Done.

DSC02609The coop is done. Not perfect, but awfully cute, actually, and it will be fine. Once we could get going on it, I think it took us probably three days to build, all told. It still needs the metal roofing, and I bought some dark stain for the outside, but it can’t be applied until it is over 40 degrees outside, which it definitely isn’t, so that’ll have to come later. The important bits, like the doors and the windows, are on, and Frank even trimmed them inside, to keep down on the drafts.

DSC02610 DSC02614 We decided to put the perches all on one end, and the nesting boxes on the other. We tried to put the boxes where they would have the least amount of sunlight, which is tricky with all the windows. Maybe when we have time, we can make it where we can access them from outside the coop. On the other hand, if I treat these chickens anything like I treat the rest of the critters on this farm, I won’t mind going in to check on everyone everyday. I bet I enjoy it, actually.

DSC02593 DSC02596 Princess so wanted to come outside today, but would really like the snow to go away, thank you. It was fairly warm, if you stayed in the sunshine, and I let her run around in the hoop house for a while, which she really enjoyed. She tries to be a barn kitty! She is so clingly these day that I keep thinking we should get her a buddy, but we have enough on our plate right now that it’s just going to have to wait.

DSC02600 The fleece on the sheep is pretty amazing. They weren’t shorn in the fall, and on many of them, it is so long that it is almost touching the ground. It’s also really thick. I walked around giving scratches and pets today, and got my hands deep down to see if it was felting, and except for right around the neck lines on a few of them, it’s great stuff.

DSC02591 DSC02607 I’ve been spinning up the roving of the Spring 2005 crop that I had processed at Morningstar Fiber. It spins up like butter. I am just loving it. That year, they were all shorn the previous fall before we owned them, so it is hard for me to imagine what a spinning up a fall shearing fleece will be like. I still have many of the fleeces from Spring 2006 to process, and they weren’t shorn in the fall, so I’m wondering what those are like. All I want to do all day is spin, but I think that’s partly because I know that it is soon going to be so busy that I won’t have time to do it. It was one of my major goals of the winter to learn to spin my fiber, and it’s going really well. It is so much fun.

We haven’t yet figured out if it is profitable to have it processed by a mill or to do it ourselves, but for now, I’m just learning. Sometimes when I contemplate how much I still have to learn, my brain hurts. We have chickens coming, which will be new to both of us. We have a sheepdog coming, but at least I’ve owned a dog before, even if it was over ten years ago. Cheesemaking classes start in April. Then the bees come, which we mostly know about. Then the pigs, which will be all new. Gulp. Okay, let’s think of something else now, shall we? See why my brain hurts?

trip So, our crazy trip route just makes me laugh. Why would we do this in the middle of winter? We are going up through Canada, to Green Bay, then down through Illinois to pick up the chickens, and back again. Goofballs. I have lectured all the critters about being good for Kevin, who will be in charge and who watch over them and this place. No. Getting. Out. Seriously, I mean it!

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3 Comments

  1. Posted March 2, 2007 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Nice coop! The chickens should be very happy. We built our nestboxes so that the open side is facing the wall (about 8 inches away from it), and the front side is the door that drops down for egg collection. We built it as a unit with 4 compartments. That way the boxes stay nice and dark, even though they are directly across from the windows.

    The sheep look great, and so does your yarn!

  2. Frank
    Posted March 3, 2007 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    That is a clever way to do it. Ours aren’t actually that dark. My only concern would be cleaning behind them. How much trouble is that? Or are they removable for cleaning?

  3. Posted March 4, 2007 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Honestly, I had to come home and check out the photos of your sheep after our conversation about sheep at St. Brendans! Yay sheep! And your coop – very nice! It was great meeting you on Saturday!!! Spinning is my secret dream – we need to talk!

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