Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It's Complicated.

The one thing I can count on is that nothing I undertake is simple. Sure, it may start out simple - say, like raising a few chickens. Before you know it, you have chickens in all manner of 'special needs'. And special needs need special housing. Right now, in my small operation, I have a) a paraplegic hen recuperating (I hope) in a redwood dog house now rigged up as the infirmary in a special fenced in area that also houses the rabbit; b) duck quarters (photo above - no comments, plz, about my carpentry skills) which include an A-frame building that they hate, my late quail cage - partially deconstructed, then adopted by Grendal the duck as her nesting spot - also fenced; c) the main coop occupied by my 20-something chickens, Junior rooster, Alfie and Puff, the odd-duck couple (both figuratively and literally) who take offense to the duck quarters and prefer the coop, Dotty Duck & Attila the Hen - nestmates, and the five pullets - the Violets, Prissie, Peanut, and Almond - who, until last night, lived in; d) the nursery coop, now occupied by Marie-Claire and Home-Chick (photo below). Each of these set-ups require their own food and water dishes, security devices (aka doors), etc. When I came in from chores yesterday morning, there was a message on my voicemail alerting me to the fact that my 12 meat chicks would be arriving this morning. Sigh. I am, however, about half-ready for them. That is quite an improvement to my previous endeavors. They will be housed NOT in my laundry room, but in a donated galvanized water tub, equipped with a hardware cloth lid, hanging heat lamp and all the appropriate accouterments - situated in my shed. Which, in turn, had to be varmintized - meaning nailing boards over large/small holes, more hardware cloth over obvious openings. The upshot of all this is - learn to plan ahead. Realistically, I never do this and, most likely, never will. Then again, I have gained all manner of new skills - chicken first aid, carpentry skills, reusing/recycling/rethinking. It's not all bad.


  1. Heck, I don't think the hotel/hospice/hospital/nursery/assisted living/permanent housing facilities you've constructed look or sound bad at all!

    All of our set-ups would look much different (I'm assuming) if we had unlimited budgets and time. (First, we'll start with a full-sized barn . . . )

  2. You know, I'd put a barn on my bucket list, but I don't want to wait that long! I like to describe the architecture style as Beverly Hillbillies meets Appalachia meets I.M. Pei. The I.M. Pei is wishful thinking.

  3. I'm sure the animals appreciate the I.M. Pei intentions. ;o)