Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Goings on....Some sad days...

I've had some sad days the last week. Last Thursday I found my lovely Peppers body in the barn. I hadn't seen her the day before when I was down in the barn feeding, which wasnt unusual since she was laying and was good at hiding her nest from me. She didnt like when I took her eggs from her. So I assumed she had hidden her nest again and didnt worry about finding her until I didn't see her again the next day and didnt come when I called for her like she usually did. She was probably alive the day before when I didnt see her and sitting on a nest, her body was fresh, and the signs all point to a coon. I've set traps each night but so far nothing has been caught. Over the years her eggs have gone missing, but she roosts so high and has even escaped the Red Tail Hawk that has visited, the occasional stray cat, skunks and previous coons. The cows, horses, cats and dog have kept predators from the barn. Needless to say I was heartbroken. Being that she was the only bird for so long, and she didnt even know she was a chicken...she bonded with all of us. Came running when she saw us, perched on my shoulder, and nestled in my arms to go to sleep when I'd sit with a sick calf, or just relax to the smells and sounds of the horses eating their hay. Things havent been the same without her running things around the barn...our Barn Manager/Diva will be sorely missed. I've included some pictures of some goings on since I last posted and later today I'll update on King...waiting on a call that will determine my post....

The coop...oh the coop...let me explain...
Now dont think for ONE minute I'm not appreciative when I talk of my chicken "mansion". The gentleman we have building framed homes by trade...over the years something happened to where he cant seem to understand that chickens DONT NEED the luxury of such a well built, air tight, indestructible, human livable building! I mean seriously - when Douglas is old enough to live on his own I'm kicking the chickens out of this 8x12 building, putting in a twin bed, tv microwave, small fridge and window unit air conditioner and that be it! When tornado warnings go off - forget the basement, we are heading to the chicken coop! Its going NO WHERE! Think I'm kidding???? Oh - trust me I'm not! There are no mistakes, no unlevel lines, no air spaces in the frame, it fits together so tightly a piece of paper cant slide between the boards! He cant understand ITS A CHICKEN COOP! They dont care for detail and perfection! What should have been built in a week will take 3....sigh...if only it had been, Pepper would have been able to see her Bed and Breakfast, her Mansion, her Taj Mahal of all Chicken Coops. Its no ones fault of course. He hasnt worked in almost 5 yrs, and I think he is trying to prove to himself that he is still as good as he was before, and he he is really good! I expected much less. (-: I guess if anyone needs to be in the dog house, we'll just say they need to be in the chicken house instead! Its really great and I cant wait to fix it up with little gingham curtains and window flower boxes. Not that chickens care about all that! Norm's done the light switch and ran the electrical cords for me yesterday, and they set the windows and Norm put the roof on yesterday as well. Only to find out that the metal he ordered didnt come complete...wouldnt that figure! It should be here tomorrow, then by Friday it should be done...YAY! I think they are putting the door on today! It is really looking so good, maybe they will get the metal on the sides today too? WOW then it will look finished! It will match the barn! Norm drove the posts for the yard Sunday and I got to help. It was the first time I used the post hold driver on the tractor....very cool, very easy! So here is the coop as it was last night! Day who knows what...but 2 weeks into it.....Best coop in Hardin County as far as I'm concerned! One to be quite proud of! Thanks so much Norm for all the work you have done, patience and time you took out of your work to help get this finished for me to house these silly birds. But look at it this way...they sure will taste yummy and sit good in your belly!!!!!! You ARE the best and waaaaaay too good to me!
My windows were what they thought were put in backwards..however, its NOT a mistake, they open and close from the outside..this is GOOD! That way the screen is on the inside and I will put the hardwire mesh on the inside over the screen to keep critters out and the birds from pecking at the screen.
So thats it for today....will post later today about King...I hope you'll come back...


  1. Sorry about Pepper, I know she was special. It's hard to lose those sweet chickens. Your coop makes mine look shabby! Enjoy it.

  2. Awww, poor Pepper, you are sure going to miss her. I hope the news on King is good.

  3. Sorry to hear about Pepper. Geez, that chicken coop looks nicer than my house!

  4. So sorry about Pepper , it always hurts to loose them.Wow what a chicken coop , they will be coming in from miles away to get a space! Coming back later for the rest of the news .Prayers and hopes

  5. Well Christy - I never imagined the coop would be like it has become, but it also serves another purpose later if I decide to not have chickens in the future for an art studio or private getaway. We are putting linoleum down to wash out easy, used treated lumber so it doesnt rot, and painting the inside with waterproof paint for cleaning thinking of the future here....of course, our builder here got a little carried away! I honestly thought tho I'd just get a framed out 8x12 building that would house birds and feed and that be it! I didnt need fancy! But I'm not complaining! No ones coop is shabby!!!!! Add a flower box! LOL Of course I guess you'd have to put plastic flowers in it! I know my chicks keep running off with zip ties every time I lay them down so they probably will run off with the plastic ones too wont they!? Yeah the coop is nicer than my house too Jean...sad huh? I'm thinking of putting in my own roost with them! Wouldnt I be the talk of the town! They'll call me the crazy chicken lady if they arent already! Everyone is coming over to see all the birds and think I'm nuts for getting why would that be..I cant figure people out! I guess if they come from miles around for a room in the coop it'll save me money from buying any more huh? LOL
    Thanks for the words about Pepper, I sure have missed her every single day...things are NOT the same, and I hope I catch that varmint that got her....I only wish the coop had been done in time.....It will be named after her anyway, after all she was my first love!
    I posted about King tonight....thanks for your prayers, keep lifting him up please! Me too....its been a tough road lately.

  6. Oh man...sorry about Pepper. She was an unusually pretty chicken, too. I love her coloring and patterns. I hope you'll be able to catch the darn varmit, too.

    Wow!, compared to your new chicken house, our chicken house is the ghetto! Ours looks like the chickens themselves tried to build it! lol!

    Seriously, you've got real glass windows in your chicken house?! Wow! Our little cut-out window is covered in mesh and then has a plexi-glass piece taken from an old poster frame, that we remove during the summer.
    See! I told ya...ghetto hen house! lol!

    Congrats on the chicken house, though. Your chickens will love it! My Dad's the same way...always overbuilds. You should have seen the 'fort' he built for my kids years ago....way too fancy, like your chicken house, and my kids wouldn't even use it.
    I would have loved to move in, but it was too high with a skinny ladder and too scary and hard to haul things up there. lol!


  7. Lisa..I'm glad you stopped over...the windows and the Door (which I havent posted pics of yet) are left over from windows that were torn out last summer when we replaced them in Norms moms house. They were sitting outside all year and we were gonna throw them out so they now serve a purpose! We figured why not! Worked out perfect! Norm definitely does things right when he does them, but like I said, the coop will serve a dual purpose, if there comes a time we dont have chickens it will be my private getaway! Or the grandkids play house (when the time comes dont make me a grandma yet! NO i'm not ready for that venture!)


Thanks for visiting the farm! We love comments and hope to hear from you! ~ Rachel, Norm, Kiddos, and all our furry friends!