Broody Chicken Update

Last time I reported that Summer was sitting on five eggs. She now has at least nine. We are looking at a hatch date anywhere from the 14th through the 21st at this point.

Her back is a little worn because of the affections of our roosters.

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Coop Dreams

So in my earlier post, I couldn’t find the book with the plans for our original coop. Our library is a shambles.

But, I spied with my little eye a yellow spine.

This had really good plans, and they were adaptable.

The chicks are all installed in the new place, and are pretty happy.

Carry On My Wayward Peep

So, it was a bit of a goat rodeo getting the peeps from the pen to their brooder, because it was too damn hot to finish the coop. The front door for the pen is not great, so it was held together by zip ties, which we cut so that we had could get the chicks as they ran away from the other door. One person at each door.

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Coop Four

So we had our three coops, and were working on a fourth for the peeps. Well, we got the fourth done and it is quite the palatial crib.

We learned some things along the way. And made some changes to the design.

First of all we made it almost twice as big.

We put in a double row of nesting boxes.

Plenty of ventilation.

We started with the plans for the big coop and made some changes.

Issues with the old coop included:

  • Warping on the big door
  • Hard to latch door
  • Egg door that gets blocked by bedding
  • Hard to open egg doors

We solved the first two by changing to a latch system.

We have hook and eye for keeping them open, but the latching mechanism is easier to handle.

Also, you can see the lip on the back of the nesting boxes to keep bedding inside.

We changed all of the doors so that they are latched on top of, rather than inset in, the frame.

The latch is the same on the front. On the old coop, we have a barrel latch, which, if you’ve ever been to a bar, you know lines up for about an hour and a half, then the door sags.

So we’ve got this thing over by the Quonset hut, and need to move it. When I went to law school, I definitely thought I’d be moving a chicken coop with my tractor.

As usual with a big project, we are racing a storm.

After dragging and pushing the coop to its new home, we installed the chickens.

I don’t think they know what to do with the roosts.

Three of the peeps did not make the move. They were culled this morning. One of them had juuuuust started crowing.

Me after dispatching three peeps and one chicklet from last year.

Update: Frances has found the new coop and was laying just outside.

Checking In with the Peeps

The peeps are having a day in the pen. More room than the brooder, and we aren’t *quite* finished with their coop.

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Busy Little Bees

We decided to check the bees and do our final feeding. We have a laggy hive that we still feed.

Well, Hive 1 is two years old. We put a super on this spring. No action in the super. Not sure what to do about it.

Hive 2 is new this spring and going like gang busters. We had to put on a second brooder a few weeks ago, and it needed a super tonight.

Hive 3 is the laggard. Just enough to pull the inside feeder. We put a pollen patty on for the last feed. Bonus: some new wax and honey. Yum!

New Family

We have a new family on the block. Although they come back every year, so it’s not really new.

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Three coop family.

We currently have three chicken coops. We are going to need a bigger boat. With 20-odd new chicks we were hurting for space, we love the coop the Husband built, but we decided on a few tweaks,

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Weekly Wildflowers

We have a lot of wildflowers. A lot. It may not look it from the picture, but we do have a lot.

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Farmers Market

One of the two things I miss most with the quarantine are hugs from my parents and farmers markets. The Husband and I are a good self-contained unit, but I miss my parents.

We are working towards self-sufficiently but aren’t there yet. Not everything is ready for harvest in the garden and the damn chickens eat the sprouting things.

So… I broke quarantine for the farmers market. I wore a mask at all times and practiced social distancing as much as I could.

I may have gone a bit overboard.

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