Friday, May 9, 2008

eight weeks chickens

The chicks are growing like weeds. And so purty! They've graduated to "Pullet grower feed." Hope you enjoy their portraits. Click on them, usually it will be worth it.

Friday, May 2, 2008

why I'm so sore and tired

I think these pictures document around six weeks of back breaking work. At least next spring should be easier.

First we cleared the land of debris and cord wood.
Then dog fencing, gates, and building the new beds. The beds are made out of stone from the land that the previous owner had brought in. Much of it is the same rock as the houses are built from. Raised beds are important since we have the thirsty elms to contend with. At least 70% of the materials we used for all this work was recycled from what we found already here. We were fortunate in that the soil here is pretty good. So, we'd dismantle a nasty little bed the previous owner had built (and in the process saving the houses from further degradation), augment the lovely topsoil with Chaffhay and manure, and mix it all up in the new beds. Lots of tooing and froing with the wheelbarrow, and lifting and heaving of rocks and boulders - Phew!

We had to interrupt the garden development and hurry to get the Chicken coop done since the girls were growing so quickly. We laid the foundation a couple weeks ago inside the only covered exterior space the houses have to offer. The gate to the hen yard was built by friends in Santa Fe for their old garden and recycled for our girls.

This is a picture of everything pretty much done. The hen yard has a screen around it for now until the dogs and hens get used to each other. We hung bird netting to keep the girls in and hawks and cats out. The yellow is the color we started painting the old screens for the windows. Yellow screens for summer, and blue storm windows for winter. I think we provide endless amusement for the neighbors: Gay TV. Someday I'll have my wall.....
Al built the hens their condo nesting boxes. They will be mounted higher on the wall once the girls start laying eggs. Walmart sells a dozen organic eggs for 3.77 right now......

Seven week old Ameraucana (we are beginning to suspect rooster...):

Seven Weeks Old:
interior shot of the girls new digs:
Yikes! what a lot of work!
well deserved nap.