A small patch with lotsa scratch

Mama’s pullets are now 5 weeks old, with the cockerels close to 7 weeks. They have outgrown their little cage made for 20 badgies. So the chicken coop is now officially overdue.

I initially hired someone to clear the place & construct the coop, however, due to unforeseen circumstances, the hired help took 4 days to complete the floor, the walls made of wire & bamboo and the door, to my utter dismay!

I thought it was a waste of time & resources! Due to very limited resources, I had to complete the coop on my own! I know I can do it! Special mention to my sister’s boyfriend who helped me nail some of the difficult parts.

And so, I started to look for stuff around the house that I can re-purpose to build my chicken coop. I found a couple of used old wood pallets, and when I say old, I mean more than 36-year old wood, older than me! A few ropes, sticks, stones & older than me bamboo feeder & floor tiles. I went to the junk yard to scout for wood blocks & hopefully 2×2 wood and I found the perfect blue-green-yellow pallets for my nesting boxes for only Php 125 and I got a good palo-china stick for free!

 

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This is where it all started. I tried to re-purpose the old aluminum birdcage, only to find out that it’s a hopeless case due to the rusty wires keeping it together. I decided against using it for fear that it will do more harm than good.

I started out with a clean slate. Created the mezzanine from an old bulletin board I got from the junk yard (that’s the blue flooring), securing it with 3 braces attached to the wall, and then, supporting the outer part with 2×2 coco lumber nailed to both corners. I placed some more wood on the outer edge just so the pine shavings won’t spill over the edges. The nesting boxes are quite rustic with more than 36-year old wood all over it, including the roofing which I made extremely slanted to prevent them from pooping on it. The stairs was made from the scrap pine wood and the steps were the free palo-china I got from the junk yard! I left the upper part of the nesting boxes open to keep the air flowing.

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The Mezzanine 😉

 

And of course, I have a quality manager checking on me every now and then to ensure I’m doing things right. Ehem! He’s the chocolate fur inspecting my nails right there in the middle of the photo below. Haha!

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Meet my Quality Manager, Max! 🙂

I placed the pine-shavings on the nesting boxes and staging area. Yes! That’s the outer part directly connected to the staircase. I made it that way, just in case there will be more than 2 ladies ready to lay at any given time. They get to have a lounge out there hahaha! I’ll put some curtains there for their privacy too, but I haven’t got enough time. I’ll work on it one of these days. The ladies won’t be requiring it anytime soon, anyways.

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All set for the laying season! I can’t wait for the first egg to get laid!!!! 😀

As a temporary feeding area, I used older-than-me tiles as platform for their feeder & drinking station. Unfortunately, I dropped one of their drinking stations, so they’re left with one. I plugged the drain with an old sack to prevent the sand from draining away and dumped 4 sackful of sand. I had to push the sand around with my feet to somehow distribute them, but didn’t bother to level them, the chicks will do it for me when they move to their new home.

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Improvised feeder & drinking station. I’ll improve this some more, I promise!

It was a tiring 3 hours of non-stop work! I can barely breath right that night due to pain in my rib area and biceps, must be the workout of carrying 4 sackful of sand! Oh but boy, it was worth it! Here are’s the finished coop.

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The finished coop from multiple scratches! I found an old tree branch outside and thought it can serve as a makeshift roost under the mezzanine. Greenielou immediately took to it!  He sleeps there every night!

 

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The hungry chicks munching away after moving into their new homes. Greenielou is the 4th from the bottom of the picture. Yes! The one with a crooked neck trying to reach to the best part of his plate haha! *Pardon their hygiene, they were set to take a bath the next day.

I’ll give you an update once I upgraded some parts of the coop. I’d like to call it, The Mansion. ‘Til next time!

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Dawn of the Chick Collection

To give you a little backgrounder, we’re living in the middle of an urban coastal city south of the metro. The place we live in is small but has a small stretch of space on the southwest side. That small patch of space is about 2 meters wide and 3 meters long. It has all sorts of junk— stones, old birdcages, old PVCs and what have yous. It’s a mess.

There were bumps in my journey there, really angry bumps. My Mama got sick and then my Papa passed away. It’s crazy sad but I know everything happens for a reason and I’m at peace that my Papa is with the Lord now.

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Greenielou stares at you while Raggae is busy scratching.

Anyways, in my recuperation, not to mention my coping up with the responsibility of taking care of the family and having only 1 source of income, I am inspired to initiate a homesteading project in our little patch of space. It took me a while to convince my Mama to bring home chicks, but bless my nephew! In November, our little city celebrated our fiesta. He drew lots costing him 1 peso per draw and was blessed to bring home a chick, a green chick! Not long after, my niece did the same and brought home a chick, a reggae chick! You don’t believe me? See for yourself! Meet our 1st batch of chicks: Greenielou & Reggae!

Now, I did my best trying to convince my Mama to raise them for eggs & meat (which I’m hoping to God would lead her to realize that 2 little chick won’t suffice). This prayer was answered a week later, when she requested that we buy additional chicks to help supplement our family’s egg requirements (though I only have scrambled & hard boiled eggs in mind haha!).

It took us 2 days of driving around our little city to the nearby towns, north, east & south of our place. Behold! We finally saw a bunch of them furry little creatures way south on the 2nd day of our quest! All 45-day chicks. We planned to get only 4 chicks, but! Big BUT! They’re just too cute to pass on! My Mama selected them each, choosing the really quirky fur balls with big feet and heavy build. The planned 4 chicks became 6! I tried to sex them for a higher hen probability, but of course, I’m no expert (if only my Papa is still here, I’m sure he can… sniff, sniff). Thanks to Mark of Coco Poultry Farm for his very valuable post on sexing chicks.

I was so excited that I created a brooder as soon as they got home! Now meet Batch 2 of 6 little chicks! They’re not named yet. They’re my Mama’s chicks anyways, she will decide if she wants to name them.

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Batch 2 – 45-day chicks in their brooder taking their first sip of electrolyte water, some went straight to the food though.

 

Now for the fun part! If my nephew, my niece and my Mama have chicks, why can’t I? Haha! Of course I can! This time I chose the sneaky method of ordering 3 BBS Orpingtons & 3 Easter Eggers. I only told Mama after I have paid for them. There’s no going back now! LOL!

I’m yet to receive Batch 3 of our chicks and I intend to name them all! I’m expecting them late this month or latest next month. I’m giddy with excitement!

Now, onto building my very own chicken coop in our little patch of earth. Tatah!

Your cheeky farm girl