Thursday, May 26, 2011

May 26, 2011

Man, I just checked my phone pictures and came up with yet another post... Boy they're piling up.  I don't like to do more than one a day as many of my readers only check blogs once a day.   So check back daily for the next few days as there will be many to read... and comment on if you're so inclined!

As promised, this post will be all about the chick's adventures outside.  I confess that being behind in my blogging made yesterday's post seem a bit out of place... the girls have actually been outside most of the day every day for the last 5 days.  And to say they love it is an understatement. 

I have a timer on their light (a CFL now that their feathers are in) to effectively mirror daylight, 6 AM to 9 PM, but I don't take them out of their brooder until around 10 AM when my youngest is up and dressed to help.  I start by moving the water and food outside.  I still need to head to the feed store for bigger containers.  Then it's time to move the chickens!  Dot and Twinkydink are really good and just about walk into your palm.  Summer and Buffy on the other hand, run away, though Summer only half-heartedly so.

Right now it's a very labor intensive process as I either need more than one person transporting them, or have both hands free to have one in each arm.

On this day however, I had more help than I could ever hope for...

Isn't he cute? Well, finally, we make it to the ark. I love how light it is so I can easily slide it around the yard to a new place every day.  I actually move it before I take Summer and Buffy out for the evening, as I have to crawl in after them. I move it so I don't kneel in droppings.  Which I am letting compost in place.

Did I mention the kids love to help with this part?!

They have been outside, rain or shine for most of the daylight hours of the day, which is my intention since my mini-run is only 18 SF and has no predator protection. However, I was talking to my brother the other day, and we agreed, that in a pinch, the coop could count as space to keep them content, so that's 38 SF, just shy of the 40 recommended for full-time space for 4 chickens.  That would allow us to keep them completely under cover on really bad Northwest days.  Though for the most part this is where they will hang out during the day. Of course before it gets to be fall, I'll need some sort of cover, which I am currently planning on 1/3 plywood to accommodate a nesting box in the peak.  The way I figure it, with a handle on top I will be able to lift and lean and move it fine standing behind the covered part.  For the remaining 2/3 of the ark, on really bad days I can throw a tarp over it.  It would be great to get a clear 5x8 tarp with grommets to bungee cord in place as necessary.

So, there you have it, for the time being the ark is done. I find it difficult at best to work on the ark with the girls in it, so I may need to wait until the coop is done to make any more additions, other than a handle to move it.  So enjoy the last video (Photobucket and Blogger weren't talking to each other well, so I had to upload them directly from my computer. Hope they turn out ok, and enjoy!


  1. You may want to consider a corrugated plastic roof instead of plywood just to keep the weight down so you can still move it easily.

    Something like this maybe?

  2. I can't believe she found her way out that quickly! At least you were able to catch her before the other ones took off after her. Looks like the ark is a success!

  3. Twinkydink is the barred rock, right? Ours are the escape artists of the bunch. One of them consistently finds her way out of our coop and into my (fenced) garden.