Saturday, May 21, 2011

chicken ark

After much deliberation, we decided on the "chicken ark" design for a coop. It has a raised nesting area with a ramp that reaches down into the center of the pen. About six feet long is big enough for our six chickens. We had originally planned to make the entire side of the henhouse open, with one long hinge, but decided that would be too heavy. Instead, we cut a door out on each side, in opposite corners, that should allow us to access the entire interior for cleaning.

And hopefully, in a couple of weeks, eggs.

The bottom is open to allow them to scratch at the ground. We were initially worried that this would allow predators to dig underneath, but it seems that the need to dig delays them long enough to attract the attention of our dogs, who are dedicated predators of wild chicken-eaters.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

egg carton jiffy starters

I'm not terribly thrilled with the results of my egg carton planter. It did give me instant, free extra sprouting space. But this morning, as I transferred the little spudlings into a bigger planter, I discovered that their roots had grown firmly attached to the soggy bottom of the egg carton. I'm not completely convinced I didn't damage them trying to get them out.

Have I mentioned that it's still snowing here? My house is slowly filling with little window boxes perched beneath every available sunny spot. This is the first year I've tried to grow any kind of green plants in this ridiculous climate. I'm debating whether to build some kind of plastic hoop house. I don't think our weather will ever be safe for things like tomatoes to be grown outside.

I'm terrible at telling plants apart, especially when small, and we don't have any craft or popsicle sticks. But we do have wooden clothespins, so I sacrificed a couple today to serve as labels.