Sunday, June 29, 2014

New chicken condo - under construction

The 14 new chickens are celebrating their 7th day with us.  The transition has been reasonable, but it's time to get them permanently settled into their own coop.  Egg production has been kinda off due to the stress.  These 14 have not been given access to the coop we have attached to the run; we've shut off the access door.  I few of them have figured out how to fly up and out of the run, and I THINK they've figured out how to get into the coop from the main coop door that we've been opening and closing everyday for our original flock.  Some of the nesting boxes in the coop are being used that haven't been used before, and.... there have been more eggs in the coop than what our flock is able to produce.  But mostly, any eggs that these chickens are laying are scattered around the ground in the south chicken-run.  That's not okay.

These poor girls -- truly.  Stress doesn't help ANYONE, not even chickens!...
But, the stress isn't just affecting the new chickens...

... Cassie started cleaning up the north chicken-run on Friday, which will be the run available to the new chickens once a new chicken coop is made.  She came across a collection of eggs.  I am almost completely positive that these are Big Mama's eggs;  she's only one of two of our chickens that lays green eggs.   We left them alone, and when I went back to check on them yesterday (Saturday), there was another egg added to the 'nest.'  Poor Mama.  She's stopped using the nesting boxes.  I can only imagine why -- she has a favorite box, and it was occupied the other day by one of the new-chicken escapees.  

So it's time!


The coop materials were purchased on Thursday and much of the construction was done on Friday.

Cassie is developing into an excellent "farm-hand."  And I think she's been newly motivated by our Agriculture teacher...

... Being a 7th/8th grader, Cass is new to the FFA experience.  Our Ag teacher visits students in the summer; those interested in taking on projects, etc.  She visited us Friday morning; did a walk-around to see everything we offer and what Cassie could potentially concentrate on during her first true year of participation in/with SAEs.   "Poultry Production" is one area of interest -- certainly!

Documenting aspects of projects is important ---  PSSHHT!  Got that covered!  Pictures are always being taken around here.  And documented!  LOL.
So, once the Ag teacher left, Cassie grabbed the hand clippers and started trimming up the north chicken-run.  This will be the run that will be accessible to the new chickens once the new coop is completed and attached to the run.

A room with a view!  There are different opinions in various 'how to build a chicken coop' articles about whether or not coops 'need' windows.  This lil' addition is a simple, inexpensive slider variety.  It'll offer light for the chickens AND ventilation.  Would YOU like to live in a place without windows???   Silly, right?  Of COURSE we want to see light... and have air movement on those warm days!

Wouldn't you agree, Paul??

Once the new coop is done and placed alongside the north chicken-run, our plan will be to transplant the new chickens into the north run, and into THEIR coop-condo!  The south-run coop access door will be opened up again, and hopefully, our original flock will notice they have their original access to the coop again.   And they'll all live happily ever after! ???

Our flock wanders the yard during the day.  Maybe 1-2 weeks after settling into their new environment, the new chickens will be given access to the yard.  I really don't know how/if the two groups will eventually get along and play nice.

And THEN--- we'll have our nine chicks to deal with too!  I didn't record when we received them, but I think they are about 16 weeks old (give or take 2 weeks).  They currently are housed in a moveable ground-coop;  no nesting boxes (they don't need them yet), but no roosting bars either.  Their housing will be next to problem-solve.  I THINK we'll put them back into the south chicken-run (we kicked them out when we got Steve, the rooster), and give them access to the original coop.  We simply need to be sure Steve plays nice with them!!!!

And not to forget the NINETEEN eggs that are in the incubator!  LOL.  Oh boy! 
Cassie and I candled them on Friday (day 9).  Many, if not all (?), showed signs of growth and development.  It was kinda cool to watch the movement in the eggs, seeing the embryo dart around the egg!


Our chicken whisperer.

And, as always....so much else is going on around the house...


Weeding...

Combing through weeds...

Finally finding the tiny green onion sprouts...

... treating the goats to our weeds

... picking strawberries

PROCESSING the strawberries!....




mashing...

and stirring to make a couple batches of jam.


And fitting time into Friday night and all-day Saturday for a 3rd/4th grade Softball tournament. 


The days are filled with happy and fun living!  That's for sure :)


4 comments:

JB said...

Wow! I feel like such a slacker after reading your posts. I love everything that is going on at the Skattebo Ranch. Happy Sunday!

Alycia said...

Holy Cow - you have a lot going on! WTG Cass for FFA - it is a Great experience... she will rock it ;-)

Andee said...

Truly fun to learn how all the workings of your garden/farm go! I have learned so much and it makes me wish I had some of these experiences growing up, I did not know chickens don't like new friends showing up at their door! LOL, so glad the new coop is getting a window, one needs light and a breeze!

scraphappy said...

I guess I can understand why you haven't had any time to quilt. Goodness! So many farm jobs to keep you busy all summer long.