“We” are making great progress on the coop! According to my Dad, we are 1 week ahead of schedule!
Here’s my Dad building the courtyard door:
And here’s the nesting box framed in:
We followed Willow Creek Farm’s idea of opening it from the side instead of the top, to make it less heavy and easier for the kids to gather eggs:
Here it is with it’s roof base and latches on:
We’re going to use composite roofing material on top instead of metal panels, (also like Willow Creek Farm) since my Dad has leftover roofing materials from building his house. And we’re using 3 latches, 2 that turn on the sides, and a simple one in the middle where we can attach a raccoon-proof clip or lock. Jonah wants a combination lock, but I think that’s over-doing it just a bit. The raccoons around here are clever, but I don’t think they know their numbers.
And after much deliberation about how to divide up the box, we decided to experiment by making one bigger section, the size Gloria’s is now, since that’s what she’s used to, and one smaller cozier section, and we’ll see which they prefer. We can always move the divider later if we want.
Also, in these photos, you can see the window has been framed in, with hardware cloth, and we’re planning to repurpose an old window from our basement remodel on the outside that we’ll keep propped open in warmer weather and closed when it gets cold and/or rainy.
Additionally in these photos, you may have noticed that the girls are “slightly” excited about moving in, and still taking their supervisory roles quite seriously.
Gloria is also supervising, but still keeping her distance… or more accurately, the little girls are keeping their distance from her (What’s that look like now? Are we possibly down to 3 feet? No, probably still 4 with the elevation factor):
They really love to roost on their floor beams, but the rest of us are much more excited about their future roosts: natural maple branches just installed today! Aren’t they gorgeous?
They are wary of them, but they have been eyeing them quite a bit, so we’re guessing that once the floor boards get installed, it won’t take them long to hop up there and try them out. You can see in the background that their coop/ramp door has been framed in as well.
And, saving the best for last… our beautiful coop and courtyard doors:
I love the black hardware my Dad picked out. I think it’s very classy, and it will match the black roofs. We’re going to use extra clips on these latches as well, to foil racoons. And the coop window has a slot to slide in a piece of wood when it gets cold. The overlapping cedar siding on the coop door is the same as what’s going around the coop walls. We are not staining it, so eventually it will turn grey (like the fence behind it) but I think this will look nice in contrast with the stained trim and framing.
In other exciting news, Frances is out of her dress! She is still getting tail feathers plucked occasionally by Alberta, but it doesn’t seem as regular or bloody, and her new, sturdier feathers have grown out enough to provide as much coverage as she’s going to get:
Tail feather envy. So unfair:
But, I think she looks very sweet from the front:
And Alberta in action, always gorgeous of course:
Another girl joins the roosting party:
Never seen green chicken feet before?
Mae recently decided to take over one of her Grandpa’s work benches to start her own restaurant.
Her dishes are very creative. Who knew that sawdust could be so delicious?