Sunday, November 14, 2010

More about the Chickens...

Well, the back wall got replaced just in time to move the chickens in for the party. 4 months on, and I STILL need to paint it.

I added another gate latch to hold the coop door OPEN, as once the chickens were kept OUT of the coop on a windy day.

Here's a suggestion for you: paint your doors ASAP. When it's humid, or rainy, the door swells and sticks. Paint helps keep the moisture out, and that means the door doesn't stick!

Now, you may remember that I said we weren't ENTIRELY sure about the sex of the chickens. Well, it turns out we had cause to wonder. We had purchased 2 Buff Orphington chicks, because the Buffs will lay longer into the winter. Well, that's not gonna happen, because BOTH the chicks were roosters.

But we aren't suffering from any shortage of eggs. Since they started laying, we've been averaging about 5 eggs a day from 6 hens, or THREE DOZEN A WEEK. We have over 6 dozen eggs in the refrigerator, and we can't eat them fast enough.

Maybe we need to eat a hen or two. (Just kidding, Debbie!)

Getting water to the coop has been interesting, as well. The spigot in the barn, as far as we can tell, attaches to NOTHING. We've never been able to get a trickle of water out of it. On the other hand, there's a valve in the house that leads OUT through the foundation and disappears, and we can't find the other end. And the spigot on the front of the house seems to have been shut off and the control valve walled in, completely inaccessible.

So we drag a hose off a reel near the one head we have in the front, across the yard, to a chain of 3 dry hoses. We pulled these out of the barn, where they were left by one or more of the previous owners, added some Y-valves, and VOILA! 200 feet of farm plumbing. That puts the water within 20 feet of the coop, so we don't have to carry it very far, and puts a spigot near the kitchen garden, near the barn, and near the paddock as well. Of course, we can't run them all at the same time, and I have to turn on and off 6 valves to make the water go.

And what am I going to do when it gets cold? We've already had one night in the 20's and the oldest hose already has a small crack that bubbles when the pressure is up...

By the way, would you like some eggs?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Housewarming Party

The BIG reason we needed to move the chickens was to get ready for VISITORS.

My kids were coming from Utah, and we needed the sewing room for my daughter. It was kind of Important that she not be sleeping with the chickens.

And we had a party to put together--after all, after living here for 5 months, it was about TIME for our housewarming.

So on July 24, we had about 50 people over for lunch. Of course, it was the HOTTEST day of the summer--about 108F, or over 42C.

It was kind of like Hell.

But it seems--right--in retrospect. I mean, after we froze for 3 weeks trying to move in, we certainly had a houseWARMING.

The next day, we had a windstorm that seemed just shy of tornadoes. Some places HAD tornadoes.

The rented pavilion was torn down. The steel buffet we moved from the back porch for the party turned into a bunch of twisted scrap. The patio table and umbrella were picked up and tossed into a tree. Glass table top shattered everywhere, but the umbrella was STILL in the bracket.

Good thing it was the day AFTER the party.