Backyard chickens: The finished coop

I haven't been posting about this as dilligently as I should.  Although the idea and the building plans were mine, Shayne did nearly everything for this project.  Basically I provided design consultation, but all of the labor was his.  I would have liked to help a lot more, but we are almost never home at the same time anymore.  And when we were, I watched the baby so he could work on the coop. 
And he did a wonderful job.

You can see the girls through the coop window...  They're waiting impatiently for me to come let them range the yard.   The window will soon have a real casement window that will open upwards (is that still a casement?) to allow airflow without letting in the rain.  We're using vintage windows that my mom happened to have in her garage, but we need to reglaze them.

The little door in the back is the egg door.  Once the girls start laying, we'll have nest boxes right inside that door so that we can retrieve eggs without entering the run. 

The access door for humans is on the far right.

And you can see the chicken ladder inside the run that the hens use to get into the coop.

I'll add a more detailed post soon with more pictures, design features, and construction details.  It was too buggy outside this morning to get more pictures.


Backyard chickens: Update

The girls spend most of every day on pest patrol in the side yard.  Since this is where the garden is, I'm thrilled with their choice!  Since the mulberries have started coming on, they can almost always be found right under the mulberry tree, eating berries and flies. 

The neighbor's kids came over yesterday to help with storm clean-up.  By the time they left, they were both begging their mom to let them have chickens too.  I'm really surprised at how much kids like the hens.  I figured in today's electronic society, they'd just think the chickens were boring.  I'm so glad to be proven wrong!


Quiet Saturday night

Today is one of those days where I feel like I could live here forever.  From where I sit in the dining room, I can hear frogs croaking out the open kitchen window.  Oddly enough for a Saturday night, the bar isn't in full swing.  Maybe it's the storms we had earlier.  Whatever it is, I'm grateful.  Even though I'm looking forward to the day when we own enough of our own property far enough away from "civilization" for frogs to be the main background noise, tonight I'm just happy to be where I am.  The veggies are growing, the chickens are roosting in their coop, the baby is asleep (for now), and the hot and humid weather has been replaced with cool and clear. 

I'm content.


Vacation? What vacation?

Today's my last day of my 12 day vacation.  I think I did everything but relax!  The chicken coop is nearly done, and the house is secured for the chicks to stay out there instead of in the kitchen (YAY!!).  Having them in the house was cute for about a week, then the constant peeping started driving me mad.  We also had the floors sanded, and I applied 6 coats of dewaxed shellac (Zinsser SealCoat) to them.  My knees and back were killing me for about 4 days.  I'm still working on moving all of the stuff out of the living room, but the upstairs is MUCH more organized now.  I have 2 Rubbermaid containers of things that I can't unpack yet, since we don't have a desk for office supplies or a bookshelf for the books, but I suppose 2 organized containers is better than 2 rooms full of unsorted junk, right?

Yesterday I got more tomatoes and the broccoli planted, and I found a volunteer lettuce that sprouted from seed in a flower pot.  The peas aren't growing, and I'm not sure why.  We've had plenty of rain...

Today... I don't know.  I'd like to take it easy and relax, but it's kind of hard with all my chores staring me in the face...