This Week on the Homestead. 01/19/20 – 01/25/20

This week I happened to go to a really nice Ace Hardware in Tucson. It felt a lot like an old fashioned hardware store. When I walked inside, I could hear the chirping of baby chicks. I spent quite a bit of time looking at them and admiring them. Seeing them really got me wanting to get my coop up and running.

baby chicks
These are some of the chicks I saw this week.

I had already started to draw out my plan for the coop last week. I finished up my ideas so I could start to buy the wood. I bought enough pieces on Friday to show the outline of the coop area.

This is where the coop will be. Picture taken this morning before starting work.
The outline of the coop. The whole area will be around 16 ft by 8 ft.

This morning my plan was to work on trenching that outlined area. I am planning on putting hardware cloth about 6 inches into the ground. We have predatory animals in the area, and I need to make it as hard as possible to get to our chickens. We will also be putting rocks into the trench when we fill it in. Anything to discourage eating my birds.

I believe these are coyote prints. I took that picture about 10 feet from where the coop will be. There were prints all over the area.

Thankfully, it rained earlier this week. The ground was very soft rather than hard as cement. My two oldest and I were able to get the trench dug much faster than I expected.

While we were digging, I sent the 3rd and 4th oldest to collect rocks. We have rocks everywhere in Arizona, so that was quite easy to do. Once the digging was done we all picked up rocks together.

Since we had finished today’s task so early I decided to run to the store and buy some of the wood. While I was out the chicken wire I ordered came to the house. So we were able to do quite a bit of building this afternoon.

We even had the younger two “help” us build for awhile. The two year old was really interested in digging with a full sized shovel.

We went from that blank patch of dirt to being about halfway done with the coop today.

I am looking forward to having chickens again. We were sad when we had to leave ours behind when we moved out of California. They add a lot to the homestead. We love the eggs of course, but they give so much more. They are good for the kids, because they have to learn to take care of something that is totally dependent on them. We also use the chicken’s old bedding and poop in the compost pile to make fertilizer for plants. They are very useful birds.

To end the day we had dessert made entirely homemade. I made Sweet Cream ice cream, while Lynn made brownies and magic shell. I am definitely full and content after today.

-Joshua

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