Sunday, August 24, 2014


After a week in Red Door Coop's pen, Lou was ready to join the four other birds in the coop.  Last night around 9:30, Papa Hen and I quietly moved her from the roost in the pen to the roost in Red Door Coop.  Five hens got up together this morning and five hens have spent the day together in the coop.

The afternoon sun made this a hard shot to catch, but if you look carefully you will see them all.

Of course, there are times when the North Side Oldies and the South Side Newbies need to spend time with their own, but they are becoming one flock.  Hooray!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014


The garden continues to grow.  I've picked yellow beans, radishes, cucumbers, peppers, and lettuce. 
There are green tomatoes galore, in every one of the five raised beds, and not one has turned red, yellow, or orange.  In the front yard, two volunteer tomato plants have given us some orange and red tiny tomatoes.  Yum!  
We'll continue to be patient.  Maybe.

The delicata squash and pumpkin vines are spreading into the lawn which is a hassle for mowing, but a feast for the eyes. 
One mammoth sunflower has bloomed. 
We are waiting on these.  They are about 12 feet tall.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fun With Straw

Late tonight we will put Lou back with the hens in the coop and just let things play themselves out.  We are hoping that the separation will have mellowed her bullying the new girls, but who knows.  In our minds, we know we have to solve this problem before it gets cold.  More birds in the coop is better for keeping them all warm.  Also, if the chickens are together it is a lot less work for us.

To break up Lou's monotonous solitude and to give the other girls some fun, we threw some squares of straw in the coops today.  Lou was on the straw within seconds.

Fitz and Bill jumped in at about the same speed.  BB looked anxiously on as the old girls scratched at the pile.  Weezy was in the nesting box.


Lunchtime Surprises

Papa Hen made an improvement to Red Door Coop that I didn't know about until we were eating lunch at the picnic table this afternoon.  In some heavy rain earlier this summer we noticed a couple of leaks in the coop.  To solve this problem, Papa Hen added another piece of roofing where the chicken run and chicken coop meet.  He then caulked around the roof screws.  Part of this project involved detaching and re-attaching the solar panel and optic lens for the automatic door.  Here's what it looks like now.

Another benefit of the additional roofing material is that the spot where we have the light timer is better secured from the elements.

As usual, nice work Papa Hen!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

State of the Hens

A cool light rain greeted me as I stepped out the back door this morning for early chicken chores.  The chickens were still locked up safe in the coop.  We folded up the luxury loft last night and the new girls went into the coop to roost.  We'll do that for the next few nights.  Lou Lou is in solitary since she continues to pick on BB.  We will reintroduce her to the flock tomorrow and expect to see a change in her behavior.

BB has a great personality!  She snacks out of our hands, loves dirt baths (anytime and anyplace, rarely in the dirt bath), and is so fluffy you just want pet her.  Weezy is similarly adorable, but definitely a bit more cautious and a lot harder to get into the coop when free range time is over.  She is a skilled worm catcher.

Fitz is still not looking great, we think because of all the stress with Bruiser, but she continues to lay monster eggs.  Bill is not broody anymore and has started laying again.  Her old voice, they very loud voice, is back as well.  We have mixed feelings about that.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Luxury Loft

While Mama Hen was away with her parents, Papa Hen played handyman in the coop.  We've been talking about a loft for awhile and with our new hens needing a little space for quiet time, away from the big girls, the timing seemed right.  Papa Hen built a loft that is attached to the side and ceiling of Red Door Coop with cabinet hinges and sturdy chains.  We wanted the flexibility of "removing" the loft as needed for weather, behavior, illness, or whatever surprise the hens dream up.

Take a look.
One can also hang a cabbage from the bottom of the loft using a bolt to which one of the chains attaches.  Mama Hen hasn't seen that yet.

Fitz and BB hanging out.

A view from below with BB contemplating her journey to below.  

The one problem we've encountered is that Weezy and BB think chicken bedtime means jumping up on the loft and tucking in.  We do not agree and will move them inside until they get it.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Serious Business

With family living in Ohio now, I've learned that lawn care is serious business in this region of the country.  It doesn't allow for injured legs or even water breaks, as seen here, during a water bottle hand-off.
The job must be done.  On a twice-weekly schedule at 3-3.5 inches.  Due to various leg injuries we were given a little leniency in the routine and borrowed a kind neighbor's John Deere.

The Mother drove it home.  

Got word from home in Colorado that the chickens are doing well.  

Beans and Chicks

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Urban Chicken Farming: a Plucky Tale (take 2)

Our friends created another documentary about Red Door Coop.

Click here to watch it:  Urban Chicken Farming

Two Sides

There are two sides to every story.  

If I were to understand chickens, I might be hearing things like "But we were here first, why do we have to share?" (old girls)  And maybe "We aren't trying to offend anyone, but we need to scratch and peck on the ground too.  We can't stay on the roof of this small coop all day long, every day." (young girls)  
Who is right?  

Our chicken-sitter kept the girls together in the coop all weekend while we were out of town.  They gave all the girls opportunities to be in the coop in their own little cliques so everyone had a chance to scratch and peck on the ground.  However, when we returned from our mini-vacation I felt annoyed that the old girls still insisted on being so relentless in their quest to isolate the new girls.  Except for Bill.  She is the one old girl reaching out to the new girls.  
So, please tell me if I am crazy...I decided to put Fitz and Lou in the pen for a few days to allow Bill, BB, and Weezy take charge of Red Door Coop together.  My thinking is that if the new girls and Bill can bond and get to know the space as a group, they will be stronger.  And hopefully when Fitz and Lou are returned to the coop later this week, they will not be so darn bossy and intimidating.
We'll see. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Fresh Eggs

We are always looking for new ways to use our fresh eggs.  My friend at The Farmy cooked a wonderful dish for me when we were working together at her farm: Zucchini-Feta Pancakes (for a better understanding of the recipe, you might like to know that courgette = zucchini)  

We had the yummy pancakes tonight with a little sour cream on top.
Here are a few sizzling in the pan.

After flipping, there is a messy one.

They were all delicious, even the messy one!


I'll have an update on the chickens tomorrow.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Chickens Have Hobbies?

We saw an interesting sign along Blue Mesa Reservoir this weekend. 

We learned that this is a popular place for wind surfing.

Wind Surfing.  At the Bay of Chickens.

Chickens.  Wind Surfing.


We also discovered something that makes a lot more sense.
The beautiful Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.  Wow!  Go there!