Life in the Slow Lane: Finished Coop

I'm getting to this post late today because I wanted to finish the last bits on the coop so I could take a proper picture. And I did, both finish the coop and take a picture. The wooden structure is now wrapped in hardware cloth and chicken wire. There are a pair of wheels at the back of the coop although I haven't yet strung the rope handle at the front that allows me to move it. A technicality. It's well and truly done.

The new power stapler turned out to be a joy. Of course I couldn't get it to work at first. Luckily for me, my neighbor's brother Joe was setting up his trailer near my barn (they were having a weekend party), so I recruited his help. He did what I hadn't, and jiggled all the bits and buttons. Lo and behold, it went from doing nothing to working! I'll remember that next time...fiddle purposefully with the buttons and the tool takes notice.

While I used all the tools the book suggested at least once, I didn't come close to getting comfortable with any of them. Although, you could say I now feel I have a good working relationship with them. The pipe bender had me scratching my head. I swear I lined all the marks up correctly, but the peak of the roof is still off. Ah well, the chickens aren't likely to notice. What's important is that all the corners are square and the stuff that needs to be in one piece, still is. The wood for the door was a little warped so I'll be installing another lock to make sure it stays shut. All in all, this turned out to be a great first project and I'm very glad I gave it a try. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'll be making more of these coops in the future.

For the moment, I'm celebrating just like Suscovich's book suggests you do after finishing the coop. Part of my celebration is trying to decide if I buy thirty Cornish Cross or Freedom Ranger chicks or instead install roosts so I can use this as a nightly coop for my laying hens. I can't tell you how dearly I'd love to never again clean their coop.

Then again, this means I won't have manure-laden straw to pack under my fruit trees come Autumn. A conundrum for sure.

Before I close out this week's post I'm going to celebrate the arrival of spring with a picture of my roses--both the flowers and Tiny's little girl Rosie. Rosie has been taking careful note of how I scratch her mother's ears and neck. Starting about a week ago, she began to greet me along with her mother and her aunt. Each day she's gotten a little closer until about four days ago when she offered me her ears to pet.

Since then, she's been joining Tiny and Mari at the fence. While the mothers get their daily handful of seeds and grain, Rosie waits patiently for her head scratch. In this picture she's squeezing between her mother and her aunt while Milly, behind her, is wondering why she's risking life and limb by getting close to the big scary human.

As for the flowers, my roses along the road are putting on a glorious show. I pick a fresh bouquet every day and have more than once lingered on the bench under the willow tree. That's quite a heady experience, what with the air heavy with their perfume. Yep, this week life has been good on the Farm on Oak Creek.

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