Today I mowed the lawn. We have nine acres, but fortunately only about two or three of the acres need mowing. I have a wagon that hooks to the riding mower where I can pull the kids behind while I mow. I had two kids in the cart and one on my lap. Multitasking for the win! Afterwards, I installed new sconces on our front porch. They were always a little wonky, but one quit working and the other fell off during an especially violent storm we had several weeks ago.
Since the bad day I had with the chickens, I have been working on training them to come when I call. I take some chicken scratch with me and call “Gee Gee Gee” (this is how you say “Chicken” in Chinese), giving a treat to those who came over. After consistantly training this way, the majority will come to me when I call. Now, in the mornings, I go into the coop and call the chickens.
I continued replacing the coop windows. I built a wooden frame around each window and then joined the two frames together. Thanks Dad for the table saw, I put it to good use :) Then I installed the windows, framing the space around the windows as these are smaller than the ones they are replacing. At this point, I'm feeling good about the project Things were really starting to come together, but the project started to derail when I installed the plywood.
I started working on replacing the coop windows today. The several panes were broken and covered with bits of packing tape. The new windows are a bit smaller (but they didn’t cost of a fortune, either), so it will take a bit of finagling. However, the new windows have tempered glass, so they should be more resistant to breakage. The first step was to rip all the old windows. I was surprised how quickly they came out.
The chicks are getting larger, so I’ve been letting them totally free-range (outside of the chicken tractor). It’s been working well and they really enjoy the freedom to go wherever they want. A hawk tried to grab one today, but they all hid and we were able to scare the hawk away. I’m glad the chickens flee from a hawk, but rounding them up is really tough. At first it was a fun challenge, but they are getting so fast it is really frustrating.
I’ve been working on a pop door for the chicken coop. There is a main door that I use to enter and exit the coop. However, there is a small opening in the side that would allow the chickens to enter and exit the coop at will. However, I wanted a small door that allow me to shut the chickens in at night, and keep predators out. While there are many commercially available doors, I decided to make my own.
Today I wired the chicken coop, adding an electrical outlet. The coop transformation is coming along, but the weather is still a little brisk at night. A plug would allow me to move their chick heater outside, to keep them warm. I ran the wire into the coop and wired the electrical outlet. The cover will keep water, grime, and curious beaks out Then, I ran about 150 feet of wire to the barn which already has electricity.
When I bring the chicks back in from free-ranging outside, I have them inside a huge plastic tub. I cut a small door in the side, and when I open it, generally the chicks rush out. There are always a couple of stragglers, but with a little coaxing, they hop out and back into their crate. Yesterday, there was one small chick, significantly smaller than most of the others, that would not go back inside.
Today the crate that the chicks live in was getting really smelly and downright disgusting. Soooo Gross! So, I shoveled out all the old bedding Poor Lego Man, he fell in and has had a bad couple of days So much Poo! And I put down all fresh bedding. All clean! Now it’s ready for them to lay down a fresh layer of poo, lol.
Today I worked (you guessed it) out in the chicken coop. Now that the walls are clean, I wanted to stain and waterproof the inside. Hopefully this will help protect the wood from everything the chicks throw at it, and will deter any future wasps from taking up residence inside the coop. I was only able to complete about half the job before I ran out of stain, but here’s what I was able to get done: