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The Chickens Are Coming! The Chickens Are Coming!

November 17, 2015

The chickens are coming!  And I’m frantically trying to finish all the odds and ends I’ve left to the last minute.  Yesterday, Alan and I hung new siding on the back exterior wall of the coop.  It needed replacing due to water damage that seemed to multiply when I wasn’t looking and I felt it best to go ahead and get it done before the chickens take up residence.

Today I spent some time caulking the new siding and constructing a ramp for the chickens to use inside the coop when they want help getting up to or down from their roosts.  While adult hens can fly up and down, the younger pullets (teenage hens) will need some help because the upper roost is about 5.5 feet off the floor.  Since adding all the ventilation windows to the coop, I’ve been having a bit of trouble with rain water getting inside.  This is a BIG No No as moisture can be a death knell for a chicken’s delicate respiratory system…more on this in later.  As a result, I’ve been making a few modifications and finishing up some of the preplanned projects in an effort to get The Carlton-Ritz Chicken Palace up to snuff since……………The chickens are coming!  The chickens are coming!

You may remember I am getting my pullets from two different local sources.  The first two are going to be the Black Australorps and I will pick them up this Friday or Saturday.  They will be fully feathered, 10 week olds and I’ve already named them Max and Minnie.  Max is the name of my good friend’s toddler son who has called me Grandma  Margie since he was old enough to speak.  My cat is named after his sister Stella and I told Max I’d name my first chicken after him, so I’m happily keeping my promise.

I’ll pick up the other four pullets the weekend after Thanksgiving.  These will be 8-9 weeks old and fully feathered as well.  I haven’t named them yet, but have a few ideas lined up.  Here are the names I like so far:  Polly, Penny, Ruby, Lucy, Mavis, Olive, Cookie, Dolly, Shirley, Biscuit, Sweetpea, and LuLu.  Let me know if you have any favorites or if you have additional suggestions.  I’d love to hear them!

I was going to talk about how chickens fare in the winter, but I think I’ll leave that til next time and instead show the progression from chick to pullet to hen and how the feathers come into being and then I’ll share some of the latest photos of my Coop and Run.

So.  Chicks grow from the tiny, cute, fluffy balls of down to a fully feathered chicken in roughly 8-10 weeks, depending on the breed.

Here are some cutie new born chickens.

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and here are some 3 week olds.  You can see feathers starting to appear , but there is still a lot of down.

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And at 5 weeks.

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8 weeks.

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and 10 weeks.

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Once the chicks are fully feathered, they no longer need to stay in a Brooder and can begin their life outside in the Coop, which is why my pullets will be at least 8 weeks when I get them.

Moving on to my Coop, here are the latest photos.

Here you can see the new interior ramp leading up to the Poop Board with the lower Roost just above.  It’s an easy hop from the lower Roost up to the Top Dog Roost.

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Another shot showing the ramp, the bottom of the Poop Board, and the two Roosts.  You can see the rear window has been covered over by the new siding.  I’m thinking I’ll leave it closed until the Spring.

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And here you can see my homemade Feeder made from PVC pipe.  It will hold about 10lbs of feed at a time with two eating cups.  This design causes the chickens to stick their heads deep into the feeding cups to eat which prohibits the flinging around of feed.  It is my understanding that chickens LOVE to fling their food around, so considering the price of Organic, Non-GMO, Soy Free Feed, I built this feeder and hope it works well.

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This is the roof vent I installed a few weeks ago.  I’ll tell you more about the importance of ventilation, especially during the winter months soon, but for now, just a rather dull photo of a roof vent.

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And finally my SWING.  Yes, I built my chickens a swing.  I’ve been reading all about chicken swings and knew I had to have one, so here it is.  Once they learn to use it I will post a video for sure.

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Just 2 more days til I finally have chickens.  Wow.  I’m so excited.

They will be quite stressed out after being moved from their current home over to a new Coop and environment so will need to be kept quiet and in the coop for at least 24 hours after arrival to The Chicken Palace.  After that I will give them another day or so before venturing into the Run with them and Bodhi (the dog) will be kept in the front yard for at least 4 days before he is slowly introduced to them (through the Run fencing and on a leash).

The chickens are coming!  The chickens are coming!

Stay tuned because the next post will feature photos of my very own hens, Max and Minnie!!!

 

 

How can you get eggs without a Rooster?

