Things at the Peasant’s Manor have been busy with The Peasant turning 40 this past week and all. I have worked on a few projects and got two new chickens! Remembering what type they are may be a bit difficult at the moment, but I will be able to tell for sure when they are grown! I think they were New Hampshire and Buff Orpington.
The day before my birthday I spent some time working on a laying nest for the hens. It is attached directly to the side of the shelter, and is made of new pine. In the first phase I built it without any privacy for the birds to lay, so it has the maximum allowable ventilation just because we are in the desert and summers get really hot!
This is a side view on the Laying box before it was finished. The chicken wire remained to help keep predators out, and to allow for future modification or repairs to the slats that I put on next.
This is from behind the laying box, and again it is before it is finished.
The slats were added to give more privacy and still allow for ventilation. Will it be enough privacy for them to use it? I don’t honestly know! But I will let you know if I need to modify it or not!
Here is the view from behind, again providing lots of ventilation, but less privacy than I would like to. But the entire shelter is lacking in any real protection from the weather. I chose to build it on the north side of an existing shed to provide lots of shade but with now roof to provide lots of ventilation. I plan to put a roof on it eventually, if we don’t come by the means to put up a proper chicken coop first. If we get one, a coop would just be added onto this to allow it to serve as a safe yard. At the moment the hens are not in a place that allows easy access to the grassy part of the yard. If that changes, then of course they will be more free ranging than they are now.
The lighter colored stick under the slanted short piece on the back comes out in order to reach in for the eggs. I will probably put that together with another board and put a hinge on it in the future. For now, until I really see how this thing fares in the summer, I really am focused on maximum ventilation!
On my birthday, I bought the wood for the laying box, and I also got the two new birds. They are not hens though! I am excited to have two new roosters! Roosters only cost about $2 each, and I have even found a hatchery so desperate to get rid of them that they seem to use them as packing material for their hens.
The photo at right are Randy and Rodger on their way home in a box. My next task was to build a permanent pen for them to stay in and to use for one or two birds of any special breed that we may but in the future… Not that I am in the market for a turkey or a goose or anything like that!
Naturally, anyone with a good eye and a good sense on chickens will recognize their breed immediately! But did anyone recognize the British sense of humor in their names? My teenage boys really loved them!
The roosters are not requiring as much heat as the hens did, largely because of the weather in southern Nevada. I am sat on the front porch now, fairly well sheltered from the wind, but the temperature is about 76 degrees Fahrenheit, and it is the 16th of March, still about five days from the end of winter!
I don’t yet have photos of their cage, but I will get some when I can and put them up! It is an open top arrangement and will not be the permanent pen for chicks as I want to build one inside the shed the coop is built to the back of!
Also of mention are two of the ducks who are brooding over some eggs now. They have been at it for maybe two weeks now, so they should be hatching in about two more! If the cats stay away from them, then I should have some wonderful pictures to show soon!
The Prospering Peasant