There never seems to be enough hours in the day when John is working to get all of the honey-do's done around the house. Especially the "big" things. So he's on his Spring/our anniversary (22 years!) vacay this week and hoo boy is the list endless!
Our first order of business was to build a new chicken coop. We had a massive loss last month of our flock. They got infested with chicken mites and half of the 10 that we had were dead in two days. At that point we had no idea why. Then the others got sick and once we realized they were so badly infested, it was too late. And we ended up losing 9 of our 10 chickens. Every day it seemed that one or two more died. It was heartbreaking. After doing some research (thanks to Google!) I found out that we needed to pressure wash the coop with insecticide to kill any remaining mites. Can't very well do that with one chicken still in there, so we decided we'd just build a new coop. That way, we can rotate the girls and pressure wash the unused one and hopefully not have this infestation again. We got a bit of a head-start on it last week and have just spent the first two days of his vacay finishing it up. It's so bright and purtty! We still have one more treatment to do on the Survivor, which is what I've changed her name to before we can introduce her to her new home sometime next week. Now we have landscape timbers to replace, beds to put new mulch in, finish re-screening all the windows and hopefully get to enjoy an anniversary dinner at Kazu's Sushi! The weather report for Tue is not looking real promising for outdoor work. They are saying we could see some nasty storms like rolled thru here last Thur. And while I hope we don't have any damage, we sure could use the rain. When John was digging the holes for the corner posts, the dirt about 4" down is pure sugar sand. No moisture whatsoever. So we can always use the rain, just not any damage.
I had to make a Post Office run last week and stopped by the feed store to see what kind of peeps they had in. They had Rhode Island Reds and Black Australorps. I'm not a fan of Rhode Island Reds. They tend to be mean when mixed with other breeds, so I passed on them. I did pick up two of the Australorps though! We've had them before. They are known as a "heavy" breed, meaning they weigh more than most egg layers. People use them for both egg production and meat birds. They have beautiful black feathers that have a greenish irradescent quality when they are in the sun and they lay a beautiful jumbo size brown egg. So the two little girls are currently in a big box in the garage. It will be at least a couple of weeks before they can go outside. And when the feed store gets their shipment of Americana peeps in later this month, I'll be heading back for 3 or 4 of them. They are my favorites! Known as the Easter Egg Chickens, they lay eggs that are blue, green, and even pink shelled. It does not affect the taste of the egg at all, but the shells are great conversation starters! I'm thinking I'll quit with 6 girls. But I may get a few more. So long as we have eggs for ourselves and maybe some to share with family and friends, that's all I want. I enjoy watching them interact with each other (and me!)
And sometime in the not too distant future, we plan to re-do the old coop. We'll tear down the wood on the sides and all of the chicken wire. Re-wire the whole thing and put new wood up. Then we'll will make a "breezeway" between the two coops so they can roam between the two. But we'll still have a way to isolate them in one coop or the other so we can do maintenence on the other one. The best of both worlds!