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Aug 27 – Morning in the chicken yard.   The ladies all sleep in the wee coop just now.  The Rangers, Orpington chicks and Oliver are in the barn.  Oliver’s original home has a perch about 4 feet above the ground that he flew up to.  Last night when I went to make sure everyone was safely tucked away, he was perching on the fence inside the barn, which is 4 feet tall.  He looked very content and he let me pet him.

Overnight temps dropping to 40ish right  now.  Hoping that doesn’t mean an early frost (though if I remember correctly our first frost last year was August 31, so not unprecedented…).  I want my cherry tomatoes!  Once it starts getting colder, I’m going to have to convince everyone to sleep in the barn, which means I need to get in there and build some nest boxes and roosts.  Then hens like being in the barn but they like to roost at night.  The Rangers just lie on the ground so they don’t care.  I believe if there were roosts, they would like it, so I will either have to make a lot of roosting space or segregate the chickens.  We aren’t sure how we plan to handle this yet.


Aug 26 – Today I spent a good deal of time in the chicken yard.  The grass was very dewy when I first went out, so I had my boots on.  This little Ranger runs to meet me and gets underfoot any time I’m out there.  I can pick him up and pet him.  I like when the chickens let me pick them up.

I love my starry PJs!

Aug 25 – Green!  This is a full-grown Leopard Frog.  The frogs in the pond appear to be younger ones – they have some spots but not full body spots yet.  I like that we have frogs on our property.  Makes it feel healthy with healthy frogs about.

Aug 24 – I found this strange mushroom/fungus in the woods when I was searching for the bantam hens, who love to walk through a tiny hole in the fence (as far as they are concerned that fence doesn’t exist!) and scratch around in the tree lot beside the chicken yard.

Aug 23 – They are growing so very fast, these Ranger chicks.  They are 39 days old here.  The light-colored one in the middle of the pack is the rooster I will probably keep.   He’s the only tri-color Ranger we have.  The others are Red/Black and Buff .  I had chosen the tri-color when they were 2-day old chicks, and he has grown to be the biggest of the chicks.  There is one Red/Black rooster who is very friendly and runs to me every time I enter the chicken yard.  It will be hard to decide which to keep.  One rooster and three hens is the plan, that way he can fertilize their eggs and I can hatch out our next batch of meat chickens in the incubator.

Aug 22 – Still need the flooring (will match the existing wood) and we ran out of panelling (so much quicker and easier than drywall and plaster and paint) but the kitchen is usable and my stove is connected!  I cooked dinner on it!  WHEEEE!  Also, we plan to paint the wood the buttery yellow I’ve wanted my kitchen to be, as well as the remaining walls.   David made the backsplash in aluminum flashing – it matches the stove and the backsplash in the dining room behind the woodstove.  Between the fridge and stove is a space about 4 1/2 feet long.  It will be a workspace counter with shelves mounted above.  David was talking cupboards but I told him I would prefer open shelves to keep ingredients on – easier to work with than digging through a cupboard.  I am very excited to have actual input into what I want in my kitchen.  Never had that before.   Looking at the picture I see that a cupboard over the fridge wouldn’t be a bad idea.  That’s a lot of space.  The small room in back is the laundry room and was our closet as well but will now be pantry.  Eventually we will move our small freezer into the pantry.

Aug 21 – David began taking down the wall to what used to be our bedroom.  The small high cupboard is where the fridge was and where the stove will be.  The fridge is 23 inches wide and just fits.  The stove is 30 inches, so if we want both we definitely need the room!  I can’t wait!!!

The tiny window up high is even with where the loft bed was.   We usually had a small fan in there to keep the air moving nicely (and also for the white noise – David really needs it for sleeping after years of sleeping in trucks.  The fan often has a beat similar to a diesel engine idling.)

Aug 20 – I made a sliding door into the barn.  No more possibility of the door falling over.  Plus, I can raise and lower it from outside the fence.   The Ranger chicks like hanging out just inside the door, especially when the morning sun hits there.  I liken it to hanging out on the porch.  Note the well-formed breast on that chicken!

Aug 19 – The Ladies.  I love my colorful flock of chickens.  Oh!  I just noticed that they are aligned in pecking order.  Charlotte on the left is the head chicken.  Pearl on the right is the bottom of the order.  The Wyandottes are nearer the bottom than the Australorp and are thus always trying to improve their lot.  When I let the Rangers into the yard, they picked on them a bit.  The Rangers are big enough to run for safety, though, so I don’t worry too much.  Drusilla, the Silver-Laced Wyandotte, being dead center, is the one who tries hardest to either go further up or not fall further down.  When I was trying to figure out what to name her, I was thinking Cruella, as she’s rather mean sometimes.  Somehow that lead to Drusilla (who, in Buffyverse, is quite evil, so it works quite well).

If I get another Buff Orpington (which I do want to do), I am naming her Buffy for sure.  I am going to a chicken swap next month and hope for three chickens; a Speckled Sussex (on right), a Barred Rock (striped feathers!) and a Buff Orpington.  Then I will feel my flock is complete…for now.  🙂

Aug 18 – We have a small ornamental pool in back.  The water is rather brackish and until the frogs moved in was a breeding ground for mosquitoes.  Since the frogs moved in, I notice fewer mosquitoes out back.  Yay for frogs!  There are three living in the pond now.