Saturday, November 10, 2007

Chickens Love Psgetti!

I have coop envy. Major,major coop envy. This is because I've been perusing some of the other coops made by the folks on Backyard Chickens. People with a a bit more room and some serious table-saw skills. These are coops that look like wee barns and playhouses, complete with all sorts of handy storage and flower boxes and painted trim and lighting schemes. These coops are nicer than my house. Unfortunately I am gifted with neither major carpentry skills nor a spare couple of g's lying around to pay someone to build me one of these chicken tajs, so in the meantime, I thought I could at least build the girls a decent nest box. So I trudged back down to Home Depot ("Sara!" They all shout down there now when I walk in, like Norm in Cheers) and got some more lumber to make simple box. Because I have the math skills of a grunion, a very nice and patient employee helped me eventually cut the right sizes. So I managed to cobble together this box, and then with Matt's help, we cut a hole in the back of the coop and then screwed the box on. It's like a whole extra wing!

Here's a photo from the inside of the coop:

The girls checked it out immediately, and Matt reports that Ginger was already inside it. Of course they immediately kicked out all the fresh pine shavings I had put in, so I cut down a piece of wood and wedged it in the front as a sort of stop.

I also found out that chickens LOVE psgetti.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Is it Fall Yet?

It's been a long time since I posted! That's because there hasn't been much going on in the garden. This is usually a transitional time of year; from the long, slow pleasures of the hot summer garden to the (usually) short but sweet fall garden. A few weeks ago I planted all my seeds, some in little flats and some directly into the raised beds. I watered them all carefully and then just left them to do their thing.

Unfortunately, the Santa Ana's hit, in a big way and along with the devastating fires. While we were fortunately not in harm's way, the unusually warm weather has delayed the germination of many of my seeds, including almost all of the ones in the little flats. Fortunately, the plants in the raised beds are doing better, and I now have the almost 2-inch high beginnings of broccoli, carrots and cilantro. The lettuces have been much slower (owing to the unusual heat, no doubt) but I am still hopeful that at least a couple of varieties will make an appearance. I'll post photos soon.

The chickens continue to get small upgrades as well. I decided I don't like the nesting box that came with the henhouse I bought, so I built a new nest box that I'll attempt to mount to the outside of the hen house. This will give them more room inside, as well as a more private place to lay, once they are ready. They still have about 6 weeks to go I think.

I have to say though, looking at some of the photos of coops posted on, I have SERIOUS coop envy. I really need to get some power tools. *sigh*