Friday, March 22, 2013

The chicken project - Part 1

So, I was waiting until d-day to write this, but then I realized.  There's just way too much.

First there was the coop,  I am not sure how long it actually took, as I sort of lost track of time and went into a chicken-coop-coma of sorts for several weeks. I had chicken on the brain if you will.  Let's just say, I'm glad it's done.

Russ brought home pallets 3 days in a row, and Colin and I got them mostly disassembled. The floor was leveled and mostly finished, when we got the stomach bug.  The first time.  Then it started raining, and then we went to Florida.  Twice.  Then it rained some more.  Then my dad came down and finished the floor and got the two side walls stabilized.  Then it rained some more.  At this point, I had taken no pictures because I was honestly just too frustrated.  I had chickens on the front porch growing and stinking. Then we got the stomach bug a second time.  But 3 sunny afternoons, and one pretty much entire day later, we had this structure, except with a roof:

I must say, I'm a little proud of it.  It's made entirely out of pallets.  The only thing we had to purchase to get it to this point was 10 cinder blocks ($15), to level it (it's 5X10), some hardware (probably around $50 worth for the floors and roof - I overbought by a couple pieces), and a couple boxes of nails or screws ($17).  The roof cost $32, which you will see in a later picture, and there is chicken wire over the windows, from scraps.  So basically my enormous coop cost only $114.  

The run on the other hand, was a little more expensive.   I actually purchased wood for this.  It's together, but not square at all.  It's only chickens, right?  I'll probably go back in at some point to reinforce some of the longer sections.  But nothing is sagging anyway, so I'm satisfied.  This part cost about $215.  That was lumber and 150 feet of chicken wire.  Here is the mostly finished coop/run:

It still needs to be painted and prettied up a little bit.  I also haven't put in nest boxes or roosts yet, because the chickens you see pictured are all meat birds and don't need nest boxes and aren't supposed to roost, so I wasn't in any particular hurry to get those in.  Not nearly as much of a hurry as I was in to get them off of my front porch.  So.  Meat birds.  They will all be gone Monday, Lord willing.

These are the nastiest, smelliest, deformedest chickens I have ever seen.  Not that I've been around all that many chickens, but these seem kind of on the dumb side.  They have grown at an abnormally fast rate and have defecated at an equally abnormally fast rate.  Hence the stench and why I couldn't wait to get them off the front porch.  Until about 3 days ago, I had to put most of them in the coop at night, because they wouldn't (couldn't?) get in there by themselves.  They finally figured it out.  Well, except for 2 of them.

It's been a learning experience thus far to say the least.  We started with 15.  Lost one to an unfortunate water-bottle accident where it fell on him/her and I'm assuming broke it's neck due to the state at which we found it.  Then one got sick, and I had to wring it's neck, which is a whole 'nother story.  Then this morning we found another one dead in the coop. So we're down to 12.  However many are still alive Monday will promptly be butchered and put in the freezer.  Then we can clean it out, put in the nest boxes, roosts, paint it, etc.  and put the sweet baby girls in there that are not nasty.

We have 7 little pullets right now that are actually cute, and not nasty in the least. A much as I am revolted by the dozen freakish chickens in my coop right now that I cannot wait to process, I am equally enamored with the 7 baby chickens in my living room. They have almost reached pet status in my mind.  They have names.

I thinks that's all for now.

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