October 28, 2015

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This is the question most asked once people find out I will not have a Rooster in my flock, so I thought I’d see what I could do about explaining the “Birds and the Bees” as they pertain to chickens.

So here we go.  To begin with, female chickens are called Hens and male chickens are called Roosters….stop your eye rolling…some folks may not know this part, so I’m just making an effort to get everyone on the same page.  🙂

As I was saying, Hens are born with a large number of eggs (yolks to be more accurate) in their ovary.  These mature one by one approximately every 25 hours and are released into the funnel of the oviduct which is coincidentally 25 inches long.  This usually occurs within 1 hour or so of when the Hen laid her previous egg.  During the yolk’s journey through the oviduct, it is fertilized IF there is sperm present.  For sperm to be present, a Rooster would have had to be present and must have enjoyed sexy-times with the Hen.  Whether or not sperm is present, the yolk will continue on the same path at the same rate of speed down the oviduct where it is fertilized (or not), encased in various layers of egg white (albumen), wrapped in protective membranes, and sealed with a shell.

This shell is molded in the shape of the uterine wall, thus giving a chicken’s egg its distinctive shape. While in the uterus, the egg’s narrower end points downward, but it will later turn and be ejected wider end first.

Once the egg has fully formed, the chicken’s uterus begins to contract in an effort to expel it. The egg moves down a vaginal canal towards an external opening known as a vent. The vent is a same opening for both egg laying and waste elimination, but a chicken cannot perform both functions at the same time. An internal flap known as a cloaca keeps the vaginal canal and the intestinal track separate until either an egg or excrement reach the vent. When a chicken is laying an egg, the cloaca descends and blocks the intestinal track.

So there you have it ladies and gents and here are some great graphics which might help further illuminate the topic.

I like this one because it shows how long each stage takes.

Chicken egg laying anatomy reproductive system hen

And this one shows the flap directing traffic to the Vent.

Chicken Egg and Intestine Vent

And finally an overall summary although I think it may be difficult to read.  You may have to zoom in.

Chicken Reproduction Poster

There has been a slight change as far where I’ll be getting my chickens and which types I’ll be getting.  Turns out I’m getting chickens from two local sources and I may be getting the first two in about two weeks.  Gosh, I’m so excited.  These first two will be Black Australorps and should be about 9-10 weeks old.

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I’m still finishing odds and ends around the coop and need to install the roof vent, but I’ll be ready.  My big and ongoing conundrum is whether to use pine shavings or river sand as the bedding in the Coop.  There are so many great arguments for and against each and at the end of the day I think either will be just fine but for some reason I’m obsessing over it.

I’ll leave you by saying my trip to Peru and Ecuador was completely wonderful.  Hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu was the highlight and was an experience I’ll never forget and the animals of the Galapagos were amazing.

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Cheers.

The Chickens have been ordered and other misc. items

September 19, 2015

I’m off to Lima tomorrow, but wanted to bring everyone up to speed on the Carlton-Ritz Chicken Palace project before I head out.

Suzanne and Alan both came over a couple of weeks ago to help get the Big Top netting on the Run, hang the interior door that Alan had made, and install the fabulous Nesting Boxes also designed and constructed by Alan.

Where would this project be without him???

First we planted a 12 foot 4×4 post two feet down in the center of the Run.  This is the “pole” of the Big Top Tent idea.  Next we finagled a 50ft by 50ft piece of Aviary/Deer netting over the top of the post and draped it over the sides of the Run to be clipped and fastened to the top boards of the fencing.  It did indeed take some finagling….wrestling with that netting was something akin to herding cats.  You would think a 50×50 piece of anything would have 4 corners, right?  Well, I’m just sayin’, I’m not sure we ever did find all the corners of that rats nest.

Here’s a shot of the Run with the netting pulled nice and tight over the Big Top Tent Pole.   I realize it is difficult to see, just do your best.  You may notice the boards on the bottom half of the pole.  These are for the chickens to perch on while they are enjoying their Run, if they choose.  I may hang a Chicken Swing from the uppermost board.  More on Chicken Swings later.

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While we are talking about the Run, I’ll show you what I did today, which was to install the Predator Control along the ground to thwart any digging predators .  I still have some work to do on this, but two sides are complete.  I think its safe to say that I’ve created somewhat of a Fort Knox for my chickens.  Let’s hope so anyway.

