An Introduction

This blog is a little bit about everything. My life as a mother, a wife, and owner of a home with an acre. We like to call it our family farm. My family currently consists of the human members- my husband, S and our two beautiful girls, B and O; then there are the animals- our dogs, Charlie & Lola Belle and our Chickens. Check back often, you never know when we'll add a new member! ; )

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

And the chickens have a home.

My last post was about the coop being here... finally.  But we still had work to do before the chickens could actually occupy the space.  So, S and I worked on it for his 3 days off and then it was ready to be home.  Now, don't get me wrong, there is still work to be done.  It's not 100% complete.  But it was ready for Rudy and the girls to move in.  Here are some pics of their introduction to their new space.
We painted the trim and were in the process of roofing the coop in these pics...

 The models
B, supervising
 S, annoyed at me taking pictures instead of helping ; )
 Adding the access from the run to the coop
 B and Buffy
 The chickens watching intently, wondering what we were all doing 
 Then they got bored and decided to take a nap
 Oops.  We enclosed the access from coop to run before we added the chain to lift open the coop door.  
Sorry, S, I had to take the picture!
 The roost
S is cutting the opening from the run into the access space while the girls all watch and wonder...
 Door is open!
 Inside the coop- ready for the chickens.
Hmmm... do we go in?
 And Sweetie gives it a try!
 Once one goes in, they'll all go in

 B approves
 We'll still be doing some work on the coop in the not too distant future, like adding a rain gutter and possibly making a window in the people-sized door; and also some work very soon, like fixing the not-so-securely closing nest box doors and adding a row of bricks to the small gap under the coop from the run/access area.  Hopefully we'll get eggs soon from our 17 to 20 week old girls.  Average start of laying age is between 18-23 weeks, so it should be soon!  And, of course, we hope our chickens have a long, happy, healthy and safe life in their new coop!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Coop is here!

It took a wide load permit... but the coop is here.  My brother is a project manager for a big construction company, so he and a few members of his work crew volunteered to build me a coop.  They had no idea what they were getting into.  ; )  I sent some rough drawings and some pictures of a coop I liked to my brother, telling him dimensions and basics ideas of what I wanted.  He threw all of that out and had a team of architect interns research and draw up some plans.  Then he and my other brother got a wide load permit to trailer it the 2-3 hours from the job site to my house.  My brother's job was over once it was at my house, still on the trailer, so then my Dad comes in.  He had already made the pad for the coop and run a few months back, so now he had to lift the coop off the trailer and set it in the fenced area near where it's final home will be, and also help us take measurements to get the concrete piers in place to set the coop on.  Once those were in place, he lifted the coop to it's new home, right next to the run.  Now it is almost ready for the chickens to move in.  We've stapled wire over the window openings, added latches and door handles, and bought the roofing materials and paint; but it still needs work.  We need to paint the trim, put on the roofing, build in some roosts and make a walkway/tunnel for the chickens to get from the coop door into the run.  I won't make you wait for it to be complete to see it, I'll add the completed pictures later.  So, here they are- the pictures of our coop project courtesy of my wonderful big brother!  (warning- there are LOTS of pictures!)
First, here are the pictures of the original model the architects made.  (Some changes were definitely made to this first draft, but the modern angles and basic design stayed)

Next they began framing...
Then it all starts to come together.

Next is the paint...

Then on to the trailer!

And then it's here!
We started our work on the finishing touches...

Then Dad moves it in! (with help from S, of course)

The chickens are wondering what's going on.
And once the concrete piers are in place, it moves to it's new home.

Here it is!

 (Looking at the coop from inside the run)
 The nest boxes from outside access doors.
Dad, proud of his handy backhoe skills.  ; )
Now S and I need to get to work on finishing it up so we can get Rudy and the girls in there before they start laying eggs!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Still no coop

Well, the coop has not arrived yet... but the good news is my brother is finished with it!  It should be coming down any time now.  He says for sure by next weekend, but we'll just put off the announcements until it is actually here.  Once here there will still be some work to do before it is completely finished- but at least that part will be up to me & S to get done and get those chickens in there!  We'll be painting the trim, putting wire over the windows, adding roosts and probably adding an automatic chicken door (more on that later, I'm sure).  Oh, and roofing!  It will have a plywood roof for now, since shingles would be damaged/come off while transporting it here, so we will be adding some roofing to protect the wood and prevent leaks.  The girls are getting a little antsy waiting for their new home to get here... oh, wait- that's just me getting antsy.  I can't wait!  ; )

B and O are now officially in school!  O is loving her preschool days and the teacher says it's like she's been going there forever.  No hesitation to jump right in to any activity and she doesn't even bat an eye when I leave from drop off.  Actually, she doesn't want to leave there when I go to pick her up!  B is in heaven at Kindergarten.  Every day she comes home excited about going back the next day and what fun things there are in store for her.  It makes me so happy to see them both loving it and doing so well in different environments and situations.  One of the worries I had as a stay-at-home mom was that they would be so used to being with me, it would be hard when they started school, but those fears are slowly melting away and it is wonderful.  B is also having a ball in soccer and had her first game this morning.  It's so fun to watch little ones run around attempting to play any "organized" team sport.  : )  Gotta love when the other team heads the wrong way and then makes a goal... in the wrong one.  Cute!