We got our fence stuff! Eight rolls of 4′ welded wire fence and 50 t-posts.
We set up the coop mobile again — I got one of the PoultryNet fences from PremierOne — I spent a lot of time debating the “Plus” version of the fence before realizing that you could buy a whole lot of the FiberTuff posts for less than the additional price for the plus fence. And the FiberTuff posts work a lot better. Since the fence was working well, we decided to move the coop over to the pasture (and not herd the poultry across the yard twice a day!!!).
The “wheels” were made using two 4×4’s with sections of 5/8″ threaded rod that were inserted into old propane tube. This was attached to the 4×4 & wheels from one of our yard carts were attached. We were then able to push the coop across the yard.
Chicken Birthday cakeCourse: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
1 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2 cups wet grated zucchini
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Melt coconut oil, mix in eggs.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flours, cinnamon, baking soda, and cream of tartar
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
- Mix in zucchini.
- Add batter to muffin tins for chickens. Then mix sugar into remaining batter.
- Mix together the topping ingredients (sugar, cinnamon, cream of tartar). Partially fill remaining muffin tins. Sprinkle n topping, then fill the rest of the way and sprinkle topping again.
- Bake for 40-60 minutes until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove from muffin tins and allow to cool.
Our first chickens turned one year old on Tuesday, so I came up with a recipe for a “chicken birthday cake” that would be healthy(ish) for chickens and tasty for us. Leaving the sugar out of the batter worked well — the chickens got whole wheat, coconut oil, cinnamon, and zucchini. We got cake — and the topping mixture gave the muffins a crispy and crunchy top. Would totally make this again.
Well … we had one day of Astra fostering the new broilers. They’re older baby guys (which is why they were super cheap) … and I think they got used to doing their own thing. And didn’t want to get back into the nesting box when she told them to. The OG baby guy totally comes when called, but these guys? Not so much. And Astra freaked out. Anya saved one of the Cornish babies while Scott and I were working on some trees — she got Astra out of the coop and tended to the little guy’s wounded head. It was bad — scalped. She tried putting Astra in the tractor with the other birds, but Astra was pretty set on getting back to baby guy. And freaked out the turkeys, who attacked her. So now Astra has the feathers pulled from the back of her head just like the Cornish she attacked.
Anya got Astra into the baby tractor, got the turkeys calmed down, and introduced the Cornish to the ducks (who, thankfully, didn’t go after the wound). Baby guy made its way out of the coop and over to Astra in the baby tractor. So they were happy, pecking around at food and grit. The Cornish were safe in the coop. And everyone else was in the big tractor. That was sorted enough that we could finish splitting the wood and getting it stacked.
Near sunset, we had to get all of the Cornish into the brooder so Astra and baby guy could go into the coop. We put a board in front of their nesting box to keep the turkeys from going after her wounded head.
What a week! The Rhode Island being snatched up by a dog kicked off a week of losses here — one of our egg layers, Tilly, died on Monday. She was one of our smaller, cuddlier chickens. One of our hives has no bees. And today another egg layer, Soaring Eagle, disappeared. Hopefully she’s out in the woods somewhere and will be by the coop in the morning. Or she made a nest out in the woods. She’s a Jersey Giant, but our smallest chicken. Instead of growing, she put her energy into being a magic chicken. And she was out very cuddliest chicken. Fingers crossed for her …
Yesterday, one of our Rhode Island Red’s got taken by a dog. I was walking the chickens from their coop into their tractor. Like normal, most of them cannot find the door and walk a loop around the tractor looking for a way in. I get the food sprinkled around the grass and fill up the water bowls while they work out how exactly to get themselves into the thing. I saw a light brown animal out of the corner of my eye behind our large oak tree. My instant thought was “bugger, a baby deer … we’re about to get run over by an upset mommy deer!” — and then this dog streaked over. It didn’t hesitate even when I yelled, it nabbed a chicken, and then it took off into our woods. Now I’ll have to wake Anya up so we have two people herding chickens into the tractor!
One of our chickens, Astra, has become broody. We had been getting her out of the nest once a day to eat/drink/defecate and collecting the eggs. But it’s getting on in the year, and we wanted to raise more broilers. We decided to take this opportunity to hatch some new chickens — not all 100% American Bresse, but still chickens. It seems like the chickens have a really cool agreement that she’s in charge of incubating eggs. She sits on the nest all day, but seemingly gets up and allows other chickens to lay eggs that she’ll keep safe.
Anya counted 12 eggs under Astra — 2 from Sunshine (Buff Orpington), 4 from Queenington (Green Queen), and 6 from the Bresse. She’s got each egg marked so we can collect any newly laid eggs … and we should have new chicks in about 21 days — around August 3rd. We’re bringing her food and water a few times a day, so (hopefully) she’ll stay healthy over the next couple of weeks.
It strikes me, every time I talk to someone from the auditor’s office or the building department, that county officials must talk to a lot of people after-the-fact … like they built a shed, someone noticed it, and now they’re going through the permitting process for that shed. Because they always seem surprised that I’m in the planning stages of a project and am ringing them up to make sure I’m doing all the right things in the right order.
My note-to-self for the day — while the Medina County Building Department does permit fences over 6′, they do not require anything for agricultural buildings and fences. If you’ve got an agricultural exemption from the Township for a building, they’ll happily agree that the fence around / next to that building is for agricultural use as well. (For non-agricultural fences, you fill out the residential building form and specify the perimeter of the fence for the sq ft area and not the square footage enclosed by the fence).
Thus, I’ve concluded that the steps to build a bigger chicken coop and a pasture are:
- Submit the agricultural exemption form to the township
- Once it is approved, e-mail a copy to the Medina County Building Department for their records (so when someone rings them up about some construction that doesn’t look like it should be there, the don’t have to waste a day driving out to look at a chicken coop)
- Build it
Our coop and greenhouse shouldn’t need a permit from the county because the size is under 200 sq ft.