Well, Friday was a busy day in this house!
Daddy stayed home from work in order to build a chicken coop in preparation for our two hens. He looked up some simple designs, complicated them, and then got started with a trip to Bunnings on Thursday night (his birthday no less!).
Then Friday (the day his work gave him off to celebrate his birthday…it’s company policy not to work on your birthday :)), he got down into the garage nice and early…(well 10:30 anyway) and got to work!
As you can see, space is at a premium in the garage. He worked until school pick up time and was going along beautifully.
Then Mummy got very excited and impatient and decided that we should go to the shop and get the hens on Friday afternoon. The coop seemed to be almost ready and I thought it wouldn’t take too much longer to finish it off once we got back. Yes… I know! I really ought to have waited until Saturday like we had planned!
So off we went in the afternoon traffic with a very excited six year old in the back to choose two hens.
We were quite quick in the choosing, and got some food and some hay to keep them happy and alive. Home we drove with the birds in a box and safely supported on one very happy boy’s lap in the back seat!
Daddy continued work on the coop when we got home. The hens wandered around the yard a little bit and became acquainted with being picked up and held. Stroked, and introduced to the giant white puppy and the less than impressed black cat.
Night started to fall… the coop was still not done. Oh dear. Hens need to roost when the sun starts going down. The girls started clucking around on our balcony, trying to get into our house! In the end, they found a spot on a tarp on our balcony. It wasn’t warm, it wasn’t comfortable, but it had to suffice for the time being!
The picture below is terribly dark, and you may not be able to tell what’s going on, but what I came out to find was one little boy, acting as a roost for one of the hens, which had walked up his arm and was perched on his shoulder!
Naturally, he thought this was great! In fact that caused him to swap which bird was ‘his’ and which was ‘mine’. Previously, the lighter coloured one had been his bird “Henny” and the darker one had been mine “Penny”. He insisted that we swap birds and swap names too as he liked Henny better!
The coop was not complete until about 10pm that night, poor Daddy down in the cold garage with a cold coming on, slaving away so some hens would have a warm bed. What a good Daddy he is 🙂
And now, here is the completed coop.
A masterpiece of chickeny architecture!
And, finally….meet the girls!
The dark one is Henny and the lighter one is Penny. Henny is about 16 weeks old and Penny about 13 weeks. They won’t start giving us eggs until they are 22 weeks old, so they have some time to settle in and get used to their new home. So far, they are excellent at pooping everywhere, so that’s something to watch out for. The giant white puppy gets on with them very well, and if he comes too close for their comfort, they simply peck at him and he goes away, or thinks they want to play.
They are rather singularly obsessed with trying to sneak into the house, so I need to keep the screen door closed when they are free ranging. Hopefully they’ll start working on the grass and weeds soon, but for now they seem to spend a lot of time sleeping in their roost!
They are getting very good at being held and patted, and I think we are going to really enjoy them. Unfortunately, when they are out and about, they waste rather a lot of our time as we tend to all sit around just watching them!
I’ll keep you updated with any interesting chicken developments as they happen!
In other news. School has been quite uneventful lately, which in a way is good. However I have noticed from the new feedback sheets I have given the school, that they are pretty much just letting him do educational games on the computer all day, or build Lego or do whatever he wants as long as he isn’t causing a disturbance. Great for everyone’s nerves, not so great for his learning! So now, I’ve taken over educating him in 30 minutes at the end of every school day. Some times he gets his 30 minutes done in about 40 minutes and some times it takes 2 hours. This is because the timer has to stop counting down every time he leaves the work area, or starts arguing and fighting. The crazy thing is that once he settles down into the exercise, and lets me explain it and help him out, he powers along and does it really well! Very frustrating. This is exactly what he does at school though, so I’m not surprised they find it too hard to re-engage him.
The cubby house is coming along still. A little slower now as we got chickens to distract us. I have painted the front verandah with the first coat, and I still have rather a lot of painting to do on it. Daddy needs to build some proper window frames and windows to insert, then I can paint those as well, and I think we’ll be done! Our garden is going to be such a lovely place to be this summer!