Chicken Coop Construction

I finally decided on a place to build the chicken coop. This space already has some scrubby trees, much enjoyed by sparrows and other birds with very old metal fencing around which, into and through the trees have grown over years. This must have been the pen for some sort of small animal(s) many years ago. (Maybe pigs? The metal sections of fence are deep into the ground. I don’t know.)

Use what is here. The chicken coop and run location.

This spot is also about 30 feet from a well pump, so that will be handy. I have a lot of lumber and siding salvaged from the barn demo, but the the wood and timbers are massive, hard for one man to work with, and major overkill for the framing of a small 8′ x 8′ coop.

So, having used most of the salvaged 2 x 4’s on converting the pergola into a roofed barn swallow house and human shelter, I bought new wood for the coop. (2×4’s are almost $5 each! A lot more than they were just a court of years ago.)

I was able to reuse several concrete blocks salvaged from the barn to raise the floor off the ground.

Chicken Coop Foundation
Floor and 2 Walls (using a window reclaimed from barn)

So that’s some progress.

I don’t know what I’m doing. But so far, so good.

Ginseng Planted on Steep Slope

Ginseng planting is done. In beautiful, unseasonably warm November weather! I sowed a pound of seed in various spots on north and east facing slopes with seemingly sufficient shade around the woods, including this steep slope, and marked the rows with flags and high visibility tape — so I can find them later!

It will be interesting to see how many plants take root come spring.

Wild Turkeys

9 wild turkeys sighted today. I must learn how to attract, feed, and provide habitat for these big birds. They seem to like the edge of the woods next to the pasture. They are omnivorous, especially keen to eat acorns, pecans, cereal grains, cracked corn, blueberries and other small fruit.

I don’t want to hunt them. I just want them around.

Mowed pasture. Now what?

So I finally mowed the main part of the pasture. About 4 acres of approximately 5 acres. It took 3 days. So far. Hacked some thistles and tall woody weeds with machete and hand held trimmer first. Went through 2 rolls of vinyl trimmer string and 5 pair of thick vinyl cutter blades. Took down other sections with walk behind “string” (thick vinyl) trimmer. Went through half a roll of that “string.” Took on the rest with John Deere X330, at the highest setting. It’s not designed to mow 24+” high grass and weeds, so I had to stop a lot when it clogged up. But it looks better. And, come spring, I should be able to mow it with the riding mower. Ct

What do I do with the grass/weed cuttings?

Incompetent Bird Killers

Pleased to report that these inherited cats are incompetent bird hunters, so far. They stalk, yes, but have not yet caught any of the many birds. Birds are very wary and smarter than their teeny brains would indicate. As long as the cats continue to fail as predators, they can stay. They’re going to have to accept living within sight of chickens come Spring (within a tightly-woven hardware wire fence). I also want a nasty protective rooster. I remember the banty roosters my grandma Lynn had when I was young. Nobody messed with them. They ranged freely and her cats steered clear.

Barn Timbers

You won’t see wood like this any more.

Dylan and I sorted these barn timbers today, raising them off the ground, and covering them with tarp.

Over 100 years old. The supports for the old barn. Large wooden pegs in some of them. Various hefty sizes: 6″ x 8″, 8″ x 8″, 10″ x 10″, a couple almost 12″ x 12″ and 30′ feet long. Will use them (I hope) to build the frame of a very solid livestock shed and more (maybe a little cabin or shrine) in the woods next year. Too good not to use.