I really had definitely decided not to get chickens. Really.
But…. out for a walk on mother’s day I found three big, solid wood crates on the side of the road. I felt almost annoyed at the universe, who had the week before directed me toward a large sized dog kennel (read chicken transporter) by a dumpster. Can’t you lay off about the chickens? I’m doing my best here to exersize self control, but you’re really not helping!
The crates really threw me. These two were even stacked provocatively into a coop shape. I walked home sighing big sighs. I have just put much too much thought into the silly question of whether or not to get chickens. I can’t seem to lead myself away from it, I keep reconsidering. Once the idea was planted, it was really just a matter of time until I caved.
So, I hauled those MFs home. Then I drove to the nearby new house going up (there’s always at least one around here) and scrounged out of the enormous pile of incredibly good lumber “scraps.” Yesterday I made it real to the pocketbook, and therefore really real, and went to Lowes. $100 egg deposit.
I started stapling the hardware cloth on last night, and put a piece of plywood on top for a roof. This is my favorite kind of building, it doesn’t have to look good, or even be good. It only has to last a year. Just get that shit done. Oh the joy of stapling! So satisfying!
Unlike my Alaska coop, this one doesn’t have to keep the chickie-poos warm at 5 degrees. And they will doubtlessly spend all their waking hours outside in the spacious run, so it doesn’t have to be big. What it does have to do is protect them from night predators, namely possums.
I did find plenty of plywood, but air flow seemed a better idea in this climate, so I’m planning to use the mesh for all the walls. ie: no part of the coop (other than the laying box) will be enclosed with plywood. I hope I don’t regret that.
One thing I didn’t mention in that last post, because I was trying to talk myself out of the idea, was that there is a place a short drive from here selling laying hens. About one year old, in the prime of their laying life, for $15. So, I will not be doing the whole chick raising business (I know lots of people enjoy that part, but I thought it was a pain in my ass). Since I’m only getting 4 hens, and I’ve already come to terms with the fact that this is not a money saving venture, I think it’s worth it. And then I will be getting eggs– BING, BAM, BOOM!
This morning I found an ad on craigslist for laying hens for only $10, and less of a drive. I’ll call when it gets to be a reasonable hour.
Perhaps the universe was looking out for me. If I’d decided earlier to get chickens, before I found those crates, it would have been a hell of a lot more work. And in light of the new craigslist ad, I might be about to save $20 by waiting a few more days…
Now, off to do more stapling! Did I mention that it’s fun for the first 400 staples, then becomes a total drag?