Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Compost bins

The previous owner of my house left this compost bin (if you can call it that).  It's just some welded wire fence in a circle.  There's no structure to it.  It worked well for a while.  I got a lot of good compost out of it last year and re-filled it over this past summer.  As you can see, it hasn't held up. 

I decided to build something more substantial.  The previous owners also left an old swing.  I cut it up and saved the 4x4's from it.  Then I went to Home Depot and bought 2x4 lumber from the scrap bin.  Most of it was warped and twisted and only 6 ft long.  It was sufficient for what I wanted to do. 

This is what I came up with.  It has two bins.  The plan is to fill one side and let it sit for a while and then move it to the other side. 

I bought some plastic 1" netting and stapled it around the interior.  At $20 it was the most expensive part of the project.

I built a removable door to hold the stuff in.

Bungee cords keep the door in place.

Here it is with one side all filled up.

Monday, October 22, 2012

More chickens

We got more chickens.  One of our neighbors had some chickens that she was trying to give away.  We gladly took more.  We doubled what we had and went from 4 to 8.

I wish I could remember what breed they are, but I don't know.

This is Autumn

This is Copper.  She's probably the prettiest bird we have.  She's also the smallest.

This is Peanut.

And this is Mulan.

My children named all of the birds.  It took a few days for the new birds to settle in.  Autumn didn't leave the coop the first day and hide under it most of the second day.  Peanut made herself at home and joined right in with the 4 birds that we had.  Copper and Mulan stuck together.  They were smaller and were chased away by the larger birds.  It took a week or two for everyone to adjust.

I've heard about chickens having a pecking order.  It was fascinating to see it in action.  The barred rock, Padme, is at the top, and poor Copper is at the bottom.  Even her buddy Mulan now pecks at her. 

Speaking of the other birds...  They're much bigger now.

Padme - Barred Plymoth Rock

Ariel - Rhode Island Red

Leia - Silkie

Jasmine - Buff Brahma

Leia was the first to lay an egg.  Padme, and Autumn are also laying and we think that Peanut might be laying as well.  We haven't been able to catch her in the act to be sure.  I'm not really keeping track, but I think we get 1-2 eggs per day.