I'm excited to say I have ordered my chicks. I got four different breeds: Sultan, Speckled Sussex, Easter Egger, and Light Brahma. I was originally going to get Blue Splash Cochins instead of the Sultans but I decided to go with the Sultans because they are a fairly rare breed (listed as critical on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy website). I was going to order from Cackle Hatchery but they didn't offer the Sultans, and unfortunately eFowl.com had the Sultans but not the Blue Splash Cochins so I had to make the hard decision. The rarer breed won out. The chicks are scheduled to be shipped on April 1 and should get here a day later.
As a Home Depot credit card holder I get credit offers from them from time to time. The timing was right for this particular offer: no interest for 18 months on purchases of $499 or more. So I made a list of materials and got what I hope is the majority of what I need for two of my projects. Here is most of my stuff. Not pictured are the shingles and fasteners.
On Tuesday I got off work at 5pm and started with my list (I had driven the truck to work knowing that I was going to get this stuff). One of the lumber guys saw me and I ended up giving him my lumber list and he and another worker got that part of my order together while I went and got the fasteners I needed. ("Fasteners" is contractor speak for nails, screws, hooks, etc.)
My bill came to $560. Gulp. Well, I paid $60 with my debit card and the $500 is on my Home Depot card. I figured if I pay $50/month it will be paid off in 10 months (or less if I have a little extra to add) so I don't feel too bad about it. I know I will have to get some more stuff and I'll just pay that with cash when it comes time to get it (like chicken wire).
I have a basic plan for a chicken coop going on in my head. I've drawn a few things out on paper but kept making changes so I thought I'd just get started before it got too late. I would hate to have the chicks outgrow their temporary place before I got their permanent pen/coop ready.
Here is the base. The nest box is the part sticking out in the back.
Starting to frame the side walls.
Framing from the back.
Right now nothing is attached. All the components are put together but need to be attached together. The wood is so wet and heavy if I put it all together in the shop I'll never get it moved outside.
My two days off are over as of tonight (back to work at 6am Saturday!) so hopefully Hubby will get started on clearing the little area where I want to put the chicken pens. Yes, I said pens, one for each breed (I got 5 hens and one rooster for each breed except the Sultans which only come as straight run).
My next project that I started on was fixing a more permanent roof for the bull's run in shed. You may remember that the first corrugated metal roof we put on got blown off last year because we didn't put enough screws in it. I came up with a plan to attach wooden runners on the metal "rafters", then I will attach OSB sheeting to the wood, then shingles on top of that.
First I got four 12 foot 2 X 4's, one for each rafter. I had to figure out where the U-bolts would go (3 per 2 X 4) then drill the holes. Then I had to gouge out a shallow channel where the flat part of the U-bolt goes.
I actually used the Skilsaw to make the channels. The chisel was for cleaning it up.
Hubby removed the torn and tattered tarp from the top of the run in shed. Together we got the 12 footers attached to the rafters and everything went according to my plan. I didn't get pictures of that but I will later as we do more on that project.
Then next thing will be to tighten the nuts on the u-bolts, cut any part of them off that may be poking above the channel, then attach the OSB, and finally the shingles. Like I said, more photos as we make progress.
And the third project I'm currently working on is, yes, another crocheted afghan. This time it's in shades of blue and it will be for a coworker's housewarming gift. It's about a fourth finished at this point. Pictures of that when it's done, as usual.
I guess it's fair to say I'm keeping myself busy for a bit.