Here's what we've been up to lately: A CHICKEN COOP!
I always thought by this time in my life, my home would be a small farm in the country, with rolling fields and woods. And of course, tons of animals. Horses, dogs, barn cats, a donkey, goats, and chickens.
Animals were such a big part of my growing up. I spent most of my childhood connecting with animals, some my own and others at my friends' farms, always dreaming that one day I could step out my door and have a barn to run to.
The Coop is the answer for holding onto this dream, but living in the present and not getting stuck in the 'someday'.
The kids have had so much fun creating it. The tree they made was perfect for the different ages--Liam painted big patches of color, Nevie put borders and swirlies around his patches and made branches, and Aidan loved making the chickens and signs.
An old painting from GG was going unused in the basement, so we decided to give it new life: A CHALKBOARD! We flipped the canvas, painted the frame and covered the back of the painting with chalkboard paint. An extra bonus is that we can see the painting while in the coop. It makes me smile--I hope GG would like it too. We'll track a daily egg count here and transfer it into a journal for each chicken.
A few details on our coop:
-It's a converted garden shed. It is not insulated, but it does have electricity.
-I'm making an old crib into a bench for hanging out with the ladies. I love that the coop is private enough so I can do this without the neighbors thinking I'm the crazy chicken lady.
-Linoleum remnants will hopefully make clean up easy once the chickens are old enough to stay in the coop. We'll use shavings for the coop floor and straw for the nesting boxes. We hope the ladies will like it and lay a lot of pretty eggs. We'll have two blue/green layers, two medium brown egg layers and one dark brown speckly egg layer. And maybe one big huge white duck egg layer if I play my cards right.
-Our chickens will wake up to twinkly lights on a timer. It's pretty dark in there without lights & we're pretty sure the chickens would be confused without it.
-The outside run is our old garden. It's too shady now for good veggie growing. We'll do container gardens for our veggies this year. We tag-teamed the making of a 6 ft fence--one water-pourer/one cement pourer/one post holder/and one cement mixer. The chickens will have full run of the yard once the Collie can control herself and not attack them with her need to herd! This may take some time.
-We made a brooder out of an old tote. Add some wood chips and a heat lamp and voila! Chick habitat. They'll live in there until they get some feathers, than move into the dog crate, then the hen house.
-We'll have 2 Aracunas, 2 Buff Orpingtons, and 1 Black Australorp.
-I really want a duck.
Our chicks will come in two weeks and we're more than ready! I hope these little ones will enjoy spending time on the mini farm as much as I know I will. I'm sure there will be some bumps in the road as we figure this out. But as I see it, anything worth doing is going to take some bumps and patience and yes,maybe a little heartache.