chicken synergies

The chicken are still doing well.  Six hens from my former neighbor (4 hybrids, 1 Ameraucana, 1 ISA brown) and 8 youngsters ( 2 Buff Orpingtons (1 of which is a rooster called "Buffy"), 2 Golden Comets, 2 New Jersey Giants and 2 Speckled Sussex).  No casualties, though one of the hybrids walks with a noticeable limp and is now called "Gimpy".  The two dominant hens are the Ameraucana and the ISA brown, which curiously are also among the smallest.  The two largest hens, the New Jersey Giants, Read more [...]

preparing for winter

Yesterday morning I did not need a weather forecast to know cold was incoming and that it was time to protect some of the plantings.  Of the 12 fruit trees installed earlier this year, the Gold Nugget loquat was the most vulnerable.  The loquat is suited for sub-tropical to mild temperate zones and freezing temperatures will kill the buds if not the tree.  My loquat did not do very well this summer, probably too hot for it, but I will do what I can to help it and first steps was to winterwrap Read more [...]

new chicken coop – completed

I completed the chicken coop project over the past weekend. I did all the work myself except for the assistance of a friend who helped me hoist 5 of the 6 windows into place and fit the entrance door. In previous posts I mentioned my progress on its construction. It is built on sloping ground so I started by using my bobcat to build a level pad, half of which was cut into the slope and the other half was infill from soil removed from the slope. Then with my trencher/stump remover attached to the Read more [...]

progress on the coop and a simple replacement fix

Chicken coop The future chicken coop is progressing. I installed the windows and door with the help of a friend. Just outside of Atlanta there is a large employee owned window manufacturer and they custom manufacture windows which are occasionally returned because of wrong specs, finish, customer couldn't pay etc. Nothing actually wrong with the windows. These returned windows are stored separately and are advertised on Craig's list. I bought 6 of these windows (dimensions 4 ft by 4 ft) for Read more [...]

support the little guy!

Today I finished installing the roof of the future coop.  For the rafters I used 2"x6"x12 ft kiln dried wood, not pressure treated; for the purlins I used 2"x4" pressure treated, and for the roofing 2ft x12ft galvanized steel crimp roof panels.  I painted with exterior enamel paint those parts of the rafters which would be exposed to either rain or carpenter bees. I deliberated long on how to transport the 12 ft lengths of wood and roof panels.  My pickup has a 6 ft bed so either Read more [...]

new chicken coop

I am making slow progress with construction of the new chicken coop.  The present coops are well located for summer weather since they are at the bottom of the hill with large trees to the east and west and well screened from the sun, except when it is overhead.  The coops are enclosed by walls on two sides and netting/fencing on two sides, so cold winter winds will easily find the residents.  I considered closing in the remaining sides, but decided an extra coop will be handy in the future and, Read more [...]

cutting a ramp with Takeuchi

Last year I bought a Takeuchi TL26 track loader.  This machine was made in the 90's and because it has tracks rather than wheels is ideal for grading or re-shaping the ground surface.  It has 61hp, which makes it a mid-size loader and just right for my limited needs. In the article on the fading battery I mention some of the repairs I have made to it. Since the temperature tomorrow is expected to be back in the 90's and today we are only in the 80's, I decided to cut a ramp down to the lower Read more [...]

2nd chicken coop done

Arrival of the egg laying chicken My neighbor offered me her 6 chicken and nesting boxes and metal waterer for a reasonable price and, because of the age and size difference between her mature egg laying chicken and my youngsters, I built a second chicken coop to receive them as well as a separate fenced outdoor exercise and grazing area. I refurbished a horse stall into a chicken coop using scrap lumber and wire fence leftovers.  I used screws rather than nails since it is easier to undo Read more [...]

trying to get smarter

A few evenings ago, after locking the chicks in the pen, I heard an unusual noise and went to investigate.  The coop is divided by an inner partition.  The two Golden Comets were on the one side on the roosting perch, which didn't surprise me since from the get go they were ostracized and even though now they appear to be accepted, they still act independently.  On the other side of the partition I saw an unusual sight - the other six chicks appeared to be shoving and tugging to get into a corner Read more [...]