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Posts Tagged ‘peeps’

I chose lime green and purple because I need something bright and cheery to look at during the long dreary days of winter next year.  It was not the most popular choice among the boys in my family.  It doesn’t matter though, I love it!  It turned out much better than I could even imagine!

The day before my Dad left we went to the feed store and bought 4 chicks.  This coop is supposed to hold 4-6, but I figure they will probably want a little space.  This way they can each have a corner and look out and pretend they’re alone.  I can only imagine what it would be like cooped up with a whole bunch of girls.  Someone would be loosing some feathers and I’m sure it wouldn’t be me.

The kids are enamored with these little gals. They are very fun to watch. We are keeping them in the garage to save them from Frank the cat.  Plus, these little guys are noisy!

The boys wanted to test out the coop on the grass today.  Marshall and Michael carried it from the garage to the grass.  It was heavy, and Mike needed to rest often, but they did it.  I’m glad because the weight was something we were concerned about.  The chicken tractor needs to be moved every few days to give the ladies some new pecking ground.  This job will most likely fall to the boys.

Nathaniel really wanted to crawl up into the roosting part of the coop, but I’m not sure if the ladder is load tested for a preschooler. In order to assure that we wouldn’t break the thing on the first day out of the garage we secured the ladder in the up position.

After putting the kids in, we thought about letting them test the security of it over night.  You know, make sure the coyotes couldn’t get in.   Nate wasn’t a huge fan of this idea.

The kids are very excited to put the little gals in here, but we have quite a few more weeks before they can regulate their own temperatures. It’s like we are running a NICU unit for baby chickens.  Plus, we chose one who ended up with pasty butt.  Aren’t we lucky.  Of course, we got one with a nervous tummy.  We get the pleasure of wiping her hiney and feeding them some yogurt/feed mix.  Thankfully, she seems to be on the mend.  She is the one that Nate and Jake chose.  They named her.  Pooper McPooperson.  Poor thing.

Nathaniel still afraid of them up close.  The whole time he was saying “Okay, Pooper McPooperson, I’ll let you sit in my lap.  Okay, you can stand in my lap. Oh no, Pooper, don’t move.  Oh no!  Pooper don’t flap your wings!  Oh no!  Mom, I’m done!”

Jacob, on the other hand was much braver.  That is until Ducky here decided to poo all over him.  It was not fun.

Mike named his Spot because she has a small brown spot on her head (completely unseen by anyone but Mike).  Hopefully it’s not a piece of dirt on her head.  Marshall chose a beautiful bird.  She has feathers on her feet and an amazing stripe down her back like a squirrel, hence her name, Squirrel.

Hopefully these little gals will make it to adult hood.  Honestly, some days it’s questionable if these kids make it to adulthood some days.

 

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I am an alarmist.  I’m in the camp of people that thinks our government might collapse in the near future, bringing the dollar down with it.  It’ll be greater than the Great Depression.  Okay, I might not really believe that.  But the mere mention of food shortages, downward economies, lay offs, and etc, I start collecting nuts, dusting off the old sewing machine and looking up how to make my own water barrels on Bing.  (yes, I am trying to conform to the culture here and instead of “googling” something, we “Bing!” it here).

Dave is very lucky that we didn’t buy a house on the other side of the street.  That side of the street is all meadow, unlike this little patch of forest we own.  If we lived across the street, we’d already own two pigs, two goats, two mini cows, and two sheep.  It would be like a mini Noah’s ark at our house (it rains enough here).  Alas, we live in the forest and I’m pretty sure livestock likes open spaces not second growth forest.

Thinking about becoming a tad more self sufficient (aka: prepared for the zombie apocalypse), I bought the most amazing book ever at Home Depot.  What?  You don’t buy all your books at Home Depot?

Abandoning the farm concept (for now) I have plans for a large garden and a tilapia pond (okay, a gold fish pond) and a berry patch and some fruit trees and chicken coop.

I’ve been talking to Dave for months about the garden.  We’ve picked a spot but I’m not completely sure it gets enough sunshine and with this Seattle weather, it’s impossible to tell because we so very rarely have a full day of sun.  I went to a gardening class, read the master gardener website, and checked out copious amounts of books on gardening in this sunless damp place we call home.  (I know, I’m a walking travel brochure).

I think Dave has finally given in to the fish pond.  I’ve picked the location.  Just before I decided to break ground Dave took me to the pond store (yes, we actually have a store here that only sells ponds).  After pricing the whole shebang, I could feed our family and the neighbors for a year and still have enough left over for a large television.  For now, the pond will be an imaginary one rather than a real one.

This really only leaves the chicken coop.  I think Dave thought that he could put me off long enough on building it to steer my interests elsewhere.

After scourging the whole internet for chicken coops, I decided on a chicken tractor rather than a traditional coop.  I figure it’s not permanent.  If chickens aren’t are thing, I can sell it on craigslist, given the chickens to my neighbor and pretend the whole ugly mess never happened.

I found some plans online and we went to Home Depot.  (It turns out that the return on this investment may never happen.)

The plans I bought were made by an engineer, it was full of hypotenuses and geometry.  It was written more like a novel and less like plans.  It was accompanied with a google sketch file.

After lots and lots of cutting, it was finally time to start putting it together.  With every helper under the age of 20, you can add an extra four hours for each hour of “help”.

Dave had told McKayla that she could decorate my coop.  I imagined a neon splattered paint job which channeled 1987.  I would be forced to look outside my window and see this “hip” monstrosity for the next 10 years.  I vetoed her painting, splattering, or muraling my coop.  I am a great mom like that. This of course meant that I had to choose paint colors for the coop.  It also meant that my dad did most of the painting too.

We went through all of the left over paint in the garage.  Fire engine red, army green, mustard brown, creamy sand, white, forest green, royal purple, and daisy yellow.  Then we went to Home Depot for the coordinating color.

The kids helped.

You may think that many hands make light work.  Really though, many hands make stressful work.  Many hands also make messy work.  And many hands make noisy work.

Take note of the kids “paintin clothes”.  One child chose clothes too big for him.  One kid clothes too small.  After vetoing about 20 different outfits, I finally gave up.  Please don’t take note of all the junk in my garage.

After hours and hours of painting and assembling it finally started to look like a chicken tractor.  I think at this point we had to go back to home depot for different hardware, more paint and more wood.  So much for the shopping list.

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