if this coop’s a-rockin’, eggs are a-droppin’.

There’s nothing like waking up to this man…

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Especially when he pours a great cup of coffee into my very favorite coffee cup (thank you, Sister).

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There’s also nothing like 31 chicks getting bigger by the second to light a fire under us to finish up the chicken coop. I was feeling quite guilty about their wing-to-wing accommodations and kept letting them all out into the backyard during the day, and then waiting until they got sleepy and slow at dusk to scoop them all up and put them back into their brooder.

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I decided that I would start singing to the baby girls so that they could get to know me better. They stand up like this when I belt out a tune…can’t quite figure out if they like it or not.

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One of them digs it, I think. She boogied.

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Or perhaps she was trying to muster up the courage to come and peck me.

And while this little guy is still learning how to catch the chickens, he can still catch a cat.

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Speaking of catching chickens, we finished up their coop this past weekend (MAJOR PROJECT DONE!). Ready for a tour?

Hank managed to recycle almost everything that he built the coop with, aside from three things: Nails, a transom window, and the corrugated steel roofing. It turned out so lovely, and I am over the moon with the fact we’ve preserved some of the history from the family who built our home. Old fence material and framing that was pulled out when we removed walls inside the house was used to build the coop from the ground up.

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Hank intentionally staggered the bottom boards to lend some character, and I crawled around under the coop to secure chicken wire to the framing with a staple gun so the girls can have shade during the day without staying inside the coop.

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We added a very temporary divider that keeps all of the babies in the big coop and the big girls in the temporary coop, giving the big girls most of the pen in which they can run around all day.

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This keeps the babies safe from the big girls, who would peck them and probably try to kill them. Size matters when you’re a chicken.

Hank made a makeshift ladder into the coop.

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And rigged a door that we can lift without going into the temporary fence area.

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The coop is 12-ft long and 6-ft wide. There are doors at either end, and the bottom of the coop is wheelbarrow high to make for easy clean out of their used litter. There will be 10 nesting boxes, and another roosting area at the other end soon.

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There’s plenty of space for all 36 girls to be in the coop at night together when it’s time.

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The first two nights were a bit of a fiasco. We didn’t know that the babies still needed a light inside of the coop (they all have their feathers, so they no longer need a heat lamp), and they wouldn’t go in at night. We had to have the boys crawl around under the coop and hand them all out to us as we put them in the coop for the evening – that was messy work that took LOTS OF SHOWERING TO RECTIFY. By the third night, I asked Hank to rig a red Christmas bulb inside the coop to see what would happen. All but four went in at dusk and those four that didn’t were roosting on top of the door. Success! Last night, they all went in on their own, and we simply shut the door to keep them safe. I don’t think we’ve stopped high-fiving each other yet.

Presley isn’t very impressed, however. She never really is.

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Next up – the office! We’re checking things off the list right and left. Yay!