossFitter.

We decided on a course of action for keeping the big chickens in their pen. After trying wires across the top of the pen and then consulting my Chicken Bible,

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We decided that for economical and chicken safety purposes, we’d try this, especially since this pen will be shared between all of our chickens and two dwarf dairy goats within the next few weeks.

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We clipped every girl’s right wing except for Squiggy, who seems quite content now that she’s LAYING EGGS. YAY!!!! WE ARE REALLY FARMERS!

The hardest part was catching the birds. Each morning, they would flap their way out of the coop pen, run around the backyard willy nilly, then try like mad to get back IN the pen to sleep safely in their coop at dusk. Pretty smart. But now, they’ve all been clipped and they’re pouting under a shanty lean-to we placed in the pen to try to keep them cool. (We won’t keep this lean-to; it looks terrible, we know. We’re just scrambling a little in this heat.)

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Hank has been working like a dog this weekend framing out the big coop, since the babies are very crowded.

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I’ve had to refresh their water about 3-4 times daily, and each time I do, they do their very best to get out of their tight quarters.

We don’t blame them.

The chicken coop is coming along and we’re not working from a plan. Rather, Hank is trying to use everything possible from the debris pile and so far, the most we’ve spent on supplies for the coop is a few dollars for some new nails and a transom window from ReSource. Not too bad, I’d say. Here’s Hank’s progress so far, in both building the coop and teaching Ewan how to remove nails.

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He’s building a 12-foot long coop with 10 nesting boxes off the back. There will be a transom window on the upper west side of the coop for light, and the north and south ends will have doors that will open for easy coop clean out. He’s planned a long ventilation strip under an eave above the nesting boxes, as well. We may have to add a window at some point for additional light into the coop, but we’ll wait and see how the chickens fare as is.

And to add in a little bit of weird, a burst of wind, on an otherwise windless day, suddenly hit straight down while we were all helping with the coop and shot the temporary coop up into the air (thankfully didn’t kill the girls when it hit the ground), and popped the boys’ trampoline straight into the air and over into the neighboring field. Hank managed to assemble the temporary coop back together and replace the back of it with a piece of leftover siding that had been removed from our house, but the trampoline looks like a taco and is completely destroyed. We’re so grateful that it didn’t damage the neighbor’s fence on impact. Nothing else was damaged; how weird is that?