Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sarah....

Remember how I was saying that Ashley was my right hand and half of my brain?
Well, meet my left hand and my other half of brain!

Sarah is.... well, Sarah! She is not only pretty but smart. I think even at 16, she's probably the most intelligent person in our household! (sorry y'all!)

She loves photography, books, learning, facts, electronics and coffee..... yep, give this girl a camera, smart phone and a cup of coffee and she'll be your friend for life... maybe. She's a pretty good judge of character too. :)

I love you Sarah Sue! (no Sue isn't her middle name.... )








Ashley...

This girl is such a blessing to me. My right hand.... probably the other half of my brain too!
Ashley is our firstborn and is now 21. Time has flown! I can remember when she was just a little thing who loved shoes and purses.... actually, she still loves shoes and purses!

Ashley can cook anything, sew without a pattern, grow a garden and has her Daddy's sense of humor.
She also isn't a morning person. :)  

I'm so thankful for this girl! 







Mama, Ash.... and Kyle but you can't see him very well. :)







 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The new chicken house is almost complete!

Since moving here to our home nearly two and a half years ago, one of the goals has been to have laying hens. Last year we ordered some laying hens and raised them in a chicken tractor. While the chicken tractor is a great way to start young chickens, it's usually ideal if you don't have a large number of chickens, or if you have more than one tractor to move around. 

I honestly prefer a chicken coop with either a very large chicken run/yard or free ranging chickens. We probably won't allow our chickens to free range but they will have an enormous run at their disposal because hey, a happy chicken lays a healthy egg! 

Because our pockets aren't overflowing with cash (who's are?) we weren't able to build a full sized chicken coop and therefore decided to sell our last flock of hens before they matured. I also couldn't decide where I wanted the coop to reside (ask my husband about moving a super sized chicken coop, ahem) and if that wasn't enough indecision, I couldn't decide how big I wanted the coop. That depended on how many chickens I am planning to order. I have toyed with the idea of having enough laying hens for our large family as well as enough to sell to neighbors, people at my husband's work, etc. 

Well, the coop isn't finished yet but here are a few pictures of the progress my ever so handy husband has made. 

Notice the shed here in the picture? Shortly after moving back here in our old home Casey and Kyle built a shed for storing outside stuff. Well, we've since moved the shed out in the back area and technically in the field. It will hopefully one day store feed, etc. and Casey will get a larger garage/shop back in the original shed area.



The chicken coop is 12ft x 7 ft
Plenty of room for enough laying hens that will produce enough eggs for our family
as well as maybe some to sell

Tin metal roof

The windows will be covered with a flap board that can be propped up for ventilation
but keep the rain out at the same time

Ready for primer and paint.
We're going to have the shed and coop painted the same color.
Barn red with white trim.
(thank you Honey)

Chicken wire to keep predators out
while allowing fresh air and bugs in

Casey found an extra kitchen drawer pull to use on the door as a handle

Nice sturdy hasp with pin for a lock

Three windows offer plenty of light.
The roost is at the end there so the chickens will have a place to roost at night.

Nesting boxes. We will be adding more of these.
The one you see here was actually an old upright shelf that we no longer needed inside the house.
We just laid it on its side. I love re purposing!

Underneath the roost by the floor will be where the chicken door will be.
Casey plans on cutting out a small door and attaching a ramp so the chickens can get in and out of their new home.


Now for the chickens! Red Stars are usually what I like to buy from Murray McMurray Hatchery but this time I think I'd like to try a standard chicken breed and go with the Barred Rock. They are a dual purpose bird so after 3 years, we can butcher them and have plenty of nice meat in the freezer.