Tuesday, December 5, 2017

10 Ideas for Chicken Nesting Boxes

Today's to do list...

1) Bake some cookies to warm up the house (and because they are delicious)

2) Make more dryer balls (we sell them!  Check them out here if you are curious...)

3) Build some nesting boxes for the chickens.

That, of course, led me to start looking up some ideas for different nesting boxes, and we thought we ought to share our faves with you!

So without further ado, here are....




1) Pretty in Pine...


I just love the look of these ones.  The pine seems like a good choice and the 2nd story boxes are a neat addition....  Head over to the folks at Keeping it Cozy to check out their blog post on their coop.

2) One piece of plywood...


The folks over at Green Willow Homestead did some serious calculations (and graciously shared them with the internet) to create a very nice set of laying boxes from just one piece of plywood!

3) Simple and Spacious DIY Boxes....



This post by Remove and Replace shows us the step by step to make this simple set of nesting boxes (much of it could be with salvaged wood, too!)  I personally would add a coat of paint.  (Also, I'd make sure this was not the only roosting bar, as I want their roost to be away from the eggs to discourage pooing on the eggs.)

4) Astroturf?...



The folks over at Hawk Hill have come up with Astroturf for their set up!  But this post is about nesting boxes, right?  Well, I honestly am interested in this concept, but I also love the set up of these boxes, opening out to the outside.  Our chickens are freerange and I have been thinking I want something accessible from the outside....

5) Upcycled boxes...


I am always up for re-purposing old things into new ones.  Give some new life to a dresser for the chickens? Not sure of the original post, but found this bad boy over at The Homesteading Boards.

6) Unconventional but easy to clean...


Found this over at a forum on Backyard Chickens.  I love the ingenuity and I bet these are crazy easy to clean!

7) Too cute....


Ok, this whole set up is an inspiration!  I love granny chic and this looks just like a coop of my dreams.  And her ideas on cleaning and everything...yes! Head over to Farmhouse38 to check out this transformation and the neat little set up.

8) Ana White to the rescue...



If you don't know of Ana White's plans, you are missing out.  She is prolific in creating building plans for some the cutest furniture. And that includes this adorable nesting box.  This baby will stand the tests of time, that is for sure!

9) Ok...it's silly but great!



I just love this. I can't find the original post, so this is a Pinterest link, but how funny and cute is this? Talk about re-purposing!

10) Now to decorate...


Ok, I am definitely doing this.  No matter what kind of boxes we build this is a must!  How cute is this?  The folks over at Cluck Wild Homestead certainly came up with an adorable idea on this one!

Hope you liked these ideas, and once our boxes are done we will share them with you!  In the meantime, you can also find all these ideas and more at our Pinterest page!

-Ash

Monday, November 20, 2017

Jolene, our FrankenChicken.

Literally just after I post about keeping it real, we have some new mishaps on the farm.  I am going to start a new series each week with one interesting or funny happening (or mishap) on the farm. So, without further ado, we present....

(Oh, also, squeemish alert for below, I am gonna show a chicken head wound.)


Friday, after getting home from work, I went to close up the chicken coop doors and just happened upon one of the girls with quite an alarming head wound. (I usually just close the doors and say goodnight...luckily one of the chickens was being a little shit and I had to look into the coop more inventively.)

 Heads up, its not a very pretty sight below.  Not sure if she got her head stuck in something or what quite happened, but needless to say, she had to come inside for some medical attention.

First, I took a quick photo to send to Ric while at work. When I told him Jolene was hurt, he (I think), thought I was going to show a little pecking form the roosters.  (Let's just say that sometimes my alarm levels are very similar for minor things as it is for major things...oops!)

Sorry, it is gross.  But boy oh boy, that has got to smart!

She was in surprisingly high spirits and, after cleaning the wound a bit and spraying on some good ol' Blu Kote (which anyone should keep on hand. It is indispensable!), she ate and drank and seemed to enjoy getting to hang out in the bathroom.

