Chicks, Turkeys (poults) and a Greenhouse!

It’s been too long since I last wrote and I plan to fix that this year. I am putting it on my calendar to write something at least once a week!
So what have we been up to?

ALOT

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Fried, a very curious Turkey from 2014

Last year we tried our hand a raising Turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner. In Oct we culled two Broad Breasted turkeys (female, 22 lbs, male 27 lbs). It was a great success and some of the best turkey I have ever had, so this year we have two Bourbon Red turkey poults. They are a heritage breed, so they grow a little slower and don’t have a that huge breast meat you expect to find in store bought, but I hear they taste even better.

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Gollum and her Welsummer baby

We also have 11 chicks, 10 are straight run Olive eggers from a local breeder (should lay olive colored eggs if they are hens). All cockerels will be sent to freezer camp and enjoyed for dinner (since we live in city limits and can’t have roosters). Gollum (one of our barnyard mix hens) wanted to hatch the golf balls in one of the nest boxes so we went to the feed store (Buckley’s Homestead Supply in Colorado Springs) and got her a day old baby to raise. This one is a Welsummer, which is a Dutch breed of domestic chicken that lays a DARK brown egg.

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Greenhouse from Harbor Frieght

I have been taking a ton of gardening classes at the CSU extension and learning a little more than I already knew and enjoying the interaction and conversation. I have made some grow bags out of the chicken feed bags (just like I made the shopping bags, but with small handles for moving them) and I plan to grow most our peppers and tomatos in them this year. That way with the cold hits I can move them into the greenhouse to finish the season.  On that note, I got a Greenhouse as an early Mothers Day gift this year. Our small urban yard is working out very well for us:-)

 

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Grow out Coop with Creeper Fencing

Last year we built a coop out of a double oven cabinet that we laid on it’s side.  The window side of this coop is the Nursery (Gollum her baby live here), the wood door area is the Grow out Coop (area for the chicks to get to about 12/14 weeks old when they are culled or added to the big girl coop). The 11159435_10205392794572705_276721039_oCabinet doors are just that, cabinets, for treats, oyster/egg shells, bedding, extra feeders/waterers. Under the coop we built removable creeper fencing so the little ones can hid from the big hens as they integrate into the flock.

 

 

More next week, I have to go dig some of the wet slimy soil/feed from the very wet chicken tun and find a way to keep it a little dryer in there, since it’s been raining for three days and no end in sight.

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Chiken Lips has a small urban homestead with edible and flower gardens, chickens a greenhouse and has lots of fun teaching our children about the importance of our food and out environment!

  Corona Street Chickens (they have their own Facebook Page) are currently 7 adult hens (Bluey, Clarice, Enchilada, Omelet, Martha, Frodo, Golum) + 11 chicks and 2 poults.

Baby Chicks and a Book!

Baby Chicks!!!

It is amazing to me how quickly they go from this:

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To This:

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Having the babies around has been so much fun. I like it better when the broody mama does the work too 🙂

Now I think we have two boys and three girls due to the fact that two are much slower to feather out, I guess in about a month I will know for sure.

I’m Writing a book (or two)! 

I design houses and landscapes for a living. It is fun, but I always have to design what the client wants. So I decided to write a book of Chicken Coop Designs! In the book I will have some basic needs and upgrades you need or want in you coops plus  5 full plans with materials lists. I think I will only have it on Amazon as an e-book for now and charge about $10 for it. I will post some previews for you all to give me some feedback.

Corona Street Coop

Here is our finished coop. It took about 3 weeks to complete & we only bought the wire and hardware. All lumber items were laying around the house or a friends house.I had a window and a door laying around too.

Our Coop is  6′ x 3.5′ with a 6’x6′ run. The coop is raised about 12″ at the door. All wire is nailed to a 2×4 then sandwiched with a second 2×4. It is also buried 8 to 12 inches. It is tall enough for me to get in to clean (door is about 5′, so I have to duck down). We put a roof over the whole coop&run since we live in Colorado and you never know what the weather will be like.

There is a 6′ privacy fence on 2 sides of the run and the wire on 1 side. One reason we put it next to the house was to run an outlet to it. There was already a pre-wire for an exterior box in this spot. Also we are hoping between our dogs, neighbor dogs and closeness to the house it will keep most  predators away. I did get a flooring company to give me a scrap of Leno Floor to lay for easy clean up 🙂 Love that!

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The girls first night in the coop.

The 'big' girls moved into their coop today

coop-Model

Day 1 – Use kid labor to level out coop and run area

Day 2 -use 2 pallets for the floor. 6 pieces of 4×6 cedar for the legs.  Since it’s up against the house an porch we pre-sidded & painted the walls.

West wall and nest box area. Painted and ready to install.

End of day 1 – Floor and three walls done, 4th wall framed.

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Day 2 – My daughter and I painted an old door (It was in my garden & we had chicken wire and lattice on it with vines last summer).

End of Day 2- Door Done!

Day 3 – (about a week after day 1) . Run and roof begin framing. Window was installed on Day 2. The window was in a pile I am collecting for a green house or VERY LARGE cold frame.

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South Wall installed.

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My artwork, I mean the door is installed.

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End of Day 3. Chicken wire up, South wall done & door installed.

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Day 4 – Nesting boxes built.

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Roof started. (kid help)

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Day 7& 8 – Ramp built, roosting bars installed.

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Pic’s of inside did not come out well. So I did not post. If I can get some I will add them.

End of Day 8 – Done!

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