Wednesday, May 14, 2008

the shocking tale of the electro-charg-o-matic chicken wire

today was a day that revolved around two areas of study.
  1. the crazy coop caper
  2. the six yards of compost sitting in the back lot
the compost is in great form. light, crumbly, sweet smelling and steaming hot in the center. whooo! i have to be careful when i dig my hands in to fill up my hauling containers, this stuff is active in the best kind of way.

i'm actually getting this stuff into the garden beds later than usual, months later actually. this year was a busy one and time had not allowed such adventures until most recently. i gave each bed a good six inches and watered it in.

i threw down a few more cucumber seeds, runner bean seeds and summer squash seeds. maybe the later start will be good for avoiding most of the pesky buggie bugs. nice thought, but down here where it's warm, the pesky bugs are pretty much year round friendly. well, maybe they'll be preoccupied on some other gardener's plants. keep wishing...

regardless, i moved enough compost to cover each of the raised beds, the volunteer squash patch, the second tomato patch and the base of all fruit and citrus trees. not too bad actually. and the dark fluffy stuff looks great in the garden. the color unifies all the beds and offers (at least for a short period of time) a sense of neatness and planning. live the dream! a neat garden... forgetaboutit

the chicken coop is so so close!

note to all future chicken mama's and chicken papa's building your own coop.

give yourself plenty of time for
  1. the doing things wrong the first time
  2. the better idea, doing it over because i want to
  3. the oh this part took a lot longer than i thought it would
  4. hmm, wasps up there, now what?
  5. how to do i fix this mess &*%$!*
    • what was i thinking i could build my own chicken coop? moment
  6. need to nail or screw that down but i can't fit the hammer or the screw gun into that tight spot
  7. out of ....................... (fill in the blank) again?
  8. breaks driven by the stabbing of oneself with hardware cloth or chicken wire
    • ouch!
  9. pondering time
  10. proud admiration of one's accomplishments time
view from the street, quietly discreet.
maters on the left, clematis on the right
so today was a big push and still not every detail is complete but enough for the ladies to take residence without fear of being disturbed.
the outside run. not quite done.
  • got the chicken wire roof in
    • that was a fun how the heck did i think this was going to work set of moments today. eventually though the old adage, where there is a will, there is a way, kicked in. i sucked up my frustration and just barreled through. the barreling through included a g.i. jane crawling in the eves sequence i hope not to repeat anytime soon. let me tell you, there was a whole lot of cussing going on.
crunchy top chicken wire at the roof level to discourage climbers
  • i prepped the bedding for the ladies
    • a clean sweep of the pen
    • a sprinkled layer of diatomaceous earth on the floor
      • good for deterring mites and fleas and such
    • a layer of clean hay about 4" thick
    • a second sprinkle of the diatomaceous earth
  • i loaded in what i'll call the hutch which holds the nesting box and a roost
  • installed a big ole' tree branch roost
    • i think the ladies will like this one best
    • o'natural and pretty
  • i hung the water and the feeder containers
  • picked up some electrolyte mix from the local feed store
    • i'll give this to ladies as soon as they arrive
    • traveling in the mail cannot be fun
    • too bad they don't drink gin and tonic, i'd surely share a drink with them if they did and we could chat about their travels.
      • ah maybe someday
so as you can see i've still got some bits to do like finish the outside run and install the door between the inner coop and the run. for now the inner coop is secure without access to the run for safety's sake.

i returned to the inside world around seven pm with nearly a full coating of dirt and grime on any uncovered bit of body and yup that includes my hair. the climbing in the eves was good for that and yes i watched a few wasps fly about but thank the gods they flew by. now i'm thinking about dinner and i don't know what i'll make up for myself. i'm just happy to know that we're almost there and that the lady chickens will have a pretty wonderful home to start on their adventures in the hippychick universe.

keep an eye out for photos. i thought best to wait until morning for better lighting. which reminds me - doh!

i was electro shocked today!!!!
yup there was some power run into the eves of the structure that i'm building the coop into. well i was running the chicken wire up there and let me tell you, not an easy job when, bzzzkkkkeeeiiiiiiooowwwwwww, i got a good zapping! i jumped off the ladder thinking i should hit ground any way possible. it worked. boy oh boy, i had no idea i was installing an electro-chickenwire-roof. in fact, i was not. in fact, i discovered some shoddily installed electrical wiring.

long story short. i cut power to the line. i cut the line and un-installed the wire run. it was a real bad install job. staples right through the wiring which is how i think the chicken wire magically took a charge. no burns, no harm done.

hmmmmm, am i smarter for the shock? am i happier? are all my traumatic memories zapped into the won't ever remember them again ether?

don't know. one can hope, ah?

grommit! doooooo something!!!!!

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