Slogging thru Mire (part 4 on getting chickens)

The stuff I'm slogging thru these days feels like mud but stinks to high heaven like something much worse.


The bad news: One of our vehicles decided to blow it's engine (we just drove it 5 times since replacing the transmission). It's our 4WD and we need one just in case we get big snows like we've had before and can't get out of the driveway otherwise.


The good news is that the chicken keeper will hang on to the chickens for me (8 hens and a rooster) and all the accouterments I may want (nesting boxes, etc.), and won't put them publically for sale meantime.
I hope her neighborhood chicken-killer Dashund doesn't come back.


Meantime means...? Well, we might be able to come up with income for another 4WD this month *July*, and we may not. We have to hold off on buying chicken wire and other predator defenses, because rather than use what supplies for fencing I have on hand or could get from the local breweries (pallets), it's important not to look like a bedraggled homestead, and to have the funds for more than just adequate fencing.
Sooooooo, this one goes on the backburner again.
Well at least when the time comes it will be the right time- I'll be ready.


One may start asking, when do the obstacles ever stop, but you know and I know, they never do. It's always going to be a choice between priorities.


What do you put off, in order to do what you need to first? What seems always on the backburner, getting moved to the bottom of the list, that you would like to put at the top?

Trudging, continued...

Updating you on the latest chicken coop FIASCO, I can say we've reached a compromise of sorts.
Maybe I'm still walking around in slimy, thick, mucky mud, but the mountain of shale is now simply a mountain of steep sides.


Whew, I think I dodged something there, and not a lot has changed- but, Hubby agreed (by default, by not saying 'no'), to let me use the shed for a coop UNTIL we get one built with pallets. By this winter. 


That may motivate a greater participation from his end in the process... but  having a coop that serves to protect my little flock from 6 months of winter and year-round predator threats, will be the same end as before.


I'm getting chickens! 


Now tell me, what are YOU excited about? 

Trudging Thru Mud & Emotional Quicksand


Remember last post I asked: Does it ever felt like you are trudging thru the 
mud to get somewhere on your agenda/goals/dream???


Well........I'm doing it still...anyone have a pair of Uggs or rain boots?

I feel like I'm living in a La-la Land of wishful thinking.
All my ideas are quickly sinking.


Warning, this may sound like a rant... but it's not!
Really.
It's an explanation of my frustration, simple as that. 
(We have to prove ourselves, or test the fortitude of our character, or fine-tune our intent sometimes. Anyway, that's what I think about getting thru trying times!) They do always pass...so that you can move onto better things (or on to your plans as planned).


Yesterday the people I was talking to (about the hens) came to pick up their laptop from our shop (house). I watched everyone conversing from the office window. The owner and his wife were in their truck.
Later I found out that she asked my Hubby: "Where're you going to put the chickens?" I had seen him point in the general direction south of the house. 

But THEN he came back in and recounted their conversation... He said he told them: we're going to build it ourselves. 
From pallets.


And there I go....sliding down in the mucky-mud of emotional quicksand. The little mole hill I'd whittled things down to, suddenly became a mountain again. 
This mountain  just turned into rock shards of slippery shale.

And then he says, "You have chicken coop plans, using pallets, right?"

OMG, I almost burst out crying right then! You know, after I've done all this dirty work (to clean, heft, reorganize, all that junk -and am STILL working on it)! 
I felt SO defeated, it literally felt like I'd had all the air let out of me. 
Oh Lordy, why'd I ever show him the ingenuity of others? 

Anyway, all those buildings made from pallets are all being done in the South, where it doesn't SNOW
(Usually).


Maybe he doesn't want to ask anyone to move it the 100 yards, or just wants to continue to store all the PC scrap junk towers/monitors/printers in there, but I'd even told him the church-lady talk describing them. 

How can he not be in love with the idea of getting them -now
Is this a man thing?
This is not going to work without a lot of forethought. 
Building from pallets was my plan A, (which was crap, since I have no idea what I'm doing, I'm just one of those people who doesn't like to hear 'no').

It means multiple trips (30-mile round trips) into town to collect pallets in the back of an SUV which has slowing been blowing it's engine, and then tear them down, remove nails, build a coop FRAME, with a roof, put it up on a raised floor, insulate it (with something), put up shelves or a platform for nesting boxes. 

And of course he will not feel like doing any of that. Because it's hot. 
Because he won't have time except on weekends. Because he's not a 'handyman'. (Even I don't feel like doing any of that).
I know, that's what my farmgirl hat is for....


I'm really losing hope on EVER accomplishing this endeavor that I thought would end so simply -and cheaply

How can he rather keep a nice perfect shed for all those stupid-ugly-heavy -dirty tools he uses once every couple of years?
Not to mention the mouse droppings and other nasties that will collect in there. Again.
Who wants to even touch those tools? Of course you usually wear man gloves, but it's so dusty here it still feels dirty...

I hope I don't get the HANTOVIRUS!!


So, I completely cleaned out the utility room and under the stairs- in prepareation for all the stuff in the shed. 
I had all the cardboard boxes I'd saved for 2 years in case we had to move, outside (about the combined size of a car), and my daughter says "save those boxes, in case I'm moving". 
So I went back out to bring them back in.


