A sight for old eyes, and a little fun along the way.
Monday, March 17, 2014
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Black Maran Coop, Chicken Run, and Greenhouse
It took about two months to build this chicken coop, run, and greenhouse this winter. George helped me erect the sides and built the roof, with a wired-in area around the plum tree.
I built taller walls for the front of the run, so I could enter the run to collect straw and manure for my garden. Heat lamps keep the chickens warm at night.
I added moss to the coop roof to promote insulation, but also just to look pretty.
In the afternoon I sometimes sit inside the Maran run with my afternoon coffee and watch my chickens. It helps them continue to be tame.
A back door to the coop can be lifted and secured, for cleaning the floor of the coop. The extension chord for the heatlamps excits this door, and is buried in the ground.
Everything in the chicken run and greenhouse was wired down into the ground, in two foot trenches, to deter predators.
The little greenhouse is for storing heirloom tomato plants, started from seeds collected in the fall. It has a Dutch door and window vents for air circulation in warmer spring weather.
We hauled many loads of shredded vegetation, free from the Franklin Park garden parking lot, since the chips were an unlawful 'dump' by someone who thought they'd be useful to the gardeners. The garden co-ordinator told me they needed to be removed so her shipment of bark chips could be delivered, so we took a lot of it home for pathways.
All of the tagro from the huge pile in the front yard has been placed into growing berms in the backyard, awaiting spring planting. We are hoping for a more natural Pacific Northwest garden, similar to something found out in the woods. Weeds welcome.
The chickens in the 'Cabin Coop' continue to love their new home and run. However, we may have fewer chickens living inside due to one or two of them being roosters. Time will tell, but I think this cabin coop will ultimately have three little hens - Wheaton Americana, Buff Orphington, and Rhode Island Red. Eggs will be blue, buff, and brown. The Maran eggs are a deep chocolate color. Most of the large hatcheries start selling chicks in February, but by purchasing my chicks from local breeders in December, we should have eggs in May-earlyJune rather than waiting until August to see our first eggs.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Thursday, February 06, 2014
Nesting Boxes for the Hens
Supplimental Feed for the Chickens
Since our hens aren't yet free-ranging I suppliment their organic, GMO free grain rations with food from the garden. Chard, kale, squash, chickweed all provide essential nutrients for Omega 3 eggs. I sprinkle flax seeds, chia seeds, and rolled oats into this mixture. When it is just greens, I'll add olive oil and raw apple cider vinegar, both of which help the digestive tract. Bread crumbs are finely chopped, and dressed with olive oil and ground red pepper - the pepper helps keep the hens warm in this cold weather. It is 18 degrees right now, and the hens roost under heat lamps.
Thursday, January 09, 2014
Building a Chicken Coop For Our Hens
Tacoma now allows chickens within the city - up to 6, and up to 10 with written permission of bordering neighbors. We've transformed the old playhouse into a coop for 4, and I'm building a smaller coop for two more. The little chicks above are Marans, which lay a maroon chocolate colored egg. Our other breeds are Americana, Orphington, Rhode Island Red, and soon an Isbar. If all goes as planned we'll have eggs that are brown, buff, blue, green and maroon.