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Now for the Nesting Boxes.  You may recall the Drawings, the Math, and the Mock Up for these things, well, Alan did an amazing job….even when someone seems to have given him an incorrect measurement somewhere along the line.  No matter, Alan made adjustments on the fly and look what we have.  I am completely impressed.

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Move over I.M. Pei.  These have got to be the best nesting boxes ever!  I sure hope my chickens will agree.

And speaking of Chickens, I am pleased to say that I placed an order for my chickens today!

Remember me telling you about The Chicken Man?  Well, he raises the babies from day 1 and cares for them until they are roughly 10 weeks old at which time I will pick them up.  The pick up is going to be later than I had thought as I won’t be able to pick them up til around Thanksgiving instead of late October.  Oh well.  Wait I must and then wait some more since they won’t begin laying until late January to mid February.  Sigh.

I’ve ordered one each of 5 different varieties…all known for their prolific egg laying capabilities.  Without further ado, here they are:

The Black Astraulorp

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The Americauna (this one lays pale blue or pale green eggs which is why they are also known as Easter Eggers)

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The Rhode Island Red

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The Plymouth Rock

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And the lovely Silver Laced Wyandotte

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OK, that’s it folks.  I’ll try to post from Peru and Ecuador, so stay tuned.

South America – 14 days and counting down

September 6, 2015

Beep.  Beep.  Beep.

We interrupt this regularly scheduled Chicken Blog to bring you information on my upcoming trip to Peru and Ecuador.

I leave 2 weeks from today (YIKES!).  Does anyone know where my passport is???

We have signed up for a 21 day trip with G-Adventures.  This is a “budget” Adventure Travel company out of Australia and is also the company I used when I traveled to Kenya and Zanzibar in 2007.  They were great!  Very small groups, professional and knowledgeable guides/cooks/support staff, with an emphasis on mixing with the locals as much as possible.

My friend and I will fly into Lima 2 days early and I will stay in Quito 1-2 days after the trip ends.  Coleen will be staying in Ecuador for an additional 8 days or so; other than those extra days, our time will be spent following the Itinerary shown below.

Starting to get excited!

Map of the route for Click to enlarge

Day 1Lima

Arrive at any time.

Day 2Lima/Cusco(1B)

Hop on a flight to Cusco. Enjoy a free day of shopping and exploring the city. Opt for a city tour.

Day 3Cusco/Ollantaytambo(1B, 1L)

Enjoy a full-day guided tour of the Sacred Valley. Stop at the Planeterra-supported women’s weaving co-op before exploring the Pisac ruins. Break for lunch at the Planeterra-supported Parwa community restaurant in Huchuy Qosco. Finish the day exploring the Ollantaytambo ruins with a local guide.

Day 4Ollantaytambo/Wayllabamba Camp(1B, 1L, 1D)

Depart Ollantaytambo by van to km 82 where the hike begins.

Day 5Wayllabamba Camp/Paqaymayo Camp(1B, 1L, 1D)

Start early to climb the long steep path to Warmiwañusca, better known as Dead Woman’s Pass. This is the highest point of the trek at 4,198m (13,769 ft). Most hikers reach camp by early afternoon, with ample time to rest and relax.

Day 6Paqaymayo Camp/Wiñaywayna(1B, 1L, 1D)

Cross two more passes and ruins along the way. The first pass is Runquraqay at 3,950m (13,113 ft) where, on a clear day, hikers can catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcabamba. Hike through cloud forest on the gentle climb to the second pass of the day, walking through original Incan constructions. The highest point of the pass is 3,700m (12,136 ft). On a clear day, enjoy the spectacular views of the Urubamba Valley.

At 3,650m (11,972 ft), reach the ruins of Phuyupatamarca, the “Town Above the Clouds.” Camp here or go 1.5 hrs further along, near the Wiñay Wayna ruins (Forever Young) located at 2,650m (8,694 ft).

Day 7Wiñaywayna/Cusco(1B)

The final day of the hike starts pre-dawn to reach the Sun Gate before sunrise. Wake up around 03:30 and walk to the checkpoint. Catch the first views of the breathtaking ruins of Machu Picchu on a clear day. Hike down to Machu Picchu for a guided tour of the site and free time to explore. Opt to visit the Inca Bridge, if time allows.

Catch the bus to Aguas Calientes to meet the CEO and any non-hiking members of your group. Eat and relax before your train back to Cusco in the afternoon.

