Helpless to the Siren Call

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!

this one will sit atop the other one

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.

just look at the run-waiting-to-happen! could you resist that space?

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?

good thing I have help

9 thoughts on “Helpless to the Siren Call

  1. Yay for chickens! Your little people will love them too.
    Being from Australia, the idea of possums being a menace to chickens is…well, it’s somewhat ridiculous. Ours are cute. Sure they bite if you get too close but the only thing on an urban homestead they are a menace to is the vegetable garden. Oh, and rosebuds. Apparently they love to eat them.

  2. Good one. I like your approach. Perfect side yard for the run (I get concerned about those chicken condos I see) and grown up girls ready to “put out” as it were make great sense to me. I get little excitement about baby chicks unlike the rest of the freak’n chicken lov’n world. Give me a girl ready to go and I’m there.

    Not having to shield them from the weather is a great plus too. Finding the stuff to make the stuff is your kind of omen, I guess. All I know is that if I ever make there I’m expecting an omelet.

    Love your helper.

  3. Awesome crate find, how could you not go with the flow and the universe on this one. Definitely more cost effective for the short term to just get the layers straight up.
    But wowser! What kind of possum do you have there? Do you mean they eat the hen food or the hens???
    This move has been good for you and the area is great for the chickens.

  4. Now you’re just plain tempting me!! No, we are waiting til Spring, we are. Just don’t go showing us cute photos of your new chickens, and don’t come up with cute names for them, and then pile on the delish recipes for an abundance of eggs!! (Please do!)

  5. No fair I was trying to resist the urge to get chickens myself and now I want the all over again. I also want goats three to be exact but our location won’t allow for them. I don’t think our neighbors would like them either. Oh and an apple orchard too! A big one in the back corner of our yard. Oh dear.

  6. Congratulations! I agree–the Universe was practically hammering you in the head. :) I know what you mean about possums. We have the same problem here in California. Possums, racoons (with their tricky hands that can open latches) and even rats can be a problem. I don’t think the rats would bother the chickens, just the eggs. Someone even told me to watch out for snakes! Yikes! I’ve never seen a snake in my backyard in 23 years–and I don’t want to start now! We do have rattler’s in this part of the country, just not usually in our neighborhood. More up in the hills. Eeek.

    Smart move to go with the grown hens, all ready to provide. Yum. I’m jealous!

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