Monday, April 21, 2008

We Have Chickens

We have a new flock and indeed have just set up our new chicken condo. It was supposed to be a chicken tractor. For those of you that have never heard of such a thing, a chicken tractor is actually a portable chicken pen-- part coop, part run and movable. You're supposed to be able to move a chicken tractor around the yard so that the chickens eat the bugs in the garden/lawn and leave precious "nutrients" behind. Here's our new chicken tractor:

How much do you think eight 2 x 4s weigh? Apparently they weigh more than I can lift, drag, or move without motorized assistance. I guess that's where the tractor part would come in. Rick, Collin and I built the tractor in an afternoon. We'd pre-painted most of the wood and had the plan down, so it was just a matter of sawing, nailing, screwing and stapling. We finished all but one panel of wiring when we decided to move it. Man is it heavy! Our tractor (really just a riding lawn mower) won't start--the battery needs charging and that fix is a day away at least, so we had to move it more creatively. Rick lifted one end and we put it on our garden card (heavy duty utility cart). He took the non-carted end and I took the cart end and we managed to get it to the bed by the driveway. After some repositioning -- Rick lifted and rotated the thing, to my amazement he's still able to stand straight--we got it settled.

The chickens are in and we think quite taken with their new home. They still haven't quite figured out the whole ramp to safety thing, but they've been inside the nesting box and come out, so we're thinking they'll catch on soon. So what do we have this time? Spice chickens again, well almost. We have: Saffron, Honey, Cinammon, Nutmeg, Yoda and Sugar (or Old Salty if she turns rooster on us). Yes, Yoda (a.k.a. Yomogi, Japanese Mugwort) because Collin said "she" could have a Star Wars name and a spice name.

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