Sunday, June 24, 2012

Building a Brooder's Coop

If you raise chickens and ever plan on hatching your own or letting a broody hatch for you, it is handy to have a second coop. We found this to be true after our hen, Rosemary, went broody and we needed a separate space in which for her to raise her chicks. It is also nice when you purchase new chicks and need to keep them separated for a while until they are big enough to join the rest of the flock.

My handy hubby, BJ, worked very hard in building us a brooder's coop! It is built of solid wood with a gabled, shingled roof with the rafter ends exposed. This leaves some space in between the walls and roofline for air circulation. We chose to put chicken wire in the gabled ends and we will close these up once winter temperatures set in.

Here are some photos of the coop construction in progress. (I meant to get some when the coop was just beginning to take shape with the studs, but forgot).

I'm thankful for a such a handy husband who likes to build things!

finishing the roof...

the brooder's coop already in use but unpainted

The coolest thing is that the back door swings completely open and shuts flush with the floor, so that shavings and droppings can be easily be sweeped out and replaced! We currently have a light in the top for extra warmth at night, although now I don't think we need it!

Underneath the coop we built a chicken wire enclosure and penned in the rest with netting and electric fencing. We may need a more permanent soluation to a chicken run later on but for now it works just fine. It won't be long until these pullets are allowed outside to free range on their own!

the raised coop makes it a bit more predator-proof and also provides a space underneath for shelter for
their food and water

After the coop construction was finished, we painted the coop a similar color to our house, leaving the trim white.

We decided to put a light in this coop so that the chicks can see their surroundings at night. We have it on a timer so it goes off later in the evening. It will also be handy for a little extra heat when the temperatures start getting cooler. 

The chicks and pullets are LOVING their new home! Our littlest babies, though, are getting a bit picked on by the older pullets and they are SCARED TO DEATH of us. It's strange because the older pullets run up to us immediately whenever we come out and love to fly up on our shoulders and perch on our arms. But not these new babies. They scream bloody murder when we catch them. Hopefully they will learn that we won't hurt them and become a little more friendly.

It is such a relief having a second coop and pen to use for broody hens, sick chickens, new chicks just getting acclimated, or troublesome roosters that need to be separated from the rest of the flock.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Garden Harvests

Below are some pics of our recent harvests!!


We haven't gotten too much yet, but are hoping to reap quite a bit here soon! We have a lot of tomatoes coming in, our beans and peas are growing well, squash is flowering, okra doing good, and a lot more almost ready to pick! Some of our colder-climate crops like kale, beets, cauliflower, etc. don't seem to be doing as well. We may have planted them too late with our unseasonably warm winter.


my new harvesting basket!

we have several green tomatoes getting ready to turn. So far we have had two fully ripe tomatoes already!

Local honey!!!! I'm SO excited. We don't keep bees ourselves, but our friends from church that live not far from us do, and these are jars from their hives. It is interesting that they are two different colors, isn't it?

local honey from our friends in Snow Camp, NC

What kind of harvests have you been getting from your garden?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Day Trip of the Month: Edenton

Edenton, North Carolina: DEFINITELY my kind of town!

If you have never visited Edenton, it is an adorable, quaint historic village on the Albemarle Sound that today is a leader in small town preservation. Even though it is a North Carolina waterfront community, it is geographically located fairly far inland compared to some spots on the Outer Banks.

In its Colonial days Edenton prospered not only as an early port city, trading center, and fishing hub, but garnered a significant amount of wealth from the plantation economy so dominant in eastern North Carolina. Settled and established in the early eighteenth century, Edenton at one time was considered the "Capital" of North Carolina, and the by the time of the Revolutionary War the community's population had reached around one thousand. Much of the early street grid pattern in downtown Edenton has remained the same and many of its eighteenth century buildings still survive, a rarity for North Carolina.

 The Cupola House, built in 1758, is one of the centerpieces of the town's architectural legacy. It is certainly one of North Carolina's finest early homes, exceedingly rare and unique for its day. Formal gardens as well as a kitchen garden enhance visitor tours of this historic site.

check out that massive double-shouldered exterior chimney

The Edenton courthouse is one of the finest examples of classic Georgian architecture in the South and is still in use today. Unfortunately, I missed getting a photo opportunity for it. Below is St. Paul's Episcopal Church and cemetery, with massive old growth magnolia trees shading the brick walk.

Factors such as the construction of the Dismal Swamp Canal and the closing of the Roanoke Inlet in 1795 put a damper on Edenton's trade and industry, sending the city into a period of economic downturn. Additionally, the railroad bypassed Edenton during the mid-nineteenth century, limiting trade and business. Nevertheless, the plantation economy during sustained many families within the Edenton vicinity, with planters managing to amass great wealth from the cultivation of tobacco and cotton among other exports. Fisheries also provided a boost to the local economy. The Civil War had a devastating effect on Edenton, as it did for communities all over the South. However, Edenton would slowly recover with new industries such as steamship operation and manufacturing as well as the railroad's arrival to the town in 1881. These new industrial developments spawned residential development, extending the grid system to the north. Edenton's downtown also grew westward, with new housing needs for Edenton's working class and African American populations.

St. Paul's is a striking Georgian style church built beginning in
1736 but not completed until forty years later. 

St. Paul's cemetery, used by the community and not merely
church members starting in the mid 18th century,
 holds some 700 graves the majority of which are unmarked. 

The Edenton Cotton Mill reflects the community's later industrial heritage, and today the former mill and houses have been rehabilitated into a bustling housing community and an excellent example of adaptive reuse.

this early headstone features a "death's head" with angel wings

I can't go to a historic town without visiting its early cemeteries, can I? 

As you can see, I greatly enjoyed visiting Edenton for the day and I plan to go back sometime for a long weekend trip. What fun day trips have you taken lately?