Monday, April 17, 2017

New Chicken Coop - Installed!

Hello!  It was a busy weekend for this farm family.  Dayle and Travis managed to pull out the old chicken house using the tractor and get the ground ready for the new one.  They used the tractor to do some leveling and then Travis used a rake to further flatten it.  Then they took the truck and got 1 1/4 tons of gravel to put on the site.  

We had an unplanned dog emergency, so Travis and Kristi had to go take one of their dogs to the vet.  Travis returned and raked it flat.  

Meanwhile Dayle and our grandsons, 8 & 9 years old, shoveled the gravel out