Rest Week

We kind of took a week off there (well, I did; Noel spent a fair amount of time messing with the irrigation system and installing a water level meter -- it's pretty amazing but I'm going to let him talk about that when he's ready). It's important to take time off when you're tired, and we were pretty tired-out by the rush of projects right there.

Anyway, yesterday we laid out the footprint for the chicken house, and I'm going to be making some adjustments to the design this week to deal with that layout. (We're planning to pour the slab for the house on Saturday.)

Chicken House footprint

First, it turns out that the posts we installed to hold the fence up have thickness, which I knew but had not quite registered. So when we laid out the house footprint, we noticed that we'd have about six inches of fence between the house and the gate, and decided to just widen the house to fill that space, which means new drawings and new calculations.

Also, we've had a couple of major violations of the chicken yard. Yesterday a squirrel managed to get in (looking for chicken food, no doubt) and get stuck, causing all kinds of excitement. Given that it happened a day after one of the dogs managed to get the squirrel by the tail and leave this in the yard, it was an occasion for great dog-drama.

Squirrel tail tuft

Then while we were out turning a compost pile today, Carole flew over and landed in the middle of the fence (she seemed really startled to find it there), then walked up it and through the aviary netting and thus out of the chicken yard, which we had not quite expected. So we're going to be putting a roof on this yard sooner than I'd originally expected, so more calculations (and more material).

Apart from that, the chickens like their new yard very much. They've discovered the compost piles and are very interested in them, although they're really more into cobwebs, for some reason. But since turning the compost and infusing it with chicken poop is half of their job description, I'm quite pleased with their performance.

Chickens on the compost pile

Because they're eating a lot of random other stuff these days, I got them some grit to help out in chewing. Here's Debbie standing on the grit feeder (well, OK, a 4" plant pot filled with grit), because as much as they like getting a nice source of grit (and they were very happy with it), they like standing up high and looking around even more.

Debbie on the grit pot

So next weekend we're doing the slab, and shortly after that we plan to do the framing of the chicken house. As you can see, the girls are pretty much ready for it as soon as we can get it built, so it's time for us to hop to it.

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posted by ayse on 05/04/08