Finally, some progress!

I have many photos to post soon, but for now at least it’s an update!

The chicken camper is finished and the girls are being coop trained. We will install the nesting boxes later this spring and my daughter and I will paint the camper.

The ladies will be getting their first taste of the outside world in the next few days when they get to explore their run for the first time. They have grown from the little fluff butts to gorgeous, glossy girls! So far only two have names since they are the only two I can tell apart from their breed mates.

Their run is fenced and will be seeded this weekend. We still need to work on hawk deterrent as there is suddenly a hawk flying around a few times a week that has never been here before. The top of the run will be reinforced this weekend.

It’s been a busy few weeks at the homestead. I’m pretty sure my son is going to grow up thinking everyone has a backhoe in the backyard!

We are anxiously waiting for Big Momma Harriet to calve at the Red Barn. She looks quite the sight at the moment with her heavy belly and half of her winter fur shed out. Last year’s little heifer, Rosabelle, grew like wildfire over the winter. She is nearly as big as her Momma. She is going to be rather cranky when it’s time for Momma and the new calf to move to their own pasture.

We took the kids over to the red barn last weekend and put them both to work. They helped me scrub the summer water tanks, muck the last of the winter manure out of the barn, helped their Papa clean the hay loft, and rode with their Daddy to push the cows to spring pasture. It was a wonderful day of family play without any gadgets or gizmos!

The sow at the farm on the mountain is ready to deliver any day. I love those first few days of new piglets when those little babies are shiny and dainty!

Our plans for this years large garden are under way, with minor setbacks. We started the tomatoes, peppers, brussel sprouts, and broccoli indoors last month then moved them out to the enclosed greenhouse with the rhubarb, strawberries, and currants. We jumped the gun and lost the tomato, brussel sprouts, and peppers last weekend when the temperature dropped suddenly overnight. I’ll be replanting those this weekend.

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The Camper Coop is finally getting started!

The chicks are getting big fast, and their 2 sq ft a chick in the brooder is getting small FAST! My Mountain Man has started gutting the camper to turn it into the chicken camper.

Or at least, we started gutting it then it started snowing every day. I am so weary of winter. Spring is tantalizingly close, but winter just keeps hanging on and on.

We were given the camper for free last summer when it was headed to the scrap yard. We parked it at the Red Barn farm until we could figure out a project for it, and it was enjoyed by wasps and mice over the fall and winter seasons. Now it is time to gut it, patch it, and create the Chicken Camper!

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One month later!

Tomorrow the chicks will be a month old! We lost four that first weekend after arrival, but the remaining 21 are growing like crazy. They are fully feathered now, only a few still have any down left on their backs. They have about 2 inches of tail feathers and most of them have combs showing. I’m still a little nervous that I might have a few Roos, time will tell.

I’ll be taking their 1 month photos tomorrow to post. Quite a change!

Chicken Camper

Here I am, again, thinking about chickens when I should be sleeping! Our chicks will arrive in 2 weeks and spend the tail end of winter growing in their brooder in the basement. We will be building the new coop outside while they are safe and warm down there.

We were given a free camper last summer that is just getting too rough to comfortably camp in with the 3 little mud bugs.  It is starting to show it’s age and not so perky about keeping the rain outside . But, it was FREE! Free is pretty much always awesome! (Unless it’s a free goldfish. “Free” goldfish always end badly.)

After deciding not  to try to make the repairs necessary for using it to camp, we agreed to turn  it into a chicken camper.  We have enough scrap lumber around to make it almost free. Again, free=awesome. Not necessarily pretty. Heck, usually not even remotely pretty. But I’m cheap so I’ll take it!

After scoping out Google, it became obvious that there aren’t very many chicken camper inspiration photos. Which means I will be compulsively photographing the entire process to help inspire any other crazy people who look at a a camper and think,  “A camper for camping? Nah, let’s fill it with chickens. They can be all happy and lay eggs and poop everywhere.”

Once it is complete, it will painted with beautiful designs by my oldest mud bug baby. She is lobbying hard for painting the whole thing to look like cats. Um? Really, mud bug? Still with the cats?

It seems a little rude to paint the outside of the coop with cartoon-ish cat faces painted by a 6-year-old who thinks everything should have a cat or two included. Especially considering she wants to paint cats that look like our cat. The same cat that will certainly be sitting outside of chicken land, wanting to eat them.

Maybe I can distract her with painting flowers or rainbows.  Anything but animals that want to turn the poor chickens into a meal.

Adventures in chooks

Pretty excited to have put in our hatchery order for this spring. Our current layers are getting older now and ready to rest, so we put in our hatchery order and now we wait. This will be the first time we have had chicks that our kids can see, so it’s even more exciting. I will be posting the progress of our brooder box and converting an old camper we were given into our chicken coop!