Chickens can be very contrary creatures. A while back, Steve realized that he had reached the point where he needed more nesting boxes in the coop. The idea here is that the chickens will lay the eggs in the nesting boxes and not all over the coop (and farm if we’re unlucky). So, we’re discussing ideas, and I happen to see a blue bin that we’ve not used in a while. You know the ones. You likely have at least one of them storing your Christmas decorations in the off season. The big inexpensive ones you can purchase at most department stores, and I suggest that he use that. You have to understand that we are building up at this point. The nesting boxes are actually in the back room of the coop, and the chickens have access through the interior wall. Steve built the first set from scrap lumber, but we are fresh out of scrap lumber. So, we used other scrap material for this set. The dog-food container that started life in the woodshed across the creek and tempted the racoons (details can be found here – scroll down to about the 6th photo on the right) is one. An old cooler that is really not fit to be called a cooler any longer is another, and that blue bin makes 2 more. So we now have a total of 7 nest boxes in the coop. You’d think the chickens would want to check out their new digs, but, chickens are rather contrary creatures that really do not like change. They first ignored the new boxes, and layed their eggs on the floor of the coop when they couldn’t get into a box. Then, they apparently decided to check them out, but they were unhappy with the fact that they were intended to house eggs and tossed out the plastic egg that is supposed to show them what to do there. For a while, they were making nests and teasing us, but not laying. Apparently the “new” boxes have now been in place long enough to be accepted. Sarah found eggs in all of them last week. It only took about two months. Chickens really really hate change. We do, however, still have one holdout. I found 4 eggs in the woodshed this morning. I guess she is not a fan of recycling. The cure for this is to lock the chickens in the coop for a few days so they get used to laying where they should, but I really don’t like to do that. I miss my bug control. Maybe it’s just as easy to go check the woodshed every day….
Month: April 2010
Apple Tree completed
The hole wasn’t big enough. I knew that when we were trying to get the tree and root ball out of the garden at Ruby’s (Annmarie’s Grandmother) house. I took my nephews. We tried to move the root ball and tree out of the hole. It was three feet in diameter and so heavy it was all we could do to get the tarp wrapped around it. 6 tries later, and five stops because it was too, heavy and five more to dump out the dirt that keeps breaking loose, we dug an angle into the side of the hole to get the root ball out of the hole. Three more attempts to get the root ball into the back of the pickup (three foot dead lift), no success (did dump two more piles of dirt out of the tarp). The root ball is significantly smaller now than when we started! Almost 50% smaller now, much easier to work with, the neighbor was watching and I went to use a ladder as a slide to get into the back of the pickup and he loaned me a 8 foot 12 inch board, so we could slide it up into the pickup. We then filled in the hole and moved the three new planters around in the garden before leaving Grandmas. Of course, the hole needed to be bigger. I in my esteem wisdom, I had decided that the tree needed to go right were the old paper birch had died. I had to chop out the roots nonstop to get the hole dug. We got the tree in the ground.
In the theme that nothing is ever easy or works right the first time, the hole was too deep. So we had to lift the tree and throw more dirt in the hole. Now if only the tree will survive its harrowing brush with death. I put lots of water on the tree and it is right next to the water spigot. Hopefully, I can keep it alive. Took me over 5 hours to dig everything and complete the endeavor. My arms and back ache from all the digging. But, I had promised Ruby I would get the tree out and I don’t say no to her, so the tree is gone. So here is the completed version of our new front lawn ornament…
I am really going to get back to the stairs tomorrow.
Fun with apple trees
Now, after 16 years of marriage, I know we don’t necessarily have to discuss every tiny little thing, but it was a bit disconcecting to arrive home and see the following scene in the front yard. Upon closer inspection, I see that yes, yes that is hole in the yard. No, it’s not a big hole, but it is a deep hole.
The staircase itself was equally dark and narrow, and the room that we think was originally an upstairs parlor extended out over the base of the stairs, creating a pinch point that made it impossible to get a queen-sized box spring up the stairs. Our box spring went in by way of being lifted up the front of the house and into breeze porch via the openings that no longer had screens on them. I’m sure you can see the eventual issues now that we’ve put windows in place on the breeze porch.