Archive for backyard chicken

the men who snuggle with goats

I meet Larry at Denver airport and we hit it off instantly: we are both excited about our chickens—green love! Larry gets off the shuttle early because he wants to tell me about Sundari. His wife eventually picks him up at the Queen Anne Bed and Breakfast where I am staying. Two days later Dave offers me a ride to Sundari’s place during a conference break. The 30 minutes there make me really happy. I only met Larry because they had messed up his airport shuttle reservation. We are still trying to figure out who “they” was …


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the run

Adding the run to the tractor gives the chickens much more room … and much more visibility. Chickens seem to make people happy. They are like puppy dogs. Whenever people notice them they start to smile. Obviously they are popular with the kids in the neighborhood. I already got to meet some parents (dragged to my fence by their kids) whom I would have probably not talked to otherwise. I also had some neighbors who walked over to my place just so that the children of their visitors could look at the chickens.

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from chicks to chickens

The girls go through their teens quickly: the 25 lb bag of chick feed slowly disappears while the real “chicken-look” slowly appears. They are a lot less scared: they don’t mind hanging out with the bunny and they enjoy their first hours in the garden. Today I planted an Italian plum tree and three different blackberry bushes (all of them thorn-less varieties) that I got at alden lane nursery.

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building a chicken coop from reused materials

I collected the following items for building a chicken tractor with a detachable chicken run:

  • a frame of a wooden coffee table (Karleen found it on the curb)
  • 20 recycled 5 foot 1×8 redwood boards (bought from a fencing company)
  • a stack of nail and screw prodded 2 by 4s (used to hold drywalls inside my garage)
  • the leftover semi-gloss latex paint (from painting my interior doors and windows)

The design of the tractor is determined by the coffee table that is the base of the chicken tractor. The size of the run is determined by the length of the 2 by 4s. Since dad is visiting I am taking a few days off work so we can build the coop together:

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baby chickens

The first real step towards urban farm life comes at the affordable price of $2.50 a chick at Alamo Hay and Grain. The four girls cheesecake, pumpkin (two rhode island reds), penguin, and omelet (two barred rocks) enjoy their new home: a light bulb heated cardboard box in the living room. Once they have eaten the entire 25 lb bag of chick feed they will be big enough to move into a chicken coop in the front yard. But wait … there is no coop yet.

(one week later: they are nearly double the size)

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moving into an emtpy house

there is nothing in the house but an oven range (that was put in for show by the sellers agent) and an electric water heater (that was ripped out of the garage). the previous owner had turned the garage into an one bedroom house (without city permits) that he rented out to help cover the ever rising sub prime mortgage payments. the city inspector made the bank convert the garage back before the sale. i asked the contractor to leave the electric water heater behind. i also asked them to leave me the nail and screw prodded 2 by 4s that were holding up the drywalls. one day i will use them to build a chicken coop.

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