Post Blu Kote and cozy home for the night.

Saturday she continued to relax in the makeshift home in the bathroom, eating and drinking like it was no big deal.  After work I came home and cleaned the wound again.


Don't mind the messy bathroom....

She was a good little patient and after a little more Blu Kote she settled in for the night.

We doubt that she will grow feathers there again, but if we can keep it clean and free from infection, she can join the others soon.  In the meantime, she has taken up residence in the area where the rabbits are housed, happily cleaning up food they have dropped and doing quite well.

We will keep you updated on her condition.  For the time being, little Jolene has a new nickname of our FrankenChicken. (Or I guess technically it should be Fiberton's Monster?)

Ash

PS - Ric and I are arguing over this... should she get a hat or a wig? Thoughts?

Friday, November 17, 2017

Look, I think we need to get real.

You have probably noticed a distinct lack of blogging as of late.  In fact, this past year has been beyond crazy, and I will be the first to say it has been kind of a lot to deal with.  When talking with Ric about everything we do and want to do, and my disappointment in getting behind with blogging, and all our business activities, I brought up the fact that I may have been behind because it has been a hard year (or maybe a little more than a year...) and I haven't wanted to bring people down.



But then Ric hit me with some truth. It's hard.  

It's not easy, but we are still extremely lucky and we won't give up on our goals.

And that is when I realized that it is important to put our real voice out into the world.  (AKA - It's time to get real.) Life can be hard and farming and making the life we want is hard.  It is scary from time to time, disappointing, and sometimes the fact that I am not where I want to be in being totally invested in the farm can be utterly depressing. And why not tell it like it is?  Because sometimes it sucks, and the lemons make shitty lemonade. BUT, I know what I am working towards and how extremely rewarding working on the slow food movement (hey Wikipedia, what's that?) and the slow fashion movement (and Wikipedia, explain that one, too) and becoming more self sustainable in every way truly is.

So here is my new vow to you. 

I PROMISE to tell it like it is.  No rose colored glasses (even Ric's literal rose colored glasses) when things are actually kinda crappy. This is tough for me, but I also think it is very important to because of 3 simple reasons:

1) You should know who we are.  I mean, this is me, and why not put it out there?  I cuss (but I will try and refrain from too bad of language, and our podcast and YouTube channels will remain family friendly, even if that means a bleep from time to time...) I am fascinated by the macabre.   I am happiest when I am creating something or playing with my animals. And I want, with every part of me, to make my farm a success so I can do it full time.

2) You should know the rewarding and romantic side of farming, as well as the shitty sides.  For example, my little lambs are growing up and doing great right now.  However, this year we had to have the vet out more times than ever.  Over $1k later, I have sheep that are still snot nosed, as you can see in the pic at the top. (Did you know sheep get allergies, too?  But it is also how they present for all kinds of other diseases, so that thermometer has seen the insides of rectums more than daylight this year...) and we lost Adrian, our breeding ewe, due to her accidentally eating something she then choked on. It sucked, and I almost threw in the towel.  Luckily Ric knows how much this whole crazy endeavor means to me, and he gave me that little figurative slap-on-the-face to snap me out of it. (I mean, we did take them across the country and back...who does that except for someone who has gone all-in...like crazy-person-all-in.)

3) And finally, sometimes I need to vent. And I bet you do, too.  So I want this to be that place where you can see what might be happening, as well as feel safe to ask questions or vent about life (whether farm related or not), cuz look. We are all in this crazy world together.  Life is nuts.  If we share our lives with each other, I think there would be much more understanding in this world. At least I'd like to hope so. Or maybe not, but we will feel a little better. So no harm, no fowl, right?

TLDR version: Hey, I am a crazy person who wants more than anything to share my REAL life on the farm and REAL goals and dreams, and I want you to, too. 

So...watch out...we are going to keep it real peeps.

Ash