Thursday, October 8, 2009

Project Updates....

Not too much to report really; projects have been put on the back burner this year for various reasons. The only real project has been the chickens and their sanctuary.....

The original coop

We started out behind the eight ball - no coop, no feeders. We decided to use salvaged materials to build the initial coop and hoped to keep that ideal all the way through the process. We used a dog pen donated by a friend, the now departed Easter Bunny's hutch and although most of the chicken wire was salvaged, we did have to buy new on the hardware cloth. A tarp served as a temporary roof and was laid over a chicken wire base. And we eventually bartered fresh eggs for metal roofing scraps from a friend in the roofing business. (We're also bartering eggs for hay to line the floors!)

We knew that once winter came a-knocking, this would not be sufficient shelter for the chickens - it does get cold here in North Florida - but it was more the raccoons that concerned us then the cold. (We've been camping where raccoons opened up coolers and pantries so we know just how persistent these things can be.) Once the cover crop comes down and the fields lie empty for a few months, the raccoons come a-calling and during the winter months, will likely be a real issue. Although there are three layers for these critters to get through, the raccoons especially are persistent and would find a way in if we left even a small space vulnerable to them.....and then came more chickens. And we knew that not only did the original coop need to be reinforced, but an additional coop would be needed.

David began to make trips up to a Granite company that gave away their shipping crates - but this was a very slow process and by the time he'd framed in the new addition, we knew we were running out of time to secure the chickens. In the end, we opted for privacy fence sections to serve as the outside walls. Although we hoped to salvage these sections, we weren't able to do so and had to let our ideal of a coop made almost totally of salvaged materials go.

There's still a bit of work to go but a raccoon will have a very hard time getting through the fence sections, the hardware cloth, the chicken wire and the dog pen to eat my babies....and they'll be warm this winter too.

Now, what color should we paint it? I'm thinking honor of the barns I remember from childhood.............

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