Monday, December 15, 2008

The chickens and Peafowl out and about.

We finished the pigeon coop just in time before we left for our Christmas break. Removing the pigeon nests from the chicken coop so the chickens did not have the option to lay their eggs up high. They did not like the change and refused to lay in their nests. So while we were gone for 2 weeks, our neighbors took care of the chickens and we kept them inside the yard so they would get used to the boxes and make a habit of laying in the nests.

It has been a very dry winter and there is no grass for them to eat and very few bugs. They do seem to find things to munch on out and about, for they are always scratching on something!

The peacocks at almost 6 months.

The roosters are coming of age. The first time they started mounting the hens we thought they were attacking them. The roosters are not very gentle when they grab the hens neck as they hop on their backs and flip their tale feathers up . They are so fast I have not been able to get a picture of this. They are very busy at their job! So much so they have worn the feathers off some of the hens backs.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Start of the Pigeon coop.

Well, we are discovering that chickens and pigeon do not make the best of house mates. The pigeons are chasing the chickens out of the nests and the Chickens are laying their eggs in the pigeon nests way up high which are a pain to collect or they are laying out side of the coop altogether. Therefore the pigeon coop has preempted all other projects for now until we can get them out of the chicken coop.

So as with all the other buildings so far, we lay out where the post go and start with the roof sides , rafters and perlins. Then establish the sides and put up the roofing and siding sheets. This really starts to firm up the building!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Nesting boxes for the chickens just in time.

The chickens are now 6 months old and will be laying eggs any day. We finished the nesting boxes and they are installed and ready to go!
We built them a walkway in front of the boxes so they have a runway and the choice of the first or second story.

The pigeons have they nesting boxes up high , so in theory the pigeons will go to the high boxes and the chickens will take the easier to get to nests.

We designed the chicken boxes so they slant to the back. When the eggs are layed they will roll to the back and stay clean and be easy to collect.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fall Garden & Cut ants...

Cut ants are the bane of a gardeners existence. You cannot fence them out and they can come from far away and wipe out a tree overnight. So at the first sign I work fast to pour orange oil, molasses and soap down the hole, this has worked OK but them seem to just move over a few feet and it is very expensive!

Here is the gardens 1st fall!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Almost finishing the closet....

The plastering is done, the heart rocks in the wall, porch is complete, plaster is painted, now the loft is built and we are out of the tent!!!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Plastering the closet.

Finishing the walls is what pulls everything together. Two people can easily do this job. I was the mixer and Richard the plasterer. It is best is one person does each of these jobs to make the finished product consistent. We tried to finish for the day on one side or at least make the last line irregular as to make the starting and stopping line not be so noticeable.

We used strucilite as the plaster because it was being applied to a frame wall. Cement mixes are way too heavy and would compromise the structure.
The consistency of the mix is very important, if it is too thin it will just fall off the tool. If it is too thick , it will be too difficult to apply and work with.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

More work on the closet

Back to the closet.... After we enclosed the building with the siding, I wired in the lights and receptacles. We wanted to place them within 6 feet of each other and we have liked having three lights down the center in the office, so we repeated that arrangement in this building as well.
It is very easy to "pull the wire". First, we decided where to place the recepacles (12" above the floor) and light boxes, they are attached by nails allowing for the thickness of the finished wall. We made sure the edge would end up flush after the wall was done.
Next, starting at where the main line comes into the house, we attached the wire (14 guage, 2 wires with a ground 'romex') to the frame about 20 " above the floor. Light swiches are about 4' above the floor. About 6" of the wire is left hanging out of the boxes, this gives you plenty of line to work with . There are great guide books for home wiring, the one we use is "The complete guide to home wiring" by Black & Decker , it has been invaluable.

Next is the insulation, we used used 6" fiberglass in the walls and 5" styrofoam in the ceiling. I cut each piece to fit exactly in to each place.

Plywood was cut and nailed into place to give the wall structure, then we put plastic over that to create a moisture barrier for the plaster so it does not dry too fast.

Richard is placing the start of the porch, these are the end posts set on j bolts to hold them just above the cement so they don't sit in water and rot.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Chickens Still growing

The chickens at almost 4 months and this one we call Sweetie will jump into your lap for a bit of graham cracker as a treat!

The veiw from the enterance to the coop, We put up the youpon poles for the chickens along the center posts, none of the birds use them, maybe it is too close to the top of the cage?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Resizing the Island and Taking time for beauty.

A walk with the chickens............
A rainbow in the distance.......against a beautiful sky and clouds.....

Turning flaming sumac leaves.....
Cactus in bloom....
And the resizing of our island.
We realized that it was hard for big dump trucks and cement trucks to maneuver in our drive , so it was necessary to shrink the center island and make the road larger. We just placed the cinder blocks stacked to establish the drive, so it was very easy to rearrange. It is now about 30 X 50 feet and so much better!
Someday we might build a short wall of them.......

Friday, August 29, 2008

WOW the chicken grow FAST!!!

The chickens are now 3 months old, eating more and doing large poops. The pecking order is being established and the roosters are starting to look different than the hens by way of the comb, thats the red skin like growth on their heads, the roosters is larger.
So at this point we have 2 Australop roosters, 9 Australop hens, 8 Aracana hens, 2 Peafowl and 8 pigeons. All kinda happily coexisting.

Cut telephone lines and floating T.P.

The work done overnight by a spider floated a small roll of T.P. It was very funny to come upon this trickery!

Then while we were digging the ditch to run an electrical circuit to the closet we cut our telephone line. It cost $250.00 to get it reconnected. I guess we were lucky it was not an electrical line. That's why they always say: know where you are digging! We were told the line was 2 feet below grade, this was only 1 foot so we were not expecting it that close to the surface, never trust what they tell you!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Finishing the outside enclosure for the chichen coop.

To secure the yard we dug a ditch around the perimeter and placed fencing wire under the grade to keep varmints from digging under the fence. We also put 2"X4" fencing wire from the bracing 2X6 (where the 6 foot seam of the chicken wire is attached) down into the ditch as well. Then we put 4"X4" woven fencing from the ground level up 4 feet , after we completely lined the top and sides with 1" chicken wire. Were were careful to not leave any opening larger than 1 square inch.
The chickens are now 2 months old.