Back in March mom began a new spring project. It didn’t affect me much until just recently when I met these aliens. These creatures mom calls “CHI-CKENS.”
Apparently, these chickens are so dangerous they have to live out of the house and in a big pen…one of them even has been working on his battle cry.
Mom began in March with New Additions to The Green Horseman’s Clan. There are six of them; back in March they were not so bad and all fit in one hand. The yellow peeps are Columbian Rock Cross, and the brown ones are Partridge Rock. Mom was told that both breeds are docile, cold hardy, and high producers of eggs. I’m still in disbelieve the humans and Bardi eat butt nuggets; good thing horses don’t lay eggs.
The chicks grew fast over the next few weeks so mom and Zac both had to figure out what to do with them. That’s when a big truck showed up and left some building supplies by the garage. Within days Zac and mom were building some miniature barn they designed all on their own.
Mom and Zac planned on buying a “coop” but soon learned that the commercial ones were simply too small for 6 hens (the manufacturers lie) and this farm is all about happy animals….horses, dogs, cats, and even “chi-ckens.”
The design of the “coop” looks a little like our big shed and mom designed it for minimal cutting. A full 4ftx8ft sheet of wood covers each length and a half sheet make the sides. My people used leftover metal roofing from building my barn, and they found extra scrap wood here and there for the extra parts. They lifted the whole barn/coop off the ground and attached a wire metal cage to the end. Everything about the structure is caged, even the windows. What did these convicts do?
On the high end of the roof mom and Zac added a last minute fix to address the rain entering the coop’s prison window. The new addition can adjust from an open position to a cracked open position. Mom says the window is for ventilation but can be closed to just a crack to help hold heat in better during the winter.
Inside the “coop” mom and Zac laid down vinyl flooring…cheap and ugly but I guess their plan is to keep the floor easy to clean. They also added a 2×4 along the bottom to contain a deep bed of pine shavings. The 2×4 tucks in between some brackets and when it’s time to clean the coop out mom can remove the board and sweep out the bedding.
Along the top of the coop is a piece of wood called a “roost” and a smaller boxlike one at the end. The chickens like to sleep high up and they perch on this roost.
Nine weeks after mom got the babies they had the coop completely finished and they moved the inmates outside. Surprisingly they aren’t so bad. The boys and I get turned out to eat grass near the coop so we finally met through the wire barrier. They certainly didn’t seem vicious so I don’t really get the “maximum security” concept. They even have a motion activated solar light for their play yard.
The chickens have lived outside for a few weeks now and they are growing on me. They keep to themselves for the most part. They are still growing a lot, too. There is one brown one that mom calls Jack. He has been learning to crow and almost has it perfected by now. He crows in the morning but also crows in the mid-afternoon. At dusk all of the chickens disappear and put themselves to bed in the coop.
Mom says they aren’t even finished. The chickens are going to start laying eggs at the end of the month and the need “nesting boxes” to provide a quiet dark place to lay them. The boxes are going to be added to the end of the coop so mom can check in regularly.
As for the boys and me…we are all happy amigos. Mom has been taking us all out to ride between all of her work duties. We take turns getting some exercise and it’s always something different. We actually rather enjoy our 1:1 time with mom; she makes it interesting and always rewards us after.
The rain here hasn’t been very great so we spend most of our time on the hill. The grass isn’t growing very fast in the paddocks and mom says she wants to rotate them to give more time for the grass to grow. On dry sunny days we get some daytime hours in the paddocks to graze.
We also enjoy some time in the backyard occasionally. The grass is growing better out there and mom does her best to let us get some before Zac mows it.
As always life is beautiful at The Green Horseman farm. We eat, play, and enjoy our peace.
Mom has a lot of updates to share with you in the next few weeks so I hope you’ll stay tuned for those.