Beau July 5th, 2010
It’s that time again where we could use some rain. We received about 20 minutes worth yesterday which was really nice for a quick refresher. The chickens hid out in their coop during the rain. I had to laugh at them the other night. At first I wondered if I would have to train them to go inside their coop. Thus far it was a trick or treat affair of offering scratch, chasing them and catching them nearly by hand to get them back inside the other shed. Now I’ve nearly got the run up and it was almost dark when I went out to close them up in the new coop… lo and behold they were inside on the roosts!
I just installed the roosts that day- removable 2×4’s, wide side up. So there’s nine chickens on the top roost, and one lonely hen on that lower roost! They’re packed side by side on a five foot roost… too funny. I’ll probably put a third lower roost in there. I imagine when they get even bigger they’ll need more room.
The one hen on that lower roost is Brownie… I think she’s at the very bottom of the chicken pecking order. I’ve noticed that not only the roosters, but all the other hens chase and peck at her, and she is a little smaller than the rest. Probably gets pushed around at dinner time too. But she’s also a smart one… when I let them out in the morning, she stays behind and finishes eating without being picked on.
The night after this picture, guess who was the first one inside the coop at dusk, and sitting right on that top roost? Yep. Brownie… she’s really thinking ahead of the rest :) And yes, there were ten silly chickens on that top five foot roost, wedged together nice and cozy.
In hindsight, perhaps the coop is a little small for nine chickens. Technically it has enough “square feet” of space, etc, etc. But it should probably have been bigger, or used with fewer hens. Once again- I am reminded about “The best laid plans…” With that in mind, I recommend checking out some excellent chicken coop plans here because it might help you make better planning decisions than I did!
Looks like I may have to sink another post for the chicken run however. For whatever reason, one of the end posts really warped over the past few weeks. I tried to brace it, straighten it and think of how to use it effectively… but it’s supposed to be the hinge post for the gate. I know it’s pretty common for posts to warp or twist slightly, but not enough to worry about. This one went crazy and ended up bending about 4 inches from the bottom to the top. We’ll see… Heck, I may still use it if the hinges can reach. If I do pull it out, I should knock the cement off and take it back!
It’s also time to pick a few goodies, including the ripening blackberries. We picked some of our own and the boy needed a container… so he borrowed my hat. Now it has little purple stains inside :)
That morning we had blackberry pancakes! They were tasty… but these were mine. Yes, that’s an egg in the middle! I love my egg and pancakes together, even with a little hot sauce, maybe potatoes, sausage… the boy thinks I’m gross. Then again his preferred menu is basically white or yellow in color, without involving eggs… spaghetti, macaroni, pancakes, bagels, pizza. Thankfully he does like a good salad and a few well-seasoned veggies.
Last week I cheated on the wild blackberries by taking the boy to a local farm whose berries are huge. A little sweeter too, and just the ticket for a pie. Don’t you just love summer?!