Day 8Cusco(1B)

Continue to explore Cusco on a free day in the city.

Day 9Cusco/Tambopata(1B, 1L, 1D)

Fly to Puerto Maldonado and continue by motorized boat to our comfortable and intimate G Lodge Amazon.

Day 10Tambopata(1B, 1L, 1D)

Enjoy guided excursions led by expert naturalists to spot wildlife at nearby oxbow lakes and clay licks. Spend some time relaxing in a hammock, enjoying the local swimming hole, or visiting a nearby plantation. Go on a caiman-spotting cruise after dinner.

Day 11Tambopata/Lima(1B)

Fly back to Lima for an optional final dinner and night out.

Day 12Lima/Quito(1B)

Fly to Quito. Flight is unescorted and included in the price of the tour.

Day 13Quito/Puerto Baquerizo Moreno(1B, 1L, 1D)

Fly to San Cristóbal Island. Meet the guide and transfer to the boat. Visit Isla Lobos in the afternoon.

Day 14North Seymour/Mosquera Island(1B, 1L, 1D)

Explore two tiny islands that are big on wildlife. North Seymour offers great views of nesting seabirds, including frigatebirds and Mosquera is home to large colonies of sea lions.

Day 15Isla Santiago/Isla Bartolomé(1B, 1L, 1D)

Visit Sullivan Bay on Santiago Island to witness the giant lava formations contrasting the white-coral sand beach. Continue to Bartolomé Island for a guided tour to see the dramatic volcanic features before hiking to a panoramic viewpoint.

Day 16Puerto Ayora(1B, 1L, 1D)

Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to see the giant Galápagos tortoises and go on an excursion to the Santa Cruz Highlands. Free time for shopping or exploration of Puerto Ayora.

Day 17Isla Rábida/Bachas Beach(1B, 1L, 1D)

Land at Rábida Island for a visit to a saltwater lagoon and sea lion colony. Afternoon excursion to Bachas Beach for walks to observe the bird and wildlife as well as free time for swimming and snorkelling.

Day 18Floreana Island(1B, 1L, 1D)

Land at Punta Cormorant on Floreana Island. Guided walks to observe the bird and wildlife and learn about the natural history. Visit Post Office Bay in the afternoon. Snorkelling excusion at the Corona del Diablo.

Day 19Punta Suárez/Bahía Gardner(1B, 1L, 1D)

Visit Punta Suárez and Gardner Bay on Española Island. Enjoy guided walks to observe wildlife and free time for swimming or snorkelling.

Day 20Puerto Baquerizo Moreno/Quito(1B)

Visit the Interpretation Centre on San Cristóbal Island before flying back to Quito.

Day 21Quito(1B)

Depart at any time.

If you’d like to take a closer look at the boat we will be on in the Galapagos, you can click below.

Xavier III

Get an up-close look at your Galápagos ship, the comfy 16-passenger Xavier III.

Learn more

Cheers for now.
Alan AND Suzanne are coming over tomorrow morning to help with the Coop and to help place the Roof on the Run, so stay tuned for a Chicken update soon.

Calypso Beat

August 29, 2015

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Oh wait, wrong picture.

This isn’t about baby goats…it’s about chickens!!!

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Okay.  Now that we’re on track, I’ll bring you up to date on the goings on around here.  I haven’t made great strides since our last visit as I’ve injured my back a tad bit, but I’ve done a few things like cut in two new ventilation windows, covered all three windows with 1/4″ hardwire screening, painted the pop door CALYPSO BEAT pink, and completed a DIY (do it yourself) project in the form of a PVC pipe chicken feeder.

First, tell me what you think of Calypso Beat?  I love it.  To me, it’s the same color as the deep pink Crepe Myrtle blossoms.  I see some similarities here…dark green, deep pink, and lime green.   Looks to me like Rusty was right after all.  🙂  Thanks Roo.

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Moving on to the feeder.  As you have already heard, there are about one hundred and one choices for EVERYTHING to do with chickens and their accoutrements.  Feeders are no different.  My understanding is that the primary considerations when choosing a feeder are:  wasted food since apparently chickens love to sling their food around, not easily knocked over, not easily pooped in, easy to clean, and will hold a fair bit of feed as to avoid the need to fill it daily.  Given all this (and more),  I decided on the following design, which of course has to be handcrafted as they are not available ready-made.

