Monday, April 26, 2010

Chicken Coop Renovations

Our chicken ranch seems to be continuing on.  My sister found a great bunch of old books on raising chickens, feed and how to manage flocks - old school.  The books are from the 1920's and they are so good.

We continue to learn.  Right now in the "open air" coop there are 8 hens.... and we get about 6 eggs a day from them.  In the enclosed coop there are 22 hens.... and we get about 8 eggs a day.   Hmmmmmm, what is wrong with this picture?

After studying, reading and thinking, talking and pondering, the guys have cut out the door and some "windows" to make the enclosed coop "open air".  I'll let you know how it goes.  So far, the chickens seem to love it, but it is the first day.  The idea is to give them light, cross ventilation and one solid wall for a feeling of protection. 

I am going to do a separate post on my sister's thoughts on the whole chicken process.  We are both more convinced than ever that it is a good way to go.... raise them up as natural and healthy as possible by giving them what they need.  This gives us ample resource then for protein from the meat and eggs.

We are weedeating around the property, raking it and using it for feed and to build our compost (under the roost).  The long season of rains has given us plenty of opportunity for an abundance of weeds :)  and clover and vetch and other wonderful, edible herbs, seeds, grasses and legumes.

The tomato plants that I started from last year's heirloom seeds have done better than anyone could have reasonably expected.  I ended up with 672 healthy, beautiful tomato plants.  About 2/3 of them are "spoken for" and I will end up with about 125 for our garden.  It should be wonderful.  We are hauling them in and out of the house while the weather is unsettled, but after this next set of storms, they will be handed out and ours will head to the garden.  I can't wait for fresh salsa!  It will also be nice to have the dining room and kitchen counter back :)  I plan to start my cucumber seeds in peat pots this week (if I can just find a little time).

It is baseball season and our son-in-law found time to play a little ball with our youngest son out in the orchard.  What a great day!

Best of health to you


  1. Looks like great fun!
    We're doing a couple of renovations to our coop too. This one is the first one we've ever built (we built it about 5 years ago) and boy has it been a good experience in what to do and not do when you build a coop. I'll be excited to build a new coop when we move to more property knowing what we know now!

  2. Hey I have read what you wrote. That's a awesome article and I found the article very helpful. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful article on the blog. I found that my article/blog post here which is Building a chicken coop is really on the subject let me know what you think about it?

  3. That is A LOT of tomato plants!!!! My parents have been having really good luck with the "wall o' waters"

    around the tomato plants & have already been able to plant some outside last week. They would be a bit pricey for that many tomatoes though but to get a few started early it has been worth it for them.

    We haven't done much more on the house but my dad has been working on it for us while we have been over here.

    It is super crazy windy here today which usually means it is stormy on your side of the Sierra's....

    I found a recipe on the web last night for Beet Kvass & it is made & sitting on my counter. It looks pretty!

  4. Heather, you might get the book I posted, or read portions of it on line. I listed a link to it on today's blog. It sure has good ideas. BTW, I skimmed the book you asked about, I think I either loaned it to Melissa (was it you?) or Nicole to read. When they are done, do you want me to send it up to you?

    Melissa, the tomato plants are gorgeous. These are the best I have ever had. They are sturdy, dark green, lots of beautiful foliage.... lovin' it :)

    I hope you like the kvass. Next time you come, ask me. I have some that has been sitting on the counter for a couple of months. You might like it. It is usually good for months and I would love to share some really potent stuff. I need to bottle it up and throw it in the fridge. It is a great cellular cleanse.

    I couldn't find a blog on it.... guess I better get busy on that.