The guys are working on the new/temporary (probably until spring or summer.) chicken coops/yard. I love the sound of wood being cut...it's the sound of progress. As a man in a book that I enjoyed decades ago said: I love the sound of hammers and saws!
The bad news is, 2 of my big chickens are missing. They've been getting into the bay tree by the old coop, and I'm afraid that an animal got them. This couldn't have come too soon. Hopefully, that last 7 will get here okay.
The old coops were my design. They were kind of a riff on rabbit hutches. They were on legs to keep them off of the ground, and there were 3, to accomodate everyone.
But, no matter how many chickens that we've had, they've always used just 2, so we began storing food in the 3rd.
Each was 2' off of the ground, 4' long, 3' high, and 3' deep...so that we could reach into it. The roof tipped back with the use of blocks to allow air flow, and keep water/snow from collecting on it.
We changed the design yesterday to make the new ones 2' tall, rather than 3' tall. Chickens of most breeds don't need more that 2' in height where they sleep, and since we are starting with new wood, that does 2 things:
A - It saves me 2 pieces of plywood, which translates to over $100.
B - It brings them off the ground an extra foot, so 3' rather than 2'. The farther off of the cold, wet ground, the better.
Everything else is the same.
Except that with the temporary yard, which is really just a dog run that we had, covered with smaller wire to keep things out, we are only making 2, instead of 3. We can add one more, if we like, when we build our own yard.
My biggest concern is that the dog run is only 6' tall. My other one is 8'-10'. I'm afraid that they will jump onto their box/coop, then just hop out of the run.
In the old one, they would sit in the big bay tree if they got out, but there are none here. Would they disappear into the forest more than 100' away?
We need a top on it somehow, but that won't be today. Ack!
In other animal news, Uhura examined the cat bed that I put out for her a couple of weeks ago. Progress?
As I was telling Paten this morning...she was out and fending for herself, going nowhere near people, for at least 2 years. Then with Ds for another 4, or so. She only just this summer has come in close and let us feed her, when she came to terms with Ds not coming back to live. So this is progress overall.
She's an excellent hunter (she did fend for herself for a long time.), and 2 nights ago, Dh saw her with a very large rat in her mouth, and saw a rodent's remains before that. I wish that she wouldn't, in a way, but there's no stopping her, so I just have to be glad that she is taking out the pests.
But, I warned Dh to listened for her mews being muffled, and look at her mouth for something in it, before letting her in, especially at night when it's dark. She brought live mice into Ds's room a couple of times, as gifts, I assume, and I don't want to think about such a thing!
Mamou gave Dh a wonderful greeting when he went down into the old yard this week, but he's still not coming up here. The equipment only just left, so we'll see.
Tilde is beginning to feel more comfortable here, and considering this 'her place.' At first, she wouldn't bark or anything. But, yesterday, she was almost like her old self. Everything was just all too sudden for all of us, I guess. From running out of the house during the fire, to coming home to a wonderful, but new place.
We had caught the 2nd praying mantis in our bug barn, to look at him, then let him go where we found him, which was near the kitchen door, outside.
But, he landed on Dh after that, so had to be put back, where he's stayed.
When Dh swatted a fly that had gotten into the house, he decided to give it to the mantis. And, the praying mantis took it from him, ever so gently. It was so cool!
A strange wasp was in the house today. It's always interesting to see new types of critters. Not that I want bee/wasp/hornet types around me, but still.
Well, that's all of the critter news as of today. Any prayers or good thoughts for the safety of my hens would be appreciated. I want the last 7 adults to get up here safely, and then to not escape until we get something over the top of that run. Someone please send me a case of Miss Clairol! Maybe several cases after this years goings on!
I hope that you're having a lovely, relaxing Sunday! All I'd need would be a slightly warmer night, and mine would be perfect!
Love All Life, Thank You For Posting! :)