Thursday, December 30, 2010

The First Big Storm

Well, it's the end of December, and Colorado Springs is getting its first big storm.  It was gorgeous out yesterday and this morning, so we got as much done on the coop as we could.  We also made sure to winterize the small coop's temporary location.  We were able to attach the roof, stabilize the coop, staple hardware cloth over the entire top, and put in all the floor supports and framing for the coop's inner door.  It's actually starting to take shape!

Putting up the roof.
The hardware cloth on the roof to protect the girls from flying predators.

Some extra support.

Looking good!

Temporary location.  This picture was taken around 1:00 pm. 
This picture was taken at about 1:30 pm.

The girls had been out free-ranging all morning, but they didn't head to the coop when the snow started blowing in.  We had to run around like maniacs in the blowing snow to catch our three hens and put them into their warm coop.  The silly birds were hiding in a bush and were covered in snow already.  I brushed them off and released them into the warm hen-house with fresh pine shavings.  They'll have access to their run until nightfall.  I made sure to throw in some extra scratch to help them stay warm tonight.

The girls are nice and warm.
And here's one of the "chicks."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Construction Resumes

We finally resumed construction on the big coop.  The big block has been the foundation of the coop.  Turns out that the ground in Colorado is pretty solid near the end of December, so we had to improvise a little bit.  We'll add more tomorrow!

We attempted the method in the plan, but even an auger couldn't go more than a foot into the ground.

So we opted for railroad ties to set the coop on top of.

There it is!  Exactly where the little coop used to be.

The girls are checking the progress.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Security Breach

We had our first attempted break-in last night.  When I went down this morning to let the big girls out, I found a small hole that was dug down to the hardware cloth we had buried when putting in the coop.  I'm really glad we took the time to do that.  The girls are safe, and the hole is now filled in.

The big girls are doing great.  We are still getting a dozen eggs a week even though days are short.  The chicks are not really  chicks any more.  They are awkward adolescents.  They are doing well in the garage and have come to enjoy scratch.  They will be eight weeks old on Wednesday.  We will leave them in the garage in the dog crate until the new coop is ready.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Chicks Stink

They really do, so we finally broke down and moved them into the garage and into a larger brooder.  They aren't ready to be outside yet, but they'll be fine in the garage.  They are in a giant dog crate and still have a heat lamp. They are five and a half weeks old now, and if it were warm out, they would be outside.  The dog crate gives them more space but still a secure area.  We added a few sticks so they can roost.  Within 30 minutes of setting it all up they were both perched closer to the heat lamp.  I'll be checking them frequently today to make sure they are warm enough.

Tilly is checking the progress of the new coop.  She's a good foreman.