Chicken House Show-Off


I heard my neighbor Jim built a new chicken house, so I had to go for a four-wheeler ride to take a look-see this weekend.
Here it is on the backside, from afar. Zoom in, and even from the back, you can tell it’s some kind of awesome.
It’s a double chicken house.
Two completely separate houses and yards all in one structure.
Let’s look around!
Each side has a ramp, covered with shingles to protect the wood, and a door that slides up and down on a pulley. The ramp opens to a good-sized yard, also separated for each side, completely covered in chicken wire.
“People” doors to the yards will be located at the back. For now, there’s just a piece of metal covering the side that’s finished, temporarily, until the permanent doors are put in. Notice there’s metal between the two yards, also. These chickens are so separated, they can’t even LOOK at each other!
The side that is completed has a mix of chickens old enough to be out and about in the yard.
There are nesting boxes and roosts.
There are little chicks on the other side, not ready for the yard yet.
These are Australorp chicks. The reason behind the two-in-one chicken house is to keep purebred chickens separated from the mixed chickens. He plans to hatch chicks to sell.
For the whole kit-n-caboodle, he told me it cost him about $1000 in materials. He studied a lot of chicken house plans and made up his own based on a combination of ideas. The doors are cedar, by the way, and he got them for $10 at a salvage store.

It is, without a doubt, one of the nicest chicken houses I’ve ever seen. Talk about lucky chickens!

I’ll have to keep my chickens off the internet today. I don’t want them hearing about it!

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Let There Be Ducks!


Look what I picked up at the little store in town yesterday! Ducklings! I got six white Pekins and six Khaki Campbells.
It’s been a long time since I tried ducks. I love ducks, but at Stringtown Rising Farm, they kept running off to the river. Over and over. Here, there’s no river nearby for them to run off to, but plenty of creeks winding all around the farm, so I’m hoping they will be content to stay home.

Khaki Campbell duckling, center, beak showing to the camera.
Pekin duckling.
For now, I’ve got them in the tub with the straight run chicks I got last week. It’s a bit crowded.
Later today, I’ll be moving them to a bigger tub, and probably putting that in the cellar. I can keep the heater on in there to keep them warm and get the mess out of the house.
My house looks like spring, doesn’t it? Seedlings and plants and chicks and ducks!
Precious is excited!

I’ve got some tomato plants that I bought, to get started on some earlier tomatoes, along with herbs–sage, chives, rosemary, basil, parsley, and some lavender.
I’ve got more tomatoes and some peppers that I’m trying to get germinated for planting later, back in the studio garden. The weather isn’t cooperating, for chicks and ducklings or plants either. It’s supposed to get down to around the frost point tonight, so no putting plants out today. Are you planting where you are? If so, I’m jealous!

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

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