Sunday, October 9, 2011

Good Day

Today was near perfect. Mom & Potter are visiting so the six of us had breakfast at the new local cafe - thereby acquiring a smorgasbord of leftovers for the hens (chili relenos to strawberry smothered pancakes)

Once home again Hubby, Potter & I readied one of the newly acquired hutches for the quail. The one I had built for them was just too small and the wood floor was difficult to keep clean. There had been a rabbit in the "new" hutch previously and the nest box was chewed up and there were holes in the back and bottom. Hubby replaced the boards I removed and cut off the back legs, allowing us to set the hutch on the raised area next to the fence. Straw in the nest box, a small sand box (for dust baths) some branches and it was ready.

That, of course, was the easy part.

Moving the quail was a challenge, and they protested loudly. We have 3 females and 6 males - 5 more males than needed. During the across yard transfer, one male flew off, but the remaining 8 birds are in their new home - and seem much less jumpy with the extra room.

Next on my agenda was a new chicken door for the hen house. I am lazy by nature, and the idea of letting them out in the morning and in at night was too labor intensive for me. We had acquired a decorative metal door with a dog door that was just leaning against the shed for the last 6+ months and that seemed just the ticket. I figured the light coming in would entice the hens out in the morning and I would put on the light inside to entice them back in at night. So now their entry is taller and narrower, but still plenty big. Worst case scenario (foxes and coyotes feeling lucky) I could rig piece of mason board to slide in for a solid barrier.

Next up - ducks. They hate the motion light above them and I have been meaning to build a crate for them to bed in at night or for rainy weather. But this lovely dog kennel was a mere $16 at the local thrift store. Score!

We removed the door, tossed in some straw, add a wood ramp and Voila! Honeymoon Cottage!

I do need to cover the ventilation on the top - to block both the backyard lights and rain (snow) but they seem pretty happy.

Then I notice it is 5 pm. I had planned to make soup in the crockpot, but with these projects and other distractions I had completely spaced it. Once again I am happy to be in city - a short jaunt to the local pizza joint and we have dinner.

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