Tuesday, May 13, 2008

crazy coop caper part three

big crazy cooper caper day!

all four sides of the coop and five of the six sides (sixth being the floor) of the outside run are covered with 1/4" hardware cloth. i've got the roof of the indoor coop to cover yet. i'll use chicken wire there, possibly a double layer for strength in case i get any climbers trying to break in for a snack. once the roof is on, i will build the roost from the limbs and branches i've got put aside for that task, mount my nesting basket (which is a basket for now), run the cables for the water and feed containers and load in some hay for bedding. the last and final touch will be the installation of the light sensitive and/or timer controlled chicken door that will allow the ladies access to the outside run. you can set the door to work either via light or via a timer which i think it great!

i did a little r&d in regards to the outdoor run today. i was not completely happy with my first go at the design so i decided it was best to take bits of it apart, make the adjustments so as not to experience the kicking yourself in the butt, why didn't i change it guilt later in the year. it's now better supported, with door and a bit more spacious.

i mounted 1/4" hardware cloth on all sides except the floor of which i will cover with chicken wire due to the fact that the 1/4" hardware cloth would not allow a great deal happy dirt and ground pecking. the chicken wire will protect the girls from diggers while giving them the optimal grazing access. i also gave the run a solar shaded corrugated fiberglass roof. it gets hot down here so any additional shade may prove helpful when the temps run high. the door will allow me, hippychick access for cleaning, water changing and such. i might even plop in a handful a juicy garden grubs every once in a while. mmm mmm mmm

so i did not finish completely but it looks like i will in time for the ladies arrival on thursday or friday depending on the shipping efficiency.

there were times today when i just had to step away from the coop. either i jabbed myself with the hardware cloth one too many times or i just could not figure out how to solve the next challenge. those moments today allowed me to empty all the gutters, sweep all the gutter stuffs into the compost and direct the truck driver to the side of the house where my load of spring compost was to be dumped. and once dumped i shoveled a bit onto one patch of my tomatoes. i think i'll be shoveling a lot more compost tomorrow.

last task today was to spray the heck out of the metal roof which hangs above the indoor coop. that is where, i have discovered, all the wasps are hanging about. i spotted at least four active nests. i'd normally let them be but they are located in the area i need to travel to in order to finish the coop roof. i don't think they would be likely to accept company of my sort in such close proximity to their nesting area. so down they came. once the roof is complete i'll let them be once again. i hope they'll not be so fast as to fashion another nest by morning. it may be in my best interest to do another spray before i get started. hmmm.

now i sit freshly showered and squeaky with a cool glass of tea at my side. i'm thinking, of all things, that i'll have some chicken soup for dinner. i made it last night hoping it would help my cranky darn cold recovery efforts. so goes the cycle.

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