Friday, May 15, 2015

chooks a'coming...

in which our plucky heroine becomes completely exhausted...

There should be three new Black Australorp hens arriving on Sunday, and am getting the yard sorted out to create space for them that will make the best use of their normal activity, and keep them reasonably safe and also keep the rest of my yard safe from them (I want my strawberries, and I dislike stepping in chicken poop) I suspect that today will simply be written off as a building infrastructure day...
First the roost
Earlier today I started on building a roost to put inside the henhouse, since always in the past my chooks decided to sleep in the nest box, which is not ideal. My hope is that if I give them a higher roost, they will choose to sleep there instead.
I found a child's table discarded by the side of the road a while back, and decided that it would be a good framework to build a roost for the hen house. The first step was to cut down the table legs...

The next step was to figure out *how* to attach and combine various pieces of wood to support a wooden perch for the future hens. I really wish they had let girls take shop classes when I was in school! While I can't help but imagine that someone that "knew" what they were doing wouldn't take ALL DAY to build a chicken roost, when I talk to other folks who are woodworkers, they say it does take a long time to build something with just a concept and no instructions or plans to follow... After much struggle both with the various tools and with mental effort to figure out *how* to get it to fit together and fit in the henhouse and still let there be enough room for chickens, eventually, hours later, I created this contraption.
I hope this will work. I am not a woodworker, I find all this VERY Challenging. But it needs done, since hens arrive on Sunday!! (the floor of the coop is first covered with a piece of vinyl floor protector, then the whole space has a nice soft layer of wood shavings)

...then the fencing
Last weekend the henhouse was moved to a more central spot in the yard. Incremental progress is still progress, though I could wish for all sorts of unlikely things*... Eventually there will be "chicken hurdles" (moveable fencing panels) but for now I am attempting to wrestle the old fencing which was never more than large scraps of welded wire fence, and now after sitting for several years in the backyard much older and rustier and all intertangled, into some semblance of fencing around the old raised bed that will be the new chicken yard. Mighty girl is mighty, and mighty girl is mighty exhausted...

Looking across the backyard while standing near the apple tree: closer bed has strawberries in most of it, and the bamboo poles will support bird netting to hopefully allow some human eating of berries. Behind that is one of the original raised beds; my plan is to pen the hens in there, to let them do the work of cultivating and fertilising. In the far background the corks atop the other fencing of the shade yard are just barely visible.

By cleverly positioning my fascinating assortment of fencing scraps, there is a narrow pathway for chooks to move between the raised bed and a section of the yard against the south fence, which should allow them to find shade at all times, which is very important in the summer! By the time this area is "scorched earth" I hope to have created a number of moveable fence panels that can be used to allow access to other edge zones of the yard. In the meantime, it is still possible to move the wheelbarrow to the back of the coop, so as to allow for cleaning and refurbishment as needed

A shady patch along the south fenceline was easier to get the old fencing to border; bit by bit the new habitat is coming together. So tired. And I still have to make a nestbox door... This is looking towards the hen house from the far back fence; the sharp points on the welded wire have old wine corks stuck atop, to both help prevent painful incidents and to help make the fenced area more visible
May SMART goals
1 big garden bed front yard mowed bin of twigs
2 Mindy underdress strawberries planted bin of brush
3 Laurel underdress blackcurrant planted random plastic
4 Norseguy embroidery design fridge plinth drawer -
5 chook roost chook house moved -
6 - chook run fencing -
7 - chook shade run -

1 comment:

  1. You are one ambitious lady! Those chickens will do an excellent job of eating bugs and converting them into delicious eggs.