Mom’s move is done, the chickens seem to like their new house

December 8, 2014

Mom finished getting the last few items from Dad’s house. The only things that are left are the big items like the boat and camper that must wait until the divorce is final.  I hope both of them will feel better since there won’t be that on going emotional storm.  A little distance might ease some of the hurt feelings but who knows what will happen.

The chickens seem to like the new chicken house and are settling in nicely. Mom had only one of the older hens she needed to put into the house tonight. She is a hen that is sort of being picked on by the flock so finding her outside wasn’t a huge surprise.  I’m no expert on chickens but it seems that most of the flock are adapting well and seem less stressed. Several of the hens were up on the roost bar and did not “freak out” when I went in to close the door. Mom added a bit more sand to the kennel/run area to help with drainage along with fresh hay so the chickens have a nice bit of stuff to scratch in. The weather has been very warm and I have seen some lady bugs out and about. I’m sure the other bugs are out so the chickens are augmenting their diet. Hopefully we can let the birds do some free ranging in the backyard while it is warm.  We need too add another roost lower to the floor of the chicken house and Mom wants to add some insulation eventually, but over all I think the chickens will be happy with the new setup.

Today I was a bit surprised that my muscles were not that sore today. Of course my “bad” knee made up for that lack in the pain department. Not too surprising as most of the work I did on the chicken house was done by squatting and that is hard on my knees. Last night I gave myself a good rub down with the pain salve and it really helped with the pain from muscle soreness as well as the joints. Tonight I made a double batch of the pain salve and gave Mom 2 jars and kept 3 for myself. I have to call the local beekeeper and get another chunk of beeswax.  He sells the wax in 10-18 pound chunks so the up front cost is high but I had just over a pound of the wax and it it made several batches of pain and the dry skin salve.  A little beeswax goes a long way. Mom is interested in learning to make beeswax candles and I think my aunt will be interested in buying some clean beeswax from me this spring so I can defray the up front cost in a couple of months.

I got everything prepped for making some of the black ale on Tuesday. I don’t need to add humidity to the house as Mom set up a small humidifier in the living room. But humidity is a bonus making beer and I bet the chickens will like the extra grain which saves on feed costs. It is fascinating to me how you can use and reuse items that sort of feed another area of self sufficiency. Like how used beer grains can be used to feed life stock or go into the compost and super charge the heat process to break down your browns. Or how you can use free ranging chickens to work the soil and till your garden as well as insect control in your backyard.

I’m slowly getting into the idea of perma-culture and I really love the concept of a food forest.  While I have a few limitations on what I can do here at Casa de Chaos there are many ideas that I can try out and see how I can work with Mama Nature in making an attractive yard that will be sustainable long term.

Last but not least I added a few items that might work for the Mom’s pekes and Smokey the cat. I made a small ramp to help the pekes up a step by the doggie door.  It seems the the wood was just a little slick and made the older dogs scared. I got a small carpet at the Dollartree and the dogs have more secure footing using the ramp.  I also picked up a couple of small pillow covers and the have been kitty tested and approved by Smokey the cat!  I found out today we  have a Harbor Freight store moving into to old Big Lot’s store front.  With my 2015 goals of getting tools this is good news.