Greetings and Holykisses!
So much has been going on, but I'm determined to get a blog on today and say howdy to yall!
I've missed everyone so much and we have much catching up to do. There have been so many changes happening and we've been so busy. I find myself getting up with the chickens, and coming in well after dark.
The roofers are still here, and our house is looking different day by day. I'll try to show pictures of that soon but for now, I thought you might like to see what we've been doing at the barn. All the chickens are now moved into their new pen. --So far; it seems to be critter proof! Yay! -- Are you ready for a little barn tour?
At the start of the day, I've been feasting my eyes on flowers. The garden is in full bloom and at it's peak, so I've enjoyed picking flowers to grace this primitive shelf while spending hours in the barn. Having a "barn bouquet" to look at everyday, makes me oh so happYyyYYyYY!
--A few months back, some people tore a house down in Lamar, and were giving away old lumber. The boards for this shelf came from there, and I found this crocheted doily at the Mustard Seed last week for a quarter. It has a hole in it but it's tied off so I hope it doesn't unravel. ;) .... Okay; let's wander outdoors!
Welcome to Fort Knox. This is the outdoor pen for our chickens. It's now all enclosed with strong welded wire on the sides, and poultry wire for a top. We still have the whole outside of the barn to repaint but... as they say, "Rome wasn't built in a day," and neither are barn makeovers. I still haven't hung anything on the pipe over the doorway. Maybe a windchime?
Here's a closeup of the door Myguy built for the outside of the pen. It means so much to me since he made it with his own hands.
-The other day I saw Violet our jenny using one of the pipe corner posts on this new pen to scratch her rumproast. Before when the cows or donkeys pushed on it they'd tear it up. - But not anymore.
After the coop was finished, and chickens moved, I started hauling a few pieces of furniture I'd been saving to the barn. I think I've dreamed of creating a little space to "just be" around the animals for quite some time. Where this possum belly sits, will eventually be an enclosed middle stall made from treated lumber. Poultry wire will be stapled to the ceiling so it will be safe for even Mrs. Potter (The Shabby Olde Potting Shed bunny) to run loose. Myguy said he's gonna build a little wooden gate for me; just wide enough to get a wheel barrow through. I'm really excited!
I sat at the possum belly with pen and paper and wrote all the things I wanted to put in this stall.
My journal gets carried to this very spot alot already and I love to sit and listen to the chickens clucking and crowing while I write. We have electricity to the barn and Myguy hung several new florescent bulbs and even a new box fan! It's so much brighter and cooler now. I say cooler, but yesterday it was 104 again! Looks like my feathered friend Jethro is pretty happy with the new arrangements doesn't he? He's free to roam, as well as Percy the guinea and one other rooster.
In this photo, you can see a before shot of an old box I'm making into a cupboard, and also a hunter green tractor seat chair beyond it. Both were just layin around unused at our old shop. I've been trying to gather up olde things we already had and giving them new purpose. I haven't even bought any paint- I'm just using leftovers from other projects. (Thank goodness we had some turquoise blue left.) -- The white thingy in the background is the back of an antique dresser mirror. I once had turned it into an inspiration board with fabric and chicken wire etc but it didn't match what I'm doing here, so I ripped it all off and I think it's gonna become a chalkboard. You can't have too many chalkboards with scriptures and quotes and words.. isn't that right???
Back to the painting: A couple coats of turquoise, and alot of sanding off and distressing thrown in. You'll see more pictures to come.
Next, is the old dresser I've been anxious to redo.
Some of you will remember the beeeautiful cover photo of Flea Market Gardens mag that inspired many of us to pull out our old chest of drawers to paint and plant? Well;... this dresser has been so on my mind after seeing that magazine. It was our son Trent's dresser for his whole growin up and then he left it in the trailer we rented out and some other people used it for a time and then left it. The drawers actually work pretty well in it and the mirror was still intact as well. I carefully removed the mirror with our son's JESUS LOVES YOU sticker still on it- and started sanding to knock down the shine.
Here's the mirror top. I did the same with it, and oh yeah, you can see the cross that just came to be. The turquoise thingy behind them is the back of a wooden candle sconce. I sanded on it too and gave it a coat of turquoise as well. Then sanded some more. I love that little electric sander and get kinda carried away sanding. lol
Well, here ya have it.
