Tag Archives: coop repair

Chicks Again, Almost Too Soon

My morning began after another restless, sleepless night with chores and the drive to make the Chicken Tractor secure for the chicks I was expecting to begin hatching tomorrow or Saturday.  Last night, we bought two 2X4’s supposedly 8 feet long.  I was given 10 foot lumber, so first thing, I had to cut 2 feet off of the boards.  They were placed lengthwise as floor joists and a double layer of metal poultry fence was stapled down and 1 X 2’s screwed down on top of the outer edges where the hardware cloth sides were pulling loose.  This secured the edges and the sides simultaneously on one lengthwise half of the coop.

The other half back section had hardware cloth stapled down and 1 x 2’s secured over the edges.  The front section was floored with whatever random scrap lumber I could find that was long enough to cut to 26 inch sections.

IMG_0027[1]

Before modifications.

The scrap 2 x 4’s  were used to close up the spaces under the ends of the coop where I think the Opossum must have entered last week.  If anything gets under the ends now, they will be foiled by the flooring.  As I was finishing up and trying to get 3 nesting boxes together to put inside, Daughter came out to see if she could help.  She had been inside cleaning up as her MIL is due for a weekend visit shortly.  I ran out of staples for the staple gun and came into the house to get more staples and she called to me to come quick.  She had opened the egg door of the main coop to check for eggs and found this.

IMG_0138[1]

My efforts were just in time.  Momma Hen #2 has 6 chicks, 2 pipping, and 2 that haven’t started yet.  I quickly threw down hay in the chicken tractor, placed the nesting boxes inside with clean straw in them and we discussed how to manage this move, which I had hoped to accomplish after dark tonight.  Mamma Hen #4 is pretty docile  and is the last of the three expected to hatch, so I picked her up and we moved her eggs and her to the new nesting box in the Tractor and she settled right down.  Momma Hen 2 and 3 are my two oldest and are very feisty, pecking at you if you approach.  Momma Hen 3 is the one who left her nest then tried to steal eggs and she decided that the chicks were hers and tried to collected them under her with her eggs.  We decided to take her, as she is the one due to hatch her clutch next, within a day or two and move her as well and then move Momma Hen#2 and her new brood last.  As soon as Momma Hen 3 was put on her nest, she left it to try to take the chicks again so we moved her back to the coop with her clutch until Momma Hen 2 finishes hatching and settles with her babies.  Hopefully by the time Momma Hen 3’s clutch starts to hatch, we will move her again.  Once all have hatched and they know where to go at night, we will start letting them into part of the run.  I will erect the temporary fence to give them a protected space for a few days and later let them all run together with the flock.

 

IMG_0139[1]

As soon as the new large meat bird coop is completed, we will begin to cull and separate the keepers from the rest and the run will return to the laying hens.  We can already tell that one of the two remaining 4 week old chicks is a cockrell.  He has a much larger tail and is larger than his sibling.  One of the teenage Americaunas is also a cockrell.  They are both destined for the cull pen.

In the midst of us moving chickens around, the neighbor who hays our fields came hoping for a dry afternoon.  They no sooner raked the part that has been mowed when the afternoon rain began again.  I guess they will finish it eventually.  I’m glad that I’m not relying on this hay for animals, but he is, so he is hoping for an end to the afternoon rains.

Olio – June 17, 2015

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of things.

I haven’t done an Olio post in a while and the past week has been fitting of one today.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The remaining two littles aren’t so little anymore, but are still small enough to get through the welded wire fence and often spend more time outside of the enclosure than in it, avoiding the teenagers who don’t mess with them too much and the hens who are always trying to put them in their place.  Momma is much less protective of them now, even though they are no longer isolated in the chicken tractor at night after the predator attack last week that killed their 4 siblings.  The littles go into the big coop at night and tuck one under each wing of Momma.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The hen that abandoned her nest last weekend and then tried to steal the eggs back after I moved them was given her eggs back and she has been sitting ever since.  She is the one in the middle nest above.  The one on the left should start hatching tomorrow or Friday with the one on the right a day or two later and the one in the middle by Monday.

Daughter and I took measurements of the floor of the chicken tractor this afternoon and in a bit, Mountaingdad and I will be going out to do a garbage run and will buy a roll of chicken wire and 2 or 3 2X4’s so that I can put a doubled wire floor in the chicken tractor tomorrow in anticipation.  I have 3 nesting boxes prepared to put inside as soon as the floor is in place and the three hens and their chicks will be moved as soon as hatching begins.

The garden is growing weeds faster than I can keep up with them.  After having another squamous cell carcinoma removed last week, I don’t want to work out in the sun for too long. As it has been unseasonably hot I am not comfortable working for long in long sleeves and long pants.  I quit using sunscreen after I read too many articles that indicate that most of them are carcinogenic.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The annual spring haying began Monday afternoon and they worked well into the dark by headlights after the monster tractor’s mower failed and they had to resort to a sickle bar on a smaller tractor.  Yesterday afternoon they returned to get back to mowing and raking to work only a few minutes until it began to pour rain for about half an hour.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Again they are at it this afternoon, hoping to get up what has been mowed and mow and bale the remainder.  Tomorrow and Friday are the best days this week for not getting rained on, but I guess they are hoping to avoid the thunderstorms today.

In the heat, I have stayed indoors much more than usual, reading Appalachian Daughter and now Yellow Crocus, knitting on my sweater when the house is cool enough to hold it in my lap.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The body is nearly done, just requiring a couple more inches and the ribbing, then I must decide what sleeve length to make.  That will depend on how much yarn is left after the body.  You can tell that it spends more time balled up in my knitting bag than in my lap by the wrinkles that will have to be blocked out later.

In the past few days, in order to free up some bobbins to resume spinning my Coopsworth from Hawk’s Nest retreat, I finally plyed the 4 bobbins that were full, creating another 421 yards of yarn to add to the 200 that were previously plyed, washed and dried.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have over 600 yards spun and plied and have resumed spinning the remaining ounces. Once I know the total amount, I will determine what article to knit for me.  It seems only appropriate that I should finally knit a garment for me from my handspun yarn.  That was the reason for purchasing a full pound of the roving at the retreat.  The last two skeins are soaking and are about to be hung to dry.

Today marks the day that grandson left for 7 weeks with his biological father picked him up for his summer visitation.  It will be quiet and we will all miss him while he is away. His Mom, Daddy and little sister will especially be at odds for a while.