Chicken Stir-Crazy

Hi there keepers, It’s been a little while since I last wrote anything, I ‘ve been having difficulties, stuck in a bit of a trough, haven’t wanted to do anything, at all. I have Bi-polar disorder, the new term for manic depression, enough of me, back to the chickens.

Not alot has been happening really, status quo, Nancy is still living next door, behind Mani’s shed, she is not even laying anymore,  Dorothy the Light Sussex, is slowly taking over, as she is by far the biggest bird, it’s funny to watch her run, as she is still running like a gangley teenager.

The new coop is coming along, Manuella the Minorca has taken to roosting on the top floor already, at present the old coop is within the new coop, I built the new one around the old one then took the roof and one of the sides walls off, there are still a few areas that need work, the roof isn’t completely waterproof yet, I got lulled into thinking ‘ It’s summer I’ll do the roof last, but it rained hard the other night and the girls looked very wet when they came out in the morning. Roof now temporarily fixed, but waiting for roll of waterproof material to materialise.

The council, have finally seen my point of veiw over the damage done to my enviroment after their sewage works were completed, basically they cut down two huge willow trees, scraped away two large areas of vegetation and topsoil, on either side of the creek, then to fix all of that they threw down some grass seed and straw one the other side of the creek, and that was their effort to restore my enviroment. they are now going to replant three native trees and fix up the the bottom of my garden. This was all made more difficult by the fact that the guy I was dealing with at the council was the water engineer for sewage, after asking him to bring a gardener with him next visit, things started to get through to him, as if the arborist was a translator, from non-council speak into council speak, basically they don’t listen to you, in some condesending fashion of ‘ you wouldn’t understand what is involved, it not just planting 3 trees you know’, well yes it is.

thanks to those regulars who hung in there when there was nothing new to read, hopefully I’ll be able to more soon.

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Rain Water

Rain Water In the Waitakere's

Hi reader, well my new project is to collect rain water, surprised really that I haven’t been doing it in winter when there was lots and lots of rain, more than usual, broke some records. Well, to excuse the pun, I have found my source of rain water, it’s a guttering pipe that runs off of the carport roof, I had noticed the small gutter on one end of he carport, but it was so over grown with Ivy that I couldn’t see the down pipe.

This very morning I cleared the Ivy and Jasmine away from the downpipe and have for the moment placed the hens water trough under the dripping pipe, it’s a start, all I need do now is aquire a butt, finar finar, as the lady out in Kumeu said ‘ e wants one, doesn’t want to pay for though ‘ , ofcourse she’s half right, I do want one, but I also know there’s one sitting somewhere about to be thrown away.

Today is a good day for collecting  rain  water, as it is lashing down, still need a butt.

I have found a temporary water butt, infact it may turn out to be great, I’ve used an ex/ disused wheelie bin, donated by a friend with too many wheelie bins, it makes it mobile for one, I think i shall place a tap on it, and eventually cut a hole in the lid for a downpipe, at present i just have the lid open with the water dripping in, not the best as leaves and such can fall in too. It’s a start as they say, who ever they are? I find out one day, who they are, and when I do, I’ll let you know their email address.

Been Busy on the fence front

Hi there, I haven’t written much in the last few days as I have been trying to sort out another blogsite, with might i add not much success, also I have been out and about doing some work away from home, building fences, which i have also improved at my own place, to stop the hens from wandering, so it’s been harder to sit down here after a hard days digging or gardening, plus i haven’t much to report on the girls as I have not been here to see what antics they gotten into, i’m sure they have probably been brought back by two or so neighbours in my absence.

Well when normally gets back to me, I shall return with more tales of chickens do’s, or if it rains tomorrow.

thechickenkeeper

Project Deluxe Coop

99% complete, just some finishing touches, it's no master piece i know.

99% complete, just some finishing touches, it

Hi there, well I’ve been busy than beaver in logging season, not only have I been trying to finish the coop, but I started building another herb box, stupidly before I had finished the coop, and so I ended up with two unfinished projects, who says men can’t multi task? Today though I got stuck into the coop, and yes it is finished, the girls are roosting in it as I type.

Ofcourse don’t think for one second they just marched in, in an orderly row, after I cut the ribbon to mark the occassion, oh no, it was more like an episode of Benny Hill, around and around the garden, til they ran into a corner, then they struck their squating down frightened pose, and we gathered them up, and into the new abode.

I checked on them after about ten minutes, Nellie seem to have taken to it quite well, and was already asleep, while the other four, sat nervously looking at me.