Trent's dresser all painted and dis-stressed.
We had a rusty piece of chicken wire in the feed room, so I stapled it to the back where the mirror used to be. ....... I liked it.... but it's a dresser in the barn. Yeah, I could put things in it but nothing would be safe because of mice. The inspiration dresser picture was with drawers opened and plants spilling out. I liked that look alot and may still do that one day, but for now.... I want to really beable to use this.
So I pulled out the drawers and Myguy and I put new rabbit wire in for a floor.
Then he lovingly helped me build new doors using some old boards we had and older rabbit wire that looked more aged.
He made a little latch for the left door but I still need another for the right side.
Now we can keep baby chicks in it, or another bunny for awhile, or I'm thinking especially broody hens. It has more possibilities this way. Right now, it's in the big part of the barn, but when the new stall gets finished it might get moved into there. That way a skunk or possum wouldn't be able to bother anything in it. It's so short that you know a critter would stand right under it and try to chew on what's inside. I might grab some old cookie sheets at the thrift to lay inside. It would be so much easier to clean that way.
Back to the other cupboard I painted: here it is.
Kinda makes me laugh when I stand next to it coz at first glance, for my height, it reminds me of a country girl refrigerator. The box/cupboard top turned out pretty well, but it needed a base and I looked everywhere for something to use. Finally found an old vanity in the shed with a sink in it. It was old and gross and it just never made it to the landfill. I painted it all up, but... it just "looked" like a vanity still. I decided that if I used a hammer and tapped the centers out of the cabinet doors and put poultry wire on them; I'd like it more. That was a mistake because about the fifth whack I broke it beyond repair. -- So off them came. I did staple chicken wire to the back and then as I was adding the decrepid board to the front, the wood split. Oh well... some things just go like that. lol Still need a couple old boards nailed vertically on the front and then I think I'll llike it more. One of these days when I get brave enough to wade through chiggers up at my Mom's old place; I'll retrieve the fallen down gate to their dog pen and use boards off it.
This little table was yet another make do.
It was just the 2x4 framed part. I don't know where it even came from? Funny how stuff accumulates isn't it? Anyways, it didn't have a top to it, so I nailed these rough cut lumber boards to it, and stapled more chicken wire to the sides and back. It worked well for this chicken feeder planter to set on. Now Percy won't beable to peck at it so much. He has a thing for spider plants I guess. It's probably poisonous.
Well, now you can see the inside door to the chicken coop. Our older chickens and the new Araucanas are all living happily ever after.
These pens are separate and just down from the coop. The one to the far left has boards on it part way up with a brooder lamp hanging down. There is nothing in it right now. Then you can see three more doors/pens just down from it. The two pens on the right are actually connected creating a bigger pen. By having separate pens, we'll beable to keep the Mille Fleurs, and Quail Antwerp Belgians by themselves and raise purebred chicklets.
These pens are not new, but we did try to fix them a little. Our goat Lydia who died awhile ago, used to rub on them and had two of the doors off their hinges. She even messed the wire up really bad on the far pen. If we get goats again, they won't beable to get to these pens because Myguy built a cross fence with a gate out of treated lumber.
Inside the main chicken coop, we set more ladders and everyone seems content. The four hens on the top rungs are old hens, and the ones on the floor are new. All together we have between 30-35 older chickens, and then 10 new Araucanas, 5 Mille Fleurs, 5 Quail Antwerp Belgians and 5 I haven't learned what they are yet. lol I'd ordered Silkies but there must have been some mistake. It's okay though. They're doing great and are really friendly.
Here's what the middle stall looks like to date. It may be Fall before we can get the other stall walls built but I'm already enjoying my time down here so much. After the garden is watered in the evening, I like to grab my journal and come in here and gather eggs, and hand feed the chickens from the kitchen garbage bowl- you know: tomato ends, watermelon rinds, old bread etc. They love it and are getting so tame.
Before I know it, it's time to lift the old fruit jar off the sconce, turn off the battery operated candle and wish my feathered friends a good night.
Thanks for journeying with me today through the coop.