Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Okay… so THIS is Chick Week!

I was disappointed to learn last week that my chicks were not shipped from the Hatchery on the day scheduled. That’s okay though, because sometimes you can’t count your chicks before they hatch. Right? It still didn’t keep me from pouting, just a little bit.

This morning at 7:10 our postmaster called and gave me the following information:

“This is the postmaster and we have some critters here for you. They are telling us that they are hungry and thirsty, and want their mama.” I just love our small town post office!

Needless to say I zoomed into town as fast as I could to pick up the 16 peeping balls of Ameraucana fluff.  Stay tuned for Peep Pics near the end of this post.

I must first show the (almost) finished coop. Still to complete: latches for the two big back doors. We won’t be using those for awhile so they are screwed shut for now. Also, vintage iron wheels from an old hay loader will be attached by the Blacksmith to make the coop portable. More on that on a later date.

So now I present the (mostly) finished Coop de FlatCreek, sitting on the Barn/Cottage front porch while the babies are still tiny.


View of the back, while still in the garage.


Interior Views. Also, I temporarily attached some leftover bead board pieces to keep the chicks from falling out the big door when opened, as well as to keep them out of the nest box areas.



Roost area is storage area for now…



who wants to see some





Checking our look in the mirror…


The one and only Li’l Rooster, marked in blue to differentiate from the pullets.



naptime  warming

That’s all for now, but yes, I will be back with more chick pics. How did you guess? I vow to allow the little sweeties to rest for awhile. Then, look out… there will be a major cute chick photo shoot coming your way soon :)


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Coop Update – Rush, Rush.. It’s Chick Week!

I had one good productive afternoon last week in which I built two doors. With mitered trim, thank ya very much :) I painted the interior a lemony yellow yesterday. And today.. I had help! Which I gladly accepted since this is Chick Week after all, and the babies are scheduled to be shipped to me one day this week. I was getting so close, but still a lot of details to do.  So I swallowed my Farmgirl Pride and said… yes, it’s okay to have a helper today :) And a most excellent helper he was.

Here is a view of the interior.


Mr. W was kind enough to build a sliding window cover bracket for me. This is the “gridded” window. I still have hardware cloth to attach inside. I had visualized the cover for this window as being a slider, and voila, the hubs came through for me again. It is perfect… just as I had imagined.


Here is a view from the front – you can see the window with sliding cover here as well. Also the tin edge trim he installed today. It is actually silver/galvanized but looks green in this picture for some reason…


For those interested in how the sliding bracket was made, here’s a close-up of first the top bracket and then the bottom. Laminated wood and nuts & washers were used to shim the back.



I painted the hinges, latches, handles, etc. today also.


Also, the remaining doors were built. Here is a view of the back. These doors are not attached yet  (awaiting exterior paint). The top door is the roost access door. The bottom door is the egg access door. Of course, for our brooder purposes the egg door won’t be utilized. However sometime in the future it most likely will be used as a portable coop, and the nest boxes & access door should come in handy.


Next up will be to paint the exterior with red oil-based (Valspar Porch & Floor) paint; apply the tin roof; trim corners; attach the doors and installing all necessary hardware, and a couple other miscellaneous items.

Now, how do I get oil-based paint to dry fast in this 100% humidity, daily rain, and chill we’re experiencing now? That is the question.

This little coop is just about finished. Stay tuned for more Coop Building Adventures, and also the long-awaited arrival of….

the return of Chickens to Flat Creek Farm!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Every Once in Awhile…

we are given a gift, a special moment in time. Something. Perhaps an event, perhaps what we could perceive as a miracle, that fills our hearts to overflowing. My parents were recently given such a special gift. A baby owl visited their yard. This might be expected in a rural setting, but my parents live in a small town.
My mother feared the baby would go into the street, so she put on leather gloves and carefully moved the baby to safety. They were able to watch and observe this sweet baby for a little while… until later when they noticed the baby was safely up in a tree with a parent. But before that, my mother was able to get some exceptional pictures of this baby owl and she said I could share them with you.
Also, if there are any ornithology experts reading this, we would appreciate some ideas or an identification on what type of owl this is. Mom has some ideas in mind, but nothing definite as of yet.  This baby appears to be the offspring of “the neighborhood owls” whom they think may be nesting along the creek bank near their home. They have visited before, eyeing the little faux critters that my mother had around their garden pond. UPDATE: this baby is most definitely a Barred Owl.
Oh yes… now I present this fuzzy little bundle of cuteness…
These pictures are great, but Mom says she wishes that somehow she could have captured the sloooow blinks of the little owl eyes. Absolutely precious.
I hope these pictures warm your heart as much as they did mine!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Coop Update ~ Slowly but Surely…

This beginning carpenter is getting her coop built :) I really think the framing part has been the most fun so far. The rest of it has moved much slower. It didn’t seem like I accomplished much during my building sessions this week, but now I realize: two hours here – two hours there.. I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Chipboard was installed on the roof (this stuff will *not* show in the end. I’m putting nice shiny tin on my roof).  This is the view from the back - nest box & roost area (where I’ll be installing a door).


Most of the bead board siding is installed. I had planned to perfectly match everything (i.e., the “beads” on the bead board), but let’s just say… measuring, and cutting accordingly has not been my strong suit so far. But then again, I’m a beginner! Trim will hide most of my errors (I hope).  I am getting better and less nervous with the jig and circular saws.

This view shows the opening for the little chicken door, and the side window.


And here’s a quick view of a step that proved to be very tedious – I installed hardware cloth in the ventilation around the rafters. At that point I wished for verrrry tiny hands.


A few of the next steps –
*one more piece of siding installed because of another slight modification I made :)
*paint the interior – I have a quart of nice lemony yellow eggshell that was FREE from Glidden a few months ago.
*install hardware cloth on the inside of the window.
*cut out doors & brace them, as well as cut the window cover.
*trim window, doors, corners, roof lines.
*install doors, window, hinges, latches, etc.
*drill hole in back for heat lamp cord.
*caulk, caulk, caulk.
*paint exterior.
*install galvanized tin roof.

More updates soon – chicks arrive week after next! Thanks so much for the encouragement, Blogger Friends. I hope I can inspire others to build something they’ve been dreaming about. If you want to see more inspiration, check out my friend Linda at Prairie Flower Farm and what she’s been up to this week!

I’ll leave you with a few photos from this week. We’ve had lettuce from the “greens bed” for a couple of weeks now.


Check out one of our yard birds. So pretty, and so watchful over the nest….

Giant Allium was fully bloomed earlier this week.


Spiderwort from Patti. Such dainty little flowers!


Lastly…. and sadly, our Miss Monkey kitty disappeared a week ago today (in the middle of the day, no less). No clues… nothing. The neighborhood has been alerted and we’ve covered a lot of ground over the past week looking and calling for her. Hoping she’s okay and will come back soon. I miss those blue eyes…


Last but not least, Happy Mothers’ Day. Blessings and hugs for all the moms out there!


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