Sunday, August 7, 2016

Chicken run - part 2

Well, so far so good.
The roosters seem to have made themselves at home. Like I said there are 7 of them; one black, one white and 5 brown ones. From the beginning I had the feeling that the black one would be a good one to keep for raising a stock; big, healthy and strong looking. Another one that caught my eye early was one of the brown ones, but this one is positively blazing with a deep bronze. The other ones were much more drab and I sort of did not like the white one. Later it turned out that the ones I picked instinctively established themselves as the most dominant ones; 1 - black, 2 -  bronze, 3 - white. And my wife thought it a good idea to give them names. She opted for Blackadder for the black one. I suggested Sirius Black during dinner and the kids picked that one up too. So that's what it is now. The bronze one became Weasley. Courtesy of the wife.....
The remaining 5 will not live to see the approach of autumn. The will become practical studying material in how to kill and slaughter poultry. If all goes well we will end up with 5x meat for dinner. If things go bad, than the dogs will be the lucky ones and nothing will be lost. Only a lot of knowledge will be gained.
As I said in the previous chicken-post the interior was very rudimentary at first; 2 transport pallets, some sticks in between and that was that. We chose to buy a feeder and waterer. The previous I could have constructed myself, but we were kind of in a hurry, so opted for the easy way out to begin with. I will make a decent feeder in due time.
We made the mistake of not blinding the windows of the henhouse the first night. At 04:00 (yup, AM!!) the boys were up and running... well, crowing. While it sounds like fun and romantic to wake up to the crowing of a rooster, it is a whole lot less fun at 04:00 with several of them at it. Takes the romance kind off of things....

While most of the construction materials were free we did have to dish out a substantial amount of cash anyway. All of the hardware had to be bought; hinges, fencing, wire, more screws and nails (amazing how fast you burn through that stuff!). Especially the fencing set us back. No astronomical amounts though. Well within our limits. If I have to guess I'd say the entire project cost us about 2500kr (roughly €260 or $290) and that includes EVERYTHING. Not bad at all, if I may say so myself.

As I was working on the fencing, low to the ground, Sirius came up to me and stared checking me out. He stood still, right eye turned toward me and so close that I could actually see his pupil expand and contract. He has 4 little dark specks in his brown, yellow lined iris, spaced like the ends of a crosshair.
I forgot about what I was doing and we just watched each other. We did so for a couple of minutes and I marvelled at what a magnificent animal such a cock actually is. His black isn't black, but shimmers with a deep, rich, oily green. His talons were huge and his legs powerful. I had never seen a rooster up this close and his comb and wattles bright red and looking rubbery.
I never seem to cease to be amazed at the wonder of Mother Nature's creations.....
Today the wife and I had to cover the outside area anew. The netting we used was woefully inadequate and tore up way too easy. So we decided that we would redo it all with proper metal mesh. That should keep out the birds of prey and keep in the bird of food for some years to come. All in all that area is a good 15x4 meters, so plenty of room for the birds. Eventually they will also be able to roam the garden free at certain days.

Sirius Black

The "finished" henhouse

And how we have embedded it into the garden.
And now everything is finished up to the point that the final bits 'n pieces can be done, whenever we feel like it. The pressure's off. All that remains now are things like interior decorating, a bit of insulation, painting the exterior and most importantly making some blinds for the windows.
I need to make something to store the food and hay as well. Preferably mouseproof.

Of course we did  introduce these chaps to our other non-human inhabitants. Rex and Lester go nuts, whenever they come out and want to dash for the new guys immediately. It even went so far that Lester jumped out the kitchen window, some 1,7 meters above ground level and Rex opened the frontdoor himself. Our cats are far less nosey. Our black one, Eddie, just looked and went on and our red one, Karel, came in for a closer look. Cool to see that wherever he went he drew a crowd.

1 comment:

  1. How did my Charley Cat make it all the way to your house? The orange tabby rules the world over!

    Love your hen house. A thing of beauty. Love the names. Sirius Black and Weasley. Very good.