Here are the parts and pieces I bought at the Home Depot.  All are 3″ diameter: (1) T section, (2) 90 degree elbows, (1) cap, (1) 5′ pipe with (2) 3″ pieces cut off, and some PVC pipe glue.

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I assembled them into this awesome top loading feeder that will keep about 10lbs of feed dry and fresh.  I haven’t glued it all together yet, as I want to play with the angles of the cups a bit and I’m not sure where in the coop it will go, but I think this might be a good start.  It can also be height adjusted to match the size of the chickens as they grow from Pullets to Laying Hens.  (as with all the blog photos, you may click each one to enlarge it for better viewing)

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Here’s a picture of one already in use by The Backyard Chicken Lady with some of her young chicks.  Pretty cool, huh?

BY Chicken Feeder

Let’s see.  What else?

Oh yeah.  Nesting Boxes.

OK.  So I may as well tell you that I tried my best to construct the Nesting Boxes by myself.  I want them in the corner of the Coop to the left of the Pop Door, with the ability to accommodate 12″x15″ Sterilite tubs (for easy cleaning), so one day a few weeks ago, I sat down in the corner with cardboard and a pen and a measuring device and did my best to create a pattern from which to cut wood.  Well.  What a mess.  I tried and I tried and I tried again and I could not get it to come together.  Sigh.  You know, I sometimes consider myself to be a fairly intelligent human being, but this little project had me stumped and I felt like such a dummy.  I mean, who can’t figure out how to knock some wood together to hold a couple of plastic bins and have it all stack upright into an oddly shaped corner with a slanted roof?  Apparently I can’t, so when Alan was last here, I told him about my vision for nesting boxes and asked him if he’d like to give it a go.

Fast forward to yesterday when I was over at Suzanne and Alan’s  canning some lovely tomatoes

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when during a break, Alan asked me to go downstairs to take a look at the nesting box “mock up”.

Say what???

Turns out I no longer feel like a dummy because Alan showed me the MATH, yes that’s right, THE MATH he employed to figure it out and the Mock Up he built to make sure it would work before he started cutting wood.  Oh my.    While he said he didn’t need to resort to Calculus and differential equations (whatever they are), he did need to draw on his Trigonometry knowledge.  Goodness me.  Once again, let’s give three cheers to Alan!

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This reminds me of those models architects make of their designer buildings.  All I can say is, my yard birds had better be grateful for such well designed Nesting Boxes and I hope all this will translate into prolific layers!

That’s it from the Carlton-Ritz Chicken Palace.  Big items still to go are:  the poop board, the interior door, the nesting boxes, ladder up to the Roosts, Roof Vent, and the netting cover for the Run.  Small items still to go are :  the waterer, ventilation window trim, gripper strips for the Pop Door ramp, and various odds and ends I can’t think of at the moment.

It’s coming along.

Roosts and Pop Doors

August 19, 2015

Let’s all begin by getting a tune in our heads.  The tune I’m thinking of  is, “I’ve been working on the railroad….all the live long day…”       Got it?       Ok.       Now sing it like this instead, “I’ve been working on the Palace….all the live long day…..”       🙂

Well.  I’m just about exhausted, but happily so.  I had the day off today and I’ve been working on the Coop since this morning.  Most satisfying.  Wait til you see what I accomplished…all by myself.  I’m certain it’s not as nice as it would be had Alan or Doug been here, but I really enjoyed trying to figure out and execute these little projects solo.

The first thing I did was build Roosts for the chickens.  You may remember from an earlier post that there are many, many different ways to construct adequate roosts and all of them are perfectly acceptable to the chickens.  I decided to go with what I felt most folks use, which is 2x4s placed wide side up.  The highest one is 14″ from the back wall, and 18″ from the roof.  The lower one is roughly 12″ below the higher one and about 12″ further forward (so the chickens don’t poop on each other).  Hopefully there will be plenty of Roost space so that an amicable pecking order can be established and no one chicken will be picked on.

Take a look.

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They are removable to make for easier Coop cleaning.

After the Roosts were complete, I moved on to the Chicken Pop Door.  Don’t ask me why it’s called a Pop Door…maybe because the chickens pop out of it when going from Coop to Run…I don’t know.  As with every part of this project, there are also many, many styles of Pop Doors.  I chose to build one that slides open from bottom to top, guillotine style and after that, I cut in the first of 3 ventilation windows.

