THE OFFICIAL BLOG
A short update.
Earlier this week Dave put in a full day's work in Tulsa and then came home to get the roof put on the coop side of the grow-out pen. Then there were two after-work trips to buy materials. And Yvonne and I (with the assistance of Emily who continuously provides us with water so that we will not die of dehydration) have gotten a lot done today.
We are hopeful that we can have this thing chicken-ready by the end of the weekend. And just in time - my brooder chicks are out of head-room.
We are in the middle of an extreme heat wave that started early in the week. Every day for the last seven days has given us temperatures in excess of 95F degrees. The meteorologists tell us that the heat index has been hovering between 105 and 110F each day. It feels a lot hotter.
It isn't like the heatwave took us by surprise, so we all voted last night to wake up early this morning and get as much done as possible on the grow-out pen before it got too hot. I had realized earlier in the week during solo attempts at putting this thing together that every step of the process - excluding pre-cutting lumber - requires at least four hands (ideally six or so) and we only have so many chances for all of us to work together. Despite our early start, it was really hot. My phone camera had overheated by 8:30 am so the pictures from the day are not the best. Apologies both to you and to my camera.
Because it is just how we roll, we were sure from the start to make the entire project more challenging by assembling the frame on un-level rocky ground. Actually, I'm just kidding. It isn't how we roll. We would much prefer to forego a challenge or two every now and then. However, all of our ground is un-level and rocky. We could, I concede, go through the time, expense, and trouble of laying a level concrete pad every time we build something. But... nah...
Homesteading is not our sole occupation. Dave still commutes to work in Tulsa every day and works long hours at his job. I still have homeschooling to oversee and house-keeping duties in addition to all of the day-to-day farm-related chores. There is dinner to cook sometimes because we cannot live off of sandwiches and coffee. Although we have tried. It doesn't work. Being barely alive does not provide the energy needed to actually function in our lives. All of that is to say that time is always at a premium.
So when it comes to the more involved projects around the farm - such as building things - we are constantly looking for ways to save that precious time. Our last effort involves the purchase of a chicken coop kit from a place called EZ Frame Structures online. (I am not going to provide a link here. At least not at this point - as we have not gotten very far using their product and a link would be something of an endorsement.) I will say that ordering anything from them at all seemed like a huge risk at the time as the internet was flooded with terrible reviews regarding shipping - from extremely slow shipping with no contact from the seller to people claiming to never having received their kit... I failed to find a single decent review. That's normally more than enough to put me off from ordering from a company, but I really, really, really wanted this to work. Thankfully, we had no problem with shipping. Yes, it was slower than a lot of shipped items these days - but the seller provided tracking numbers and updates along the way and I have no complaints. About that.
In the past when I have shared pictures of birds still inside our brooder boxes, I have gotten comments asking how I keep the brooder so clean. The short answer is: hard work and determination. However, there are a few things that make that hard work more effective in the long run which I will be sharing here today. Read on to learn more about the cleaning method that has made all the difference for us.