Monday, March 31, 2014

The little chicks love their new home.

The Brooder is ready.
We have pine shavings, diy feeder, diy water bottle, diy mini roost & a heat lamp. 

 No, they aren't getting Greek yogurt. It's "starter feed" for chicks. But down the road we'll give them yogurt. I've read that is a yummy treat chickens enjoy.

They figured out how to drink from the poultry nipples very quick. When they peck at it, a little water drips down. It is so cute watching them get little drinks.

Oh, and we've named them. And yes, we can tell them apart. Although sometimes I have to look at my list where I wrote the descriptions of what makes each of them just a little different. So the girls would like to introduce the little girls:
Penny - the Black COPPER Maran
Pepper - a Black Australorp
Penelope - the other BA
Scarlet - A Rhode Island Red
Red Robin - The other RIR
Rose - a lighter red chicken (Red Star)
Jeanne (an Easter Egger named after Nana)
Clairese (an EE named after Mimi)
Sue (an EE that we think is a it could be a boy named Sue)
Lady Egg (an EE...get it? Lay D egg!)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Getting Ready for Chickens

A few months ago, we finally closed on a home with some land. After months of looking, we found the perfect place for us. We're ready to dive into the farm life! First animals on the list: Pets for Kayleigh & Paige! 3 cats & a dog, to be exact.
But top on my list: CHICKENS! I've always wanted chickens. They will be fun to keep...I've heard they can be very entertaining....and I'm so excited about gathering the fresh eggs. We are converting one of our carports into a chicken garage, I mean coop.
We have a lot of clean-up ahead of us: lots of mowing, raking & tree trimming. Jeremy swept about 5 years worth of leaves off the carport. This photo shows one roof finished & one roof to go.
Then he cleaned off the barn roof. Fortunately it has a metal roof so the sitting leaves did not cause any damage.
Next we built a brooder that we'll keep in our barn. It will comfortable hold 20-25 chickens until they are 4-5 weeks old, at which time the coop will be finished...right? right? RIGHT!!!!
I put in a divider to keep the chickens and the mess a little more contained. When they get bigger, I can take out the divider.

A dual purpose brooder: If Kayleigh & Paige misbehave, they'll have to spend the night IN THE BOX!

See that headboard in the background? Watch for a future post to see where that turns up in the chicken coop.

We picked up 10 chicks today from a local breeder. We're going to get 10-15 more in a couple of weeks when some other breeds are ready. The 10 we got today:
2 Rhode Island Reds (brown eggs)
1 Black Copper Maran (dark chocolate brown eggs)
4 Easter Eggers (blue or green eggs)
1 Red Star (dark brown eggs)
2 Black Australorps (brown eggs)
The egg color applies only if these chicks actually turn out to be all female. The lady says she "guarantees" her chicks and if any of them are roos, we can return. So....we shall see!  But in the meantime, I have two very excited chicken caretakers.

(The chicks will stay in our laundry/utility room for a few nights....then we'll move them to the barn brooder)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

DIY Double Barn Doors

After recently moving into somewhat of a "fixer-upper" house, I have a million projects and ideas in mind to make this house our home.  It seems I am adding ideas to my Pintrest boards daily. I really like the cottage/farmhouse style. I came across several tutorials on how to make your own interior barn doors on a track. We had the perfect doorway for this. It leads from our bedroom into our master bathroom. So here is one project I can check off my list!
The tutorial I found most helpful for building the door is found here. We built ours a little different. We used tounge & groove boards and then 1x4s for the framing & the "Z" design. We just used screws coming from the back to attach the 1x4s around the front. I beat up the wood by grinding rocks on it, hitting it with a hammer & pry bar (among other weird items I found in the workshop), and making nail holes.

Then I primed it with yellow primer and painted it with two coats of flat latex paint.

After it was dry, I brushed stain over the door in small sections and then wiped it off immediately to get the old, weathered look. The next day, I sprayed this side with polyurethane satin finish. I painted the other side of the door a charcoal gray color which is the side you'd see from our bathroom.


The tutorial I used to make the track can be found here. We had to use more washers between the steel bar and the stained 1x4 as well as between the steel bars & the pullys so that the doors would hang in the right spot to clear the trim & baseboards. 

I also needed to come up with something to prevent the doors from being pulled out too far from the wall. So I got four corner brackets & spray painted two of them black. On those two, I wrapped & hot glued felt around the side that could rub on the door.
Then we screwed the other ones to the baseboards on both sides of the doorway. After sliding the door back & forth and figuring exactly where to attach the other bracket, I glued them together with gorilla glue super glue. 


Here's how it looks from our bathroom: