Coopin’ Pt. II

Coopin’ Part I left us in breathless anticipation of how the chicks were going to do in the big coop away from the little box.

Turns out we moved them not a moment too soon – we had one bold meat bird that flipped out when I took her out of the 8 ft. box and jumped out of the Moving Box onto our kitchen floor; quick reflexes on my part were all that saved her from Sabine (who was just two seconds two slow).

It’s crazy how apparent the differences in personality already are between the meat birds and the layers. The layers are smart, feisty and adorable. The meat birds are slow, pretty dumb and tend to sit down in times of panic.

The door Maple built. With steps for the wee chicks to walk up.

The door Maple built. With steps for the wee chicks to walk up.

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A peeper contemplates the stairs.

A peeper contemplates the stairs.

Sunday morning started out bright and early with Maple building the front door of the chicken coop and the two of us starting out building our fenced in area. The Fashion Show that was Grubby and Grungy came from Saturday – it was hot as anything. Remember this post regarding digging trees out of a burn? Well, we finally used those trees and they worked perfectly.

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First two walls went up super easy. As the soot comes off (slowly, through wear) the incredibly beautiful color of the wood is slowly coming through.

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Maple mugs. He would only let me take his picture in shorts and Xtratufs if he was sitting down for it.

Maple mugs. He would only let me take his picture in shorts and Xtratufs if he was sitting down for it.

We then readied the coops for the chicks; setting them up with a feeder and waterer (again from the incredibly generous Dan and Kristen) and moved all 43 peepers down.

The waterer. Maple built them stairs.

The waterer. Maple built them stairs.

Feeder hangs.

Feeder hangs.

Monday was spent finishing up the fence by bracing our walls with three trees on top and covering the coop in chicken wire and netting. Let me just say this now: chicken wire is wretched and I have so much respect for those who deal with this wire on a daily basis.

Bracing the top.

Bracing the top.

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Surveying,

Surveying,

Building the door (also out of burned poles).

Building the door (also out of burned poles).

944210_794019791452_1902870787_nOnce all our framing was in we started wiring. Not many photos were taken of the curse-filled, sweat-soaked, mosquito-sucked four hours that was putting up the chicken wire but the end result was pretty frickin’ classy-lookin’.

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Maple made sure a burl was by the handle. Reason #6,784 why I adore him.

Maple made sure a burl was by the handle. Reason #6,784 why I adore him.

Cut out all the edges...

Cut out all the edges…

Once the wire was up the netting was quickly put on. We had exactly enough to fit which felt great.

And then the coop was done. The peepers were in. Maple hung a heat lamp and (the next day) hooked up an electric fence (another gift from Dan and Kristen) so that our peepers would be safe and sound. All three dogs have now figured out that the fence is electrified but only one (Sabine) will probably have to re-learn that fact a few times.

tumblr_mnkku04eHz1qjz7vpo1_500How happy are the peepers? Beyond happy. Though initially hesitant they’re now running, flapping, nesting, pecking, scratching and just generally having a grand ol’ time in the dirt. Maple and I have happily settled into the role of the people with chickens who get up and take our coffee out to watch the chickens at 7 AM. As of today we still have 43 fat, happy chicks. In the next few weeks here we’re going to start building the Winter coop and then eventually (in July) connect the two coops into one long run. That’s a lot of chicken wire. Good thing these little peepers are so very worth it.

tumblr_mnlfoznJSL1qjz7vpo1_500Cheers and Love,

Maple and Me

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