I am rather pleased with myself I must say, the design of the removable floor has worked out well, I have hinged the front and back door, also I have a removable panel on the back to enable easy egg snatching.

I can now go about, reusing the old coop, the chicken wire will come in handy to protect the veggies, which leads me back to the grow boxes I’ve been constructed, again from,  you guess it, pallets. Making them half a metre of the ground makes it easy to weed, access, plus keep the girls from getting to them easily. I am going to build a few extra ones put them on the front lawn forsale, see what happens, the garden centres want a small kings’ ransom for a box.

the chicken keeper

The Deluxe Coop

Hi again readers, it’s been a lovely day today, the sun has been shining all day, not a cloud in the sky, infact it’s been like that all weekend, the only cloud on the horizon was the general election yesterday, it seems when investment banks are falling like flies, which might imply they don’t manage things well, so  New Zealands’ public have voted in an investment banker as primeminister, watch this space.

Back to the coop, I have spent about two hours working on the coop today, it’s getting near completion, house warming soon no doubt. As i mentioned in an earlier post, i’m using pallets and bits of timber that i see abandon by the road side, however you know how sometimes pieces just go together like they were tailor made. That’s is how it went today, the ends of a wooden crate i found, were the perfect size for the doors, fitted the door frames i’d already made. I haven’t really been following any plan, just an idea in my head, from an advert in the Waterford News and Star paper, Co Waterford, Ireland, and I let it grow organically from there.

Nellie and Daisy have already been in for a look, I think they know what it is, or at least think it looks like a good place to hide for the nite from any predators, of which in New Zealand there aren’t any real dangers, other than dogs perhaps, we do have hedgehogs here, has anyone experienced hedgehogs eating their eggs, I know they will eat smaller eggs, that are in ground nests, but are their little mouths big enough to crack a chickens eggs?

thechickenkeeper

Improving the Fences

Hi there, well i started off today, by checking through all my comments (1), so took all of 2 seconds, but hey it’s a start, check out a few other sites, to see what’s what, and then went out side to repair fences.

All a little too late, again the daily round up begins, Gloria, Nellie, and Daisy all missing, admittedly in found two of them quite quickly, but Daisy is still hiding. As some of know, i’m new to both chicken keeping, and blogging, but on the first note,  Has Dasiy gone broody?  Is this the sign that she is sitting somewhere on a clutch of eggs, it’s hard to tell but i don’t think i’ve had a egg from her in days, as Nancy is now laying, i’m still getting 4 eggs daily, but now i’ve lost track of daisy nesting spot.

More bamboo, will be needing to shore up the fences, i suppose a bit like dam building, you block up one area that obvious, then you notice there are three new holes, of course as i block 1 exit that they use, they find another, Nellie is the high jumper, i think with a few flaps of the wings she getting 4ft, any higher she’ll get a nose bleed ( beak bleed), the trouble is as i block more paths from the rear of the property, to the front, i also get blocked from using that path, get to think of ways of making gates from bamboo.

I realise how easy it is to get sucked into the pc too, i come in to check how things are going a find myself still here hours later, looking at more chicken sites, and others blogs in general. I must work out a schedule of works, order my time better.

As it turns out, Daisy miraculously appeared out from behind a bush, i searched the area no nest,  but it’s Daphne who is now missing, by the way i don’t have a huge farm, just my back garden, 1/4 acre, i give up, i’m sure she’ll be back around feeding time.

back to the fences.

thechickenkeeeper.

Upgrading The Coop

It has occurred to me that the present coop suits the hens very well, they are warm, safe and dry. However the flaw in my design, is that it isn’t easy for me to clean out, therefore i have set about constructing a more practical coop, for both myself and the girls,.

Materials have been sourced from the local plumbing worlds, excess pallet pile, kindly donated, (i shall return with eggs, to try and ensure a steady supply of timber), it shall be a two storey affair, as the two new hens, daisy n nellie, have taken to perching up high, mainly to get away from the constant pecking from nancy.

This time i’m using a whole small pallet as a removable floor, which will slide out of the front for easy use,  the floor of the coop should also stay cleaner as the droppings can fall through the gaps in the pallet, so far i’ve noticed they are quite good at going in the same place, do others find this?

The frame it is finished, and i’ve started cladding it with some top planks from other pallets, it’s starting to shape up nicely, i do find this frustrating , not being able to put up pics here.

Well i shall try to describe my progress, as accurately as i can, hopefully with a slice of humour too.

cheers