Monday, June 6, 2016

The Beginning of The Coop

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've spent a lot of years dreaming about my hobby farm. It's been an idea in my head, without coming to fruition for a long time. But at some point in life, if you want to achieve your goals and dreams, you have to stop thinking about them and start acting on them. My hobby farm will forever be a dream in my head if I don't act on it, so I decided to change that this weekend.

The goats will indeed have to wait until 2017 to come to the farm, as their space is still an overgrown pasture behind the garden, and I don't have the cash saved up for the investment required to build a sturdy fence and shelter yet! I'm saving as much as I can though, and that project is slated for October once the weather cools down.

However, the chickens are looking like another story! Saturday morning, after Hendrix's soccer game, we headed to Lowe's and came home with lumber!

I dug hole posts (by hand, thankyouverymuch), sunk my corner posts, then attached the cross boards to finish with the (quite) rudimentary frame for the coop! That took all afternoon on Saturday.

Sunday, after thinking and thinking of how I could keep predators out without having to sink hardware cloth two feet into a trench in the ground, I came up with a plan that I'm hoping is effective in it's duty. We dug the whole 90 square feet of the coop/run space down about 6 inches, laid down a double layer of chicken wire, then buried it again with the dirt. We made sure the chicken wire came all the way up the sides of the dug out space to completely seal off the ground under the chickens. This way, if a fox decides to dig under the pen, they'll come up on chicken wire, which will stop them from having a chicken dinner.

It was a weekend of a lot of physical labor, but also a lot of pride! I'm happy with what we have so far. Matt and I both get paid bi-weekly now, so once I can evaluate where we stand this coming weekend, I'd like to go back to Lowe's and put the floor on the coop, as well as frame out the rest of the run.

(Side Note: Matt and I recently paid off all of our credit card debt, and my one big, no-exception rule to all of this is that we finance nothing and pay cash for everything. We worked hard for three years to pay off this debt, and I'm NOT going back to that place EVER AGAIN! That being said, this whole thing is going to come together slowly, but that's why we're starting now for the farm to be in full swing in 2017!)

Fun Side Story: We had a no-electronics or TV rule yesterday. (Actually, in the last 7 days, the kids have had 2 hours of electronics time. Love it.) As a result, they helped us dig and replace dirt. I told Hendrix that he could use his money and purchase a chicken when it came time, and that it could be his responsibility. He got so excited, it made my heart super happy. Then, Jameson wanted his own chicken as well, of course. I agreed.

Hendrix was helping like a little champ, so I decided he'd earned his chicken. He - of course - went to gloat about that in his brother's presence, so I told Jameson he had to work and earn his chicken. So the rest of the day, no matter what he did, he'd end with "Did I earn my chicken, mommy?" Haha! It was quite entertaining.

Second entertaining side story. The dog took off running to the south side of the garden and came walking back with a dead possum in his mouth - or so we thought. The darn thing was playing dead! It got up and tried to escape, and the dog ran after it, so it started playing dead again. We all went inside, and Hendrix stayed outside to watch it finally get up and run off. Bleck.

What did you get up to this weekend?

Do you have a busy week planned?
(This is Hendrix last week of school - finally!)


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    I like possums, they're really fascinating. I'm SO glad your dog didn't kill it. I wish you'd take a few minutes to read about them at They're really quite intelligent!

    I'm glad you're farming. I always wanted my own farm with lots of land but instead was (allegedly) bitten by a tick, got Lyme disease, and have been disabled now for 22 years. Fun times. No farm, either. I have been saving info on farming for a very long time. If there's anything you need, info wise, I'll bet I have it or something similar. I'll never get to use it, but I can't stand to delete it all. If there's any info you need, ask me before you buy! Good luck! (And delete that spam above!,)

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