Here are some pictures of the progress.  I took a short video of the working door and other accomplishments of the day.  Fingers crossed I can remember how to insert a video into the blog post.

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I remembered I had to publish the video on YouTube and then share the link here.  Hope it works!

Pretty schnazzy, huh?  I think so.  It only took me 8 hours to make the roosts, door, and window.  Phew.  I feel sure someone more skilled that I could have done these little projects in a third of the time, but I’m happy with the results and it’s fun to know I did them myself.

I still want to cut two more ventilation windows and will need to cover all of them with predator proof hardwire screening and some sort of hinged closing cover to keep out the cold and wind in winter.  Just a part of a long list of things that still need to be done, but I’d say it’s coming along nicely.

Stay tuned.

Further Palace Progress

August 15, 2015

Oh my gosh!  I am SO excited.  Tons of progress has been made on the Carlton-Ritz Chicken Palace.

My plan was to wait til after my big trip to South America to get chickens, but with the Coop and Run looking so fantastic already, I’m not sure I can wait.  I wonder if my neighbor would mind adding a few chickens to her pet sitting list in addition to Bodhi and Stella Mae or perhaps another neighbor who has 7-8 chickens would “lend” me a couple til I leave….hmmmmm….I’ll have to give this some thought.

Alright.  Let’s get all of you up to speed with the realtime situation down at the Palace.

My friend Alan kindly offered to help with the hanging of the fencing and with the interior wall of the Coop.  He’s been here three times (three cheers for Alan!) and boy howdy, have we made some awesome progress.  During his first visit, we hung the wire, which went a lot faster than we had imagined…maybe 2 hours to get it all hung.  We didn’t use any sort of fence stretcher or come-along, so the wire bowed out here and there, but it looked pretty good.  Here’s Alan with the newly hung wire.  (click on the images to enlarge, if you like)

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He came back a few days later with the door he had constructed for the Run.  Please everyone say hello to Suzanne, Alan’s wife and my longtime friend from Summer Camp.  Doesn’t she make a wonderful door model?  This was taken at their house over in the Waynesville area.

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During this second visit, Alan and I attached wire to the door, hung the door, and decided to add a 1×4 wood band to stabilize the top of the fence.  This top band will also come in handy when the “Big Top Tent” style netting roof goes on.  Take a look.

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The top wood frame helped and it sure does look nicer, but the fencing still bowed a bit in the belly of each section, so I decided to try a crimping method I learned about online and my goodness, it worked like a charm.  Here’s a picture of one section I crimped.  You may have to look closely.  The crimping of the horizontal wires draws the fence tight.  Man, you could bounce  a quarter off it now!

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Lookin’ real good.  I hope all of you are impressed because I sure am, but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.  Just wait til you  see what Alan and I accomplished today!

Drum roll please….well….not yet.

With the Run virtually complete, we moved to the Coop itself and set about building the interior wall which is to separate the Coop from the storage area of the shed.  You can see here I’ve cleared out the right hand side and have begun painting the interior walls.  Why paint when it’s just for chickens you may ask?  Well, everything I’ve read says keeping a clean coop is ever so much easier if the walls and floor are painted because painted walls can be sprayed and wiped much better than wooden walls.

Coop side and Storage side.

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When Alan arrived this morning we headed out to the shed to discuss the options available for wall layout and construction and because of the way the shed itself was made, the options were many.  I’d say we spent about 2/3 of the time discussing and deciding on the wall layout and about 1/3 of the time actually creating the wall.   It was a most satisfying project.

Now it’s time for that drum roll.

Take a look at this masterpiece!  You must click to enlarge to get the full effect.  Can’t you see why I’m so excited?  This truly is becoming the Carlton-Ritz Chicken Palace!!!

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I’m happy to say the blog progress is now current with the Palace progress.    Projects coming up next will be the interior door, nesting boxes, and the chicken pop door and ramp.  After that I still have many things to do including, but not limited to:  windows to put in, roosts and poop board to build, roof vent to install, anti-digging perimeter for predators to construct, roof netting to put in place, feeders and waters to hang….so stay tuned.  Oh, and I think I’ve found my source for chickens for when I get back in mid October.  It’s a guy called, “The ChickenMan” of course and he’s located in Hendersonville.  He and I spoke today and I think he’s going to allow me to pre-order, so my chickens will be waiting for me upon my return.  Yippppeeee!