The woodshed is ready and waiting to be filled with a few cords of firewood. Sonny and I just have to get out there with the chain saw and start cutting up some of the fallen trees that are laying around. We better get to work real soon to ensure our nut is covered before winter. If we cut down any fresh trees the wood will need time to dry. In general green wood doesn’t burn very well. It’s hard to get the fire started and it tends to create a lot of smoke and eventual problems. It’s difficult to motivate ourselves to cut firewood when it’s 85-90 degrees outside, but come winter when it’s -5 we’ll be thankful we did.
The outside of the chicken coop is finished. It is not fancy by any means. I don’t really care for the metal covering the chicken doors and plan to take it off and paint them instead. I can’t do that though until the treated wood has cured for about a year. We have a window in the entry door, but I’m thinking we should have put in another window on the side wall. We will have to see how it works out. The chickens probably won’t care one way or the other as long as they are safe and protected from predators and the elements. That is the thing with hen houses, they come in all types and styles. Some fancy, some nailed together with scraps of wood, some prettily painted with window boxes and others are plain. It’s all in how creative you want to be. I think I would like to be a little creative.
Yesterday we picked up the T-posts and 50′ of wire fencing. Can’t get the chickens until a fence is up. We also bought a hanging feeder and waterer. In doing research we have read that the hanging ones help keep the chickens from pooping in their food and water. Never having had chickens before we can only imagine the mess they probably make. I’ll let you know if the eggs are worth the mess. We continue to search for the best and easiest way to keep them clean.
Ronald put up six laying boxes for us. At first we laughed cause the boxes looked so tiny, but apparently the chickens don’t need a lot of room to lay their eggs. I imagined our hens straddling the boxes, their toes hanging on the edges as they squeezed out an egg. Not a pretty thought. Paul, Ronald’s grandson and our “go to” chicken man, assured us that the hens would be happy and have plenty of room to sit. I guess we can believe him since he had award winning eggs in the FFA this year. Right now we purchase our eggs from him until we get our own laying hens. They are a thousand times better than the store bought eggs. Nice orange yellow yolks and oh so fresh.
Some of the best layers are the Rhode Island Reds or Red Stars. Those are the ones we plan to get, but we will most likely have to order them online. We went down to the local Southern States store yesterday to do just that but they only order the pullets in the first week of September. Paul told us that we can order them from McMurray Hatchery. They are a well established hatchery dealing in not only laying hens, but exotic chickens as well as ducks and other fowl.
So in a nut shell, or should I say egg shell, we are not far from embarking on a chicken adventure. Hop on the back of the tractor and we’ll take you along.