Of course a boatload of Styrofoam peanuts had blown across the yard- into red ant territory. (Those giant pinchy bastards are a pain in the -wherever - they climb on you and attach themselves and don't let go!) Fortunately we don't have fire ants. But these ants remind me of Army ants. 
Pics coming on that one...

I guess that's the rule around here though.
If you want to do something, you'd better expect to have to do 5 other things first.
A 2-hour job could take you 2 days just to get to it to do it. 
You should EXPECT that by now.

But ok, I KNOW I will get chickens! 
Some things are just more of a challenge than you expect them to be. 

If it's not this summer, it will be next spring.......



So tell me, what frustrations, steps backward, or mucky-mud have YOU been dealing with lately?





Trudging... an update on Getting Chickens

Read this and then try to guess how anxious I am to show you actual photos of the coming hens...
I spoke with 'Amy' yesterday (the one who currently raises them), we were on a 3-way call at the time related to business (I run an appt. desk from home). Her boss was on the other line.


I said I'd been meaning to call her and get pricing and such on her chickens, and her boss chimed in: "Oh, we call them 'the Church Ladies'!", which confused me. They laughed and said the chickens are so fancy and frilly, they look like they dressed up for church!

Now I really can't wait!
If you saw the last post you know that I've got a LOT of hard labor to accomplish before I get these chickens... cleaning out the shed is only the start!
But this is highly motivating. Boy I really needed an infusion of that!


Do you sometimes feel like you're trudging through mud just to get to some benchmark of progress?




By the Bootstraps (getting chickens saga)

In this continuing saga of finding ways to pull myself up by the bootstraps, both figuratively, psychologically, and literally, I thought I would share the, well I guess I can call it progress, on my chicken coop. I feel like I'm having to re-arrange every aspect of my house to do this! Ever feel like to do one thing you have to do three other things first?


For instance, in shuffling items out of the shed, I've got to find secure storage elsewhere. We have room in the house for 'safe' items (not a propane tank for the deep-fryer or chemical paints and old construction materials that the previous owner left behind). 
In order to make space in our utility room for stuff (car-repair items and tools) I need to clear it out. In order to clear it out, The #1 thing to be moved out are the window screens so I need to wash windows in the house first. This is a time-consuming and exhausting chore, but the easiest.
Shh, don't tell me I could've put the screens on dirty windows!

You can read details if you enlarge the pictures:



I plan to collect pallets from the local brewery for fencing material for the chicken yard. The shed will be moved (it's built onto 'skids') to the south side of the house where I used to keep Cherihuka... as you can see he quite abused the fencing. 
That's a deer sharing the salt lick and hay. It's grass hay mixed, so the deer won't explode eating hay... at least this is what the experts say will happen if deer eat hay, and why you shouldn't feed them. Funny how they're always eating the stubble left in all the local hay fields and we never see them dropping dead.


I admit I'm excited for myself and will be ready to get the chickens when I:


#1 get the junk that's out on the dirt in a new home somewhere in the utility room, under the deck, etc... that means first:
#2 clean out the utility room to make room for the stuff on the dirt 
#3 (already cleaned out) under the stair storage for longterm storage of items in the utility room 
#3 get someone with a truck to MOVE the shed 
#4 find fencing (I have some wire, but I think they could wriggle thru it)
#5 set up the nests (I'm using square plastic crates) and hang a feed dish and all that stuff and....
#6 get the funds, then go 10 miles East to get the hens (i don't know what they'll cost yet). 


I'm thinking 3-4 hens and a rooster will be all I want to start with.
I may be missing something but won't know until I get there. If they are cheap enough I'll take 6 hens and maybe borrow a rooster when I need one! 
Blue cochins are very docile birds so the rooster shouldn't be a creep.
I had a creep rooster once.
Eventually I want 2 chicken yards and a divided or separate houses - one for eggs (from chickens that are 'pets') and one to raise chickens (and hopefully ducks) for meat.

I won't be letting my chickens free-range, everyone in our subdivision has  unfenced property - few people have chickens, there is no livestock of any kind other than a few horses. Their large dogs are commonly wandering around though, and we have abundant wildlife as well (badgers, coyote, bear, lion, porcupine).

I know butchering meat chickens won't be an easy thing to accomplish, but one day I want to learn it and become skilled at it. I want to know I can do it. Then maybe I'll pay someone else to do it, lol. 
I couldn't kill and eat birds that are pretty and friendly, so I'm thinking about getting Freedom Rangers for meat birds. They are like smaller Rhode Island Reds (but also come in black).
Some day I'd like colored egg layers too, but then the rooster(s) need to be kept apart from the flocks or ruin successive hatchings of specific breeds - I don't want anything out of control, it has to remain organized.

Is that enough information? Are you bored yet?

If you have chickens, I'd love to hear (and see, so send a link to your pictures!) what kind you have and why, and what you would change if anything, and how many and how you handle it/organize things/keep tabs on your costs, etc. Whatever you want to share!