Well, there’s finally been a bit of a break in the rain, and even though the bugs are bad and the hammock is soaked, I’m really enjoying sitting outside in the sun. After spending the last couple of weeks cleaning up the yard, I’m about ready to move on to another project. Fortunately and unfortunately, my next project has a deadline of two weeks. That’s when I will be getting chickens, and I’ve got a lot to do before they get here.
During my yard cleanup, I actually dragged something additional into the yard. Back behind the woodshed in the brush was an old trailer with a wooden box built on it. One of the tires was flat and the frame of the trailer is not square, but I pulled the trailer out into the open hoping to find a use for it. The wood of the box is largely rotten and covered in moss, but other than not being square, the trailer is in good shape and when Amy asked if I wanted some chickens, I realized what I could do with the trailer.
I’ve taken care of chickens for friends, and they are not a lot of work. My biggest concern out here is that I am just going to be providing a free meal or four for some predator. Bears, foxes, coyotes, eagles, raccoons, and owls are just some of the predators that could cause me problems. But the chickens will be farm animals, not pets, and if they get eaten, then I will move on with my life. I’ll do my best to provide them with food, water and shelter, but am not going to worry too much about them.
The first thing I’m going to do is to build a fenced in and roofed run for the chicks. They will only be about a month old when I get them from another local couple, and to buy myself some time, the run will be where they spend their days, and the wood shed is where they will sleep. I figure since they won’t be laying eggs anytime soon, I’ll have a week or two after I get them to finish up the coop.
I’ve never built a coop before but have seen enough of them to have a good idea of what I want. That old trailer will make them safe, warm, dry, and mobile. Since the coop will be on wheels, I can move it as often as I want. I’m not sure what I’m going to do this winter, as it will be hard for me to keep them warm. Hay bales and hot rocks might get them through, but if not, I’ll put them out of their misery. I’m looking forward to fresh eggs and the chickens eating lots of bugs. I just hope that they don’t get eaten before I get a chance to eat them myself.