REnew, REuse, Recycle…the birth of a new coop for our girls!

Sweetie peeking through the fence, wondering "what's out there?".

Sweetie peeking through the fence, wondering “what’s out there?”.

I have moved into an abandoned hoarders’ house.  My boyfriend moved here first.  I will post about some of the transformation we have accomplished later.  This post is about the new home for our girls.

Prior to moving here, I had a dozen chickens.  My boyfriend had 14.  He re-homed 8 of his and I re-homed 6 of mine and so we blended an even dozen.  No roosters! We live in the city limits. I had to get rid of my beloved Pumpkin who I had raised since he was days old.

Now, try to imagine a corner city lot with an 1800 square foot home that is completely filled with stuff!!!  The house had paths from the doors to the various rooms.  Two of the three bedrooms were filled with stuff to the doorway with one of the rooms impenetrable.  The outside was similar.  There is an extra long driveway/patio that has debris completely filling it except for a parking area near the roadway.  The backyard, and side yard were full of garbage and debris.

coop 11

The makeshift coop in the back of the house under a bunch of overgrown trees and grape vines. Piles of garbage and debris on both sides! It’s only 4 feet tall.

When my guy moved here and brought his chickens he built a makeshift coop/run.  It worked.  It wasn’t easy to access for cleaning.  It was dark because it was in the over run jungle of a yard.  The girls did not seem happy.  I wasn’t happy about where they were.  I wanted a place where I could hang out with them when I wanted to.

After 3 months of working on getting the inside of the house livable, it was time to make a new spot for the girls.

We cleared out an area, shoving all the garbage and debris into a pile on the side yard.  We will get it hauled away later.  I will tell you more about debris and having things hauled away in another blog post.

Now, my guy, he can throw anything together and make it work.  So he starts piecing this 8ftx8ft square together.  He calls me out and asks me to hold a couple of boards up while he screws them in place.  I had no idea he was going to do this over Labor Day weekend until Sunday morning when he stated his intentions.  So while he is sorting through the various piles looking for pieces of lumber, I start thinking about what I want in a coop.  What do we have that can be used that we want to get out of the house?  I am always looking for ways to get rid of things that are still in here.  I remembered an entertainment center that I thought would work as a place for nesting boxes. I emptied it out (it actually had a few salvageable games like Trivia Pursuit and Monopoly in it) and cleaned it up and the guys hauled it out.

Walls were put up.  A window (I have a few from a 1902 house that I have moved with me two times now with hopes of building a greenhouse SOMEday) was installed.  A light was found and installed.  An old door was found and it too was installed so that we can actually walk into the coop to attend to the girls.  That is a real nice change from the makeshift coop I’ve been entering all stooped over because it’s only 4 feet tall.  I can go in and collect eggs fully upright!  I like that.

Time to move some more debris out of the way.  We fenced in an area for a run. This isn’t being built with the intention of it being a permanent structure. It is just for the year or so we intend on being here.  The guys didn’t bother to dig holes for posts, they just built the fence with scraps of lumber and added a little picket fence gate because I liked it and wanted an entrance to the yard for hanging with my girls.

I asked for some roosting bars, a ramp for them to access the nests at the top of the entertainment center and of course the pop door for the girls to get out of the coop and into the run.

There are plans of rigging up a pulley system for opening and closing the pop door, but we ran out of steam and time.  The weekend is over and it was time to get some dinner ready and prepare for the work week and the young man of the house has school tomorrow!  It is his senior year.  I’m sure he would have rather spent this last weekend doing something else, but he helped his dad and learned how to build something useable out of what many would have considered junk.  I am proud of them both and grateful for the wonderful new housing our chickens have.

Oh, and we also have 2 new chickens that arrive last week.  They are Blue Laced Red Wyandottes that were brought here from Utah on Monday.  My boyfriend’s cousin raises them and we hope to become Wyandotte breeders eventually.  So these cute girls (Baby Blue and Big Blue) are our beginnings!  And this mess of a house that we are making into a home is my guys’ and my beginnings.  I think we are doing pretty good so far!  We are making a home for us, for the last kid living at home who is soon to fly the coop and for our feathered kids!  It is going to be a heck of a year in what I had called “Hoarder’s Hell”, which is quickly becoming “Our Haven”.

The same..and yet different.

This is my pair of, almost 2 week old, Speckled Sussex. I believe they are about 2 weeks old today! I bought them at the Grange. I have named one of them Pecking Peggy. The other…I am unsure yet. I am suspicious one of them ia not the same as the other…gender wise. Time will tell. This is my first chick experience. They said at the grange I was getting pullets. But there is something about these two…they don’t seem the same.

This is Peckin' Peggy and ????.  I am thinking one of them is not the same as the other...gender wise.  Time will tell.

This is Peckin’ Peggy and ????. I am thinking one of them is not the same as the other…gender wise. Time will tell.

LIfe is good at home with my flock. My 12 girls are laying about 6.5 eggs a day. I have 5 new babies that all seem to be doing very well. I am anticipating getting 3-5 Blue Red Laced Wyandottes chicks in March. I hope this to be the beginnig of my breeding stock. If one of my Speckled Sussex is a roo too…that is ok by me!!! I would be pleased to be breeding both the BRLW and the Speckled Sussex.

I had my first Reiki treatment today. It was a freebie…although I did gift her 18 eggs!~ A local woman who placed an ad on our own version of “craigslist” here in S. Oregon.  She came to my home and “laid hands” on me. And it felt wonderful! Warm! Caring. Insightful! Helpful! Healing!

I am so grateful to be able to go “outside the box” to find potential healing for my mind and my body. So far, everyone from my chiropractor, nurse practitioner, accupunturist and now my reiki specialist have been very caring and open to helping me with their various modalities. And each of them has merit!!! I have been benefitted physically as well as emotionally, spiritually and mentally from visits with each practitioner.

While chiropractic and massage seems to help for low back and neck issues, the accupunturist has helped with tendonitis, smoking(not planned, and yet I have not had a desire for a cigerette since my first visit) and generalized pain. And now, Reiki has made me feel more aware of my spirituality combined with my physical and emotional person. For someone like me, who appreciates scientific proof, I am enjoying the proof of the pudding more than any words or test results from others that may tout and/or attempt to disprove the benefits of these health treatment modalities.

A couple things the Reiki therapist shared with me during and following my session:

1. She asked, “Is there something you need to talk about, a truth that may be painful?”.  I have not yet, after careful consideration, determined what she was referring to specifically.  I have been working on speaking my heart over the last three years.  It is very possible there is something in my subconscious that I have yet to bring forward.

2.  She said there is  lots of stuff in my back (I have bulging discs, DDD, as well as a recent back strain from a motorcycle accident(I tried to save a bike from going over, and it didnt’ work, except to strain my low back).

3. She asked about the work I was doing, hospice work, which is not work, but rather a gift of love for a friend.  She asked if this loss would be a loss in my recovery life that would be challenging?  Interesting question.  I intend to talk about that issue extensivley on the 22nd of this month in another posting!

4.  She also said that she felt a sense of “community” about me.  That being involved in the community is part of me.  This is one of my desires that I have not attended to since leaving Springfield in 2002~

 

Overall…Reiki seems like a good “next step” in my self care plan.   Combining Western Medicine, Eastern Medicine, good sense, nature and ME!!!!  Who knows where this next step is going….I am just remaining open.  And enjoying my chicks in the meantime.