0 degrees F. this morning Amber lager started and chicken coops

Beautiful day, clear and very cold at 0 degrees at 10 am when I checked and on Monday morning fog will roll in. I’m not acclimatized yet and still get a bit chilled at times. The wood stove is doing a good job keeping the house warm overnight as it was 65 degrees when I got up this morning and there was a hot bed of coals to start today’s fire. I’ll be washing up all my long sleeve T-shirts tonight.  When I was in the Army I got a lot of long sleeve T-shirts and it is amazing how much warmer I felt compared to wearing a regular T-shirt. Now that I have been losing some weight I can start wearing those shirts again for winter. I was a little behind as I did not expect it to get quite so cold so fast. The local weather guys seem to be in the same boat, as the forecast temps keep getting revised downward each day.  Once it warms up a bit I will add some clear plastic to the windows. The blinds and curtains do a good job but I want to have more sun light coming into the house.  Some good news from my sister and using the new quartz heater “gift”. It is working well and she likes the heater and she is staying warm.

I got the Amber Lager finished and fermenting in the bucket. The house needed an extra boost of humidity and the extra heat was welcomed in the house.  I did a 90 minute simmer of the grains but I did not see a major boost in the sugar levels via the Hydrometer. I tend to brew for taste rather than alcohol content so I’m not worried about the beer, if I get about 5%  yield in alcohol. The snow and cold helps with chilling the wort quickly so there is an upside to the cold weather. The first tests of the amber ale have been good for flavor.  Just have to wait on carbonation and conditioning in the bottles.

I have been doing some research on chicken coops and I think Mom is making a mistake buying a semi-expensive shed and not investing in a solid foundation to support it.  I went on Amazon and they have several coops that would be a better temporary solution and could work long term for introducing new chickens into the flock. For the price of the shed and a good foundation she could buy 2 or 3 of the smaller coops with runs that would very simple to set up without investing in a good foundation needed for the shed. Running lights or heaters to the coops is not a problem as I have plenty of outdoor power stakes.  Give me a realistic budget and what you want to accomplish and I’m darn good at making stuff work. My biggest problem is a time crunch via the divorce. While I understand things can get unpleasant between those folks. I’m in the middle left hold the bag so to speak.  I really hate this crap of everyone picking sides and stuff. I suppose I am picking a side by taking in my Mom in but my Dad really helped me out so divorce is not easy for kids at any age.  Nothing new I have played this game before and I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t.

6 Responses to 0 degrees F. this morning Amber lager started and chicken coops

  1. My three hens live in Rubbermaid boxes inside a 10x10x6′ dog fence. There is wire over the top and a tarp. It works.

  2. Dannyboy53 says:

    Wow Jamie, 0º is too cold for me! Here in north central Arkansas we are in the high 20’s and just had about 3 inches of snow fell on us a little while ago.

    Chickens are fairly able to adapt to most any reasonable setting. We let our chickens and ducks free range during the day and of course they go back into the house inside the pen and are closed up for the night. I have racks built along the wall where they roost. Most of my life we have had chickens, ducks & Guinea hens, letting them out during the day (free ranging) is much better in my opinion for the production of eggs and meat. Of course we live in the country and some folks may not have the option of turning theirs out.

  3. Jamie says:

    Well Mom sort of babies her chickens but they also produced eggs in the winter when most chickens don’t produce eggs. I think Mom is great about many things and her egg production is very good so I can’t say I’m correct on the coops. While it is sort of a make do situation I beleive it buying several smaller coops will work out in the long run compared to buying a shed and skimping on the foundation.

  4. Dannyboy53 says:

    I agree, whatever works…one should stick with it, we get so many eggs we give them away to the neighbors! And that’s pretty much year round for us too.

    I think your mom and my Mary have something in common, Mary calls our hens “her girls” and often they will follow her around the yard! Some people just seem to have a way about them with critters.

  5. Kimberly says:

    I have 3 chickens in my “city” back yard. My husband built the coop and put hardware cloth around and underneath, even ran electricity to it and we installed a ceramic heater, purchased for $6. The most expensive part was the hardware cloth.

    All that said, I had purchased coops before for $200-$300, and they last little over a year and were poorly built. In my last home, more rural area, a fox got to the chickens and ducks. Have to secure the coop to the ground because winter winds can blow them away. For short term, anything you get can and will work so long as you predator proof it. Deep litter 6-8 inches, keep down the humidity and keep the girls dry inside and they are good.

    You are quite handy and I am sure you will make a suitable area for your moms chickens. She is lucky.

    • Jamie says:

      Kimberly : Having the coops fall apart after a year or two is my biggest worry in buying them. Mom seems set on the Rubbermaid shed so I will do my best to make it work. Since the carport area has a rock base perhaps we can use sand and some patio blocks to make sure the shed is level and skip using wood 2×6’s and plywood as a base. I have use the rock, sand and blocks several places arond my house and it makes for a solid foundation and most of the materials can be moved and re-used.

      Mom is spending a good chunk of change on the the shed so I don’t want it to torque and get torn up becuase it gets out of square and off level. If and when she gets her own place I want the shed in good shape to be moved to her new home.

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