Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It Takes A Village To Raise A Chicken

Today "Fort Chicken" was completed.  Bob and I moved the chicks and their nursery out to the space we have been working on for weeks.  Gate latches and locks were put on, furring strips around the top and posts over the ends of the chicken wire roof.  Thursday they will be one month old.  They weigh 10 times what they did the day we got them from the post office.  Now to finish the design of the actual coop.  My inner Martha has a strangle hold on me.  So it will be beautiful as well as functional.
The old hanging waterer, and a temporary outdoor feeder. 
So many people helped make this dream become a reality.  My husband  has been there every step of the way.  He said:"If keeping chickens again will make you happy, okay, let's get some."  He's so invested in keeping them safe, and has complied with my over kill on construction. Every seam top, sides and bottom has been sewn with steel wire, then horse fence on the outside of the run, and furring strips added on top of the ends of the chicken wire (making a sandwich of chicken wire between 2x4 and furring strip. He made a wide gate I can get a wheelbarrow in and out of.  My friend Ami worked in a windstorm with my son one Sunday while I lay in bed with bronchitis.  My son came twice for gravel moving and putting up most of the chicken wire roof.  My friend Charlie stood on one side and I on the other of the entire pen sewing the floor to the sides, and the hog fence to the chicken wire so no critters can dig or squeeze between them.  Our pharmacists,  a grocery store manager, our ceramics class, friends saving paper, egg cartons, and celebrating at the Chick Party, gifts, cards and flowers given-- they have all been there.
Buddy would prefer to be inside, but has found his watchdog point.
I plan to have a "coop warming" when their nesting coop is complete this fall.  We have about 4 months until they start laying. So there will not be the intensity to be ready that we had with Fort Chicken.  Today when it was done and they were diving out of the door of their nursery, I sat on the ground on my kneeling pad and leaned against the shed drinking from my water bottle in the shade.  One by one they came up to me. Some hopping over me, gently pecking my pants.  4 large buff Cochins crawled on my lap and went to sleep.  I put my head back and closed my eyes. The cool of the shade and the warmth of these 4 feathery birds on my legs felt wonderful.  This is what it's all about.

Their first walk on the ground.
Rose bushes will be planted along the front wall.  They will provide shade, as well as thorny barriers for the coyotes.  Bob is going to build a "sandbox/bathtub" in that corner for them to dig and roll in.  We used wood from my days on "Wildfire" for the transom over the gate.  We'll use more of the barn wood for the nesting coop.  I am searching for an Etsy vendor to make a "Fort Chicken" sign to put on the transom above the gate. Chicken silhouettes have been ordered to put on the posts tops in back.  I love my ravens on either side of my gate to the garden.  So I am sure roosters and hens will do very well too.
Is there such a thing as contented exhaustion?
Rose bushes will be tightly planted along the front.

Thanks for reading.
Each day is a gift. Open now.


  1. Have a nice time with your feathery pets :)

  2. This is awesome!!! I doubt that any animal will be getting in... or out of that great pen! ;D It's fantastic!! And I'm sure the chicks are enjoying it too :)
    Well worth the time you invested in it?
    <3 <3

  3. How wonderful that it's all coming together. You must be so grateful for all of the loving support, and I can tell that your little chicks will be safe and adored. :)

  4. Fabulous chicken pad! I went to the PO today and there were 4 boxes of chicks going to misc farms. It was LOUD in there. :)

    I miss having chickens and will have them again some day.

  5. Great looking chicken coop!! Good luck with your chicks, chick!