Monday, 9 March 2009

We have gotten 2 chickens.

> We got 2 chickens yesterday and we've been busy today finishing a chicken coop.
> Check Facebook for some pics.
> They're quite feisty - it was windy blowy so a bit unsettling weather to be arriving at a new home.
> Settling in alright to coop and garden.
> The darker one is adopted by Kate - Rosie.
> The lighter and fatter one is adopted by Maeve - Lucy.

We collected 2 chickens near Blessington Sunday evening 19:00.
Into cardboard box. Night time so they're sleepy. Very docile.
Box open in car - they need lots of air.
Some clucks but they're still in box at home.
Into playroom and in workshop for night.
With saucepan of water and some oats.

They're 17ish weeks old point-of-lay pullets and might start laying hopefully in 3+ weeks.
If they're still alive! Urban foxes harvest any sort of pets from back gardens.
You can buy fertilized eggs and incubate them and hatch yourself but that is a bit tricky, and you end up with some cocks probably.
No cock needed I believe unless you want to raise your own cute chicks (and annoy the neighbours ). :)

In morning they're walking around workshop.
Chicken poop on the floor.
Set up wood blocking entrance of coop to act as door.
I grab one and transfer to coop. It flaps just before I get it in.
They're not as calm as ones in Cobh.
Probably a bit stressed with new location/people.
It's a windy wet day.
Fionn has just nearly managed to get one but not quite.
I get it and out to coop.

Then get Daire and Kate up, breakfasted and out door to school bus.
Then Maeve up and dressed.
We leave chickens out for a run.
They're a bit nervous.
Aie! Wood falls on chicken squak! whew it's okay.
I screw in the 2 pieces of wood acting as door temporarily.
Fionn heads to work.
Chickens wander around garden until 9:15.
I put them back before bringing Maeve to creche.
We're being careful as we don't want them to fly away immediately.

Some quick research on Chicken feed, coop dimensions, email, clean up chicken poop before go shopping.
Stillorgan hardware/pet store 1st.
No door hinges but will get chicken feed - others (more mad people) have been asking about it.
Then onto Chadwicks.
Yep hinges. Ohhh nicer hinges (lift-off door). Ohh nicer again (lift-off gate).
And door clasp.
Ahhhh. The usual screws are behind the counter.
And a piece of 8x4 6mm (thinish) plyboard.
Plyboard is real awkward - I put on roof bars and put it onto roof but it looks very dodgy and it's windy.
I was considering it and a builder person helped me make up my mind to put it inside car.
All seats down, boot left open, board/boot held with tie.

At home bite to eat, start coop door, collect Maeve. Ekram gives us a plate of falafel.
Chickens have settled down and are very calm in coop.
I open the entrance. But they stay inside for a good long time.
Seeing as they're settling I don't shoo them out to work on coop.
Fionn home.
Chickens eventually venture out.
Door gets cut and attached over afternoon.
Fionn draws castle.
Roshi brings Daire home after 14:30. And they visit the chickens.
Sawing, most of work out back, it showers once or twice.
Cut with jigsaw.
Chickens don't seem to mind the noise of power tools at all.
I'm a bit surprised.
Cut flat place for hinge holders. Drill and screw them in.
Paint cut wood as I go with wood stain - a bit of protection.
Fionn home after collecting Kate (recorder - end 15:30). With feed.
The girls give some feed to chickens bit by bit.
The chickens get less nervous and it seems very good for them settling.
Prop up door to measure location of hinges - Fionn helps.
Attach hinges to door with support board behind.
Yay! Door hangs.
OMG. Door swings and closes okay.
I presume in time it will sag and not fit okay.
Oh well :) I call people quick to see it while it opens and closes.
Chickens go inside coop by their own choice. It was raining a bit. Funny girls.
They sheltered under bench and were shaking off water.
I was probably in their way.
So I got out of way and shooed them in general direction of coop and they went in.
When shower stopped I carried on working on hatch.
After cutting the hatch the chickens were funny.
The door was closed and Lucy jumped up. Nearly got stuck. But then balanced.
Had a look round. Then jumped out.
She clucked around a bit and shortly after Rosie did the same.
I'm attaching side wood for hatch when the chickens go all clucky.
They go exploring around.
Jump up onto table.
Jump up onto bin.
Nearly go inside.
So, well _obviously_ it must be bedtime.
I stop work, get out of the way.
Get chickens into coop, shut door, barricade them in for now (door catch not on yet).
Get tools * wood in from damp.
Lucy gets up onto perch after a little bit.
There's a good bit of flapping before Rosie manages to get up.
Soon enough they're very quiet.

Door isn't very secure yet against foxes.
If I were a fox I'd jump onto roof and go in from the top.
I'll tie door at top to prevent that.
Digging under we're not secure yet either with buried chicken wire.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The coop is mostly junk we had here already.
Assembled Friday last week.
Based on 3 very solid pallets we got lumbered with after a fun day on the green.
They're very solid and plan is to allow kids to climb on top as a "tree" house.
Back is an old wardrobe door, chopped in 2, screwed on.
Other various bits of scrap wood and chicken wire and paint.
Bought some shed roofing, door hinges and door wood.