Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Let's talk about CHICKS, bay-bee

One of life's greatest mysteries, in my humbleboree opinion, is why OH WHY can my coffee not taste the same morning after morning.  Is my Cuisinart just not up to consistency?  Is it not a morning maker?  Is it running late once in a while, cruising past my request for a tasty cup and trying to get out the door?  Good thing this rustic-tasting cup of coffee isn't the only thing keeping me company this morning... :)  proof:

 Let's talk about my other babies.
Once upon a time, I was able to write little long and winded notes to you here at this spot the locals call a 'blog'.  Last time we talked I was packing my bags to spend some time in North Dakota with my family while mi padre got his entire colon yoinked out of his body.  He's functioning quite well without it, I'll add.   I spent a month there, and have now been home a month, without any regard to Ginnboree!.  Well I take this opportunity to apologize if you feel like you need an apology, or to say "you're welcome!" if it's been a happy hiatus for you.  I'm sure I have lots to say about the past 8 weeks, but it's a jumble and today I want to talk about my hens and how they made it out alive.

Last time I saw you we were starting to get them outside for some scratching and picking, pecking and fresh, thin, Colorado air.  I had moved them to the garage to start their journey in independence.  Their bodies were about the size of a grapefruit.  I left Mister in charge of their general health and well-being for the month, while Tulah hoped and prayed we still had baby chicks when we got back home.

Well we didn't have baby chicks when we got back.
And they were alive!  Their cage stunk to high heaven and they were squished into their garage shanty wing-to-wing, but they were alive!  Three cheers for Mister Boree and his speedy ascent to celebrity status!

We moved them to our little shack outside, which is super classy and not at all secure.  Yep that's a pallet that seemed to fit perfectly on the open end.  Anyone on Pinterest will tell you that a pallet will dress up any ol' shanty it puts its mind to.

The kids would climb into that little window and spend time with their Wittle Wadies (Knox-speak), picking dandelions for them and hunting through the yard for bugs.
The debate started regarding where and how to build the real coop.  Lots of ideas flapped around for a few weeks, until fate stepped in and made our decision for us.

A chicken coop listed on Craigslist for $500 on a Wednesday was dropped down to FREE by Thursday, and we were the lucky winners to pick 'er up in Boulder.  I originally thought we had a budget to work with until I realized that creativity was the only bank I could draw from.  So, FREE???  YES puh-lease!!  I mustered every ounce of faith and positive energy into little mind bullets, and shot them into the universe in hopes that it hadn't either a) been given away from underneath us (which happens all the dang TIME on CL!!) or that it wasn't a rickety, rotten mess when we arrived.

 It wasn't.  It was glorious.  It was heaven in nesting-box form.  It was a happy, clean, hefty, cozy green cottage and it was all OURS!!!  I died a little bit when I saw it in person.  I also died a little when 4 of us somehow hoisted it into our trailer.  We made it home in one piece, but I died even more when only Nick and my (curiously strong) self removed it from the trailer and placed it a few times in the yard.  A chain, a come-along, and a tree were required to remove it from the trailer.  It probably weighs 800 pounds.  You might be thinking, "Wow I bet that's what an 800 pound gorilla weighs!"  And you would be right.

It now sits in permanent position near a little neglected patch of flower garden, which they'll looooove to explore when we let them out.  We keep that rainbow in our sky for decoration.

I mean, did it not turn my weediful backyard into sort of a magical land?
I just love my home, I type with a sigh.

Little nesting boxes in the back:

I look over and Knox is just holding a chicken.  He's way more comfortable picking them up than Roo is!  Here he's holding little Belinda Carlisle and needing a haircut.

One would think that the coop was a good place to stop.  However, I want my girls ranging as freely as possible.  I also want them to range as safely as possible, for there is certain guaranteed wildlife here (raccoons, fox, hawks, the occasional pteranodon, Howdy...) that we must protect them from until we learn the ropes.  Their own private yard was necessary.  Rent me a posthole digger on my birthday and my hens and I will be happy girls!!

Nick picked up the fence posts and rails with a bunch of flagstone loads he's been bringing home, so they were basically free.  We used some of our abundance of pea gravel, sand from the sandbox, water and some dirt to fill and pack the post holes, instead of concrete. Also free.  We nailed about nine welded wire fence panels to the fence after it was built, and that was also sitting around from that trailer load of junk we picked up in Brush a few months ago.  Essentially, this fence cost us the rental fee for the auger and a fun birthday working in our yard together.  We know how to celebrate :)

Yes of course the kids helped... Duh.  We had them make sure our holes were deep enough.

When all the work was done, it was basically awesome.

We planted a couple of fruit trees nearby.  Nick gave them to me for Mother's Day and they are finally getting a home in the ground.  And the green weeds grow all around, all around!

The Wittle Wadies love it.  They have a little burm to inspect, dry dirt for dusting themselves off, yarrow to hide under, and a safe space in which to roam.  Life is good for our little hens!  Their little home and yard really dressed up our yard, which was a major bonus.  My coffee might stink, but my view does not :)

that's right, it's a heiney.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I love to read your escapades!