Our ladies have grown so much since I last posted. As you can probably relate, life has been so busy lately! We’ve been so involved with living that its hard to stop and write about it sometimes. In order to streamline our family life I’ve even given up on checking Facebook except for once a week. The only exception is if there is a topic in one of my FB groups that needs immediate attention. Making this change was more simple than I’d anticipated. I just took the FB apps off of my iPad and phone and haven’t missed them a bit. In fact, I’ll go out on a limb here and say that life is better without obsessively checking in throughout the day!
Ah, but I digress. This is a post about our feathered friends and not the henpecking that occurs in social media! We are in the process of “hardening” our girls. During the day they are in a hacked dog pen (we added more fencing to it and made it a temporary coop of sorts) and at night they remain out there along with a 250 watt heat lamp. The only exception is when our nights get into the 30s and then they’re back in the garage with only a 75 watt bulb. Only Emma is left in the garage. She freaked out when the outdoor cage was being cleaned last week and got wedged between a wooden box and the fence. She’s limping but seems fine otherwise. So, she gets some R&R in the garage and a private food and water dish. We are also rotating some of the other girls in there so she will have a friend to hang out with. Oh, and speaking of “girls”, we’ve confirmed that Daisy Mae is a he and not a she. Too bad and oh so sad because the Buff Orphingtons are some of my favorites! It was all confirmed a few days ago when a weak “cockadoodledoo” came out of her/his beak. Thus, the boys have renamed Daisy Mae: Zazu (after the bird in The Lion King). We will eventually have to find Zazu a new home, but for now its under wraps that we have a roo in the neighborhood!
I’ve been designing coops in hopes of hashing out just the right one for our flock. At first, we came up with a nice large one that would sit next to the house. However, in the end we decided to be a bit more practical since wood and wire can get expensive quickly! We are going to convert our rabbit hutches and rabbit yard into their new abode instead. Because, let’s face it. Unless we raise rabbits for meat or fiber, they really aren’t doing much for us. When you calculate the cost of food and housing for an animal, it would be nice to get something in return. Plus, the rabbit yard is in an undeveloped area of the property and so no landscaping would be disturbed. I’m still wrapping my head around this, but I’ve found some very cool and inspiring resources along the way. My two current favorites? Free Range Chicken Gardens by Jessi Bloom and Reinventing the Chicken Coop by Kevin McElroy and Matthew Wolpe. Great chick lit and highly recommended.