Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Starting the Coops

Today was the first rainy day on the farm but we still worked outside all day. First thing this morning we ran outside to check whether the seedlings had survived the night - they are all alive! We might have a bunny problem in our outdoor garden since we saw a rabbit there a few days ago. So far so good though. 

Next we cleared out and weed whacked the side yard where we want to keep the 4 adult laying hens (that we pick up on April 15th) at first, before they can be with the chicks. We might end up separating the meat and egg chickens and keeping the meat chickens in the side yard and the egg chickens in the converted playhouse. 

After that we took a lunch break and went to the bakery in town to buy a delicious loaf of fresh bread and a cinnamon bun. Good thing we're getting lots of exercise...

Then we did some work for the landlord (we're working about 20 hours a month for reduced rent) levelling out the rows in his orchard and weed whacking to prepare for adding mulch in the next few days. We thought that would take us a few hours but it only took us an hour total. 

Next we cleared out a little yard that had a rabbit hutch/chicken coop structure in it. We're going to drag that into the side yard to use as a coop in there. After that we started 'predator proofing' the playhouse-coop. 

This is the kind of predator we're trying to keep out....

Digging a trench to bury the hardware cloth:

We used a staple gun to attach the wire to the wood but had to hammer the staples in the rest of the way - need a stronger staple gun.

Meanwhile, Abby has become a horse instead of a farm dog. Grazing together...

Ryan, too. They keep finding bits of hoof trimmings.

Hardware cloth folded along the ground and ready to be buried. The ground is pretty hard and rocky so it would be hard for anything to dig in, anyway. We also put that piece up on the left side of the porch and we're going to make a door on the right side of the porch.

All buried:

Later in the afternoon there was time for chick training...now when I open the crate door most of them come out and sit on my arms and in my lap. Ignore my highly fashionable attire. And yes, there is chick poop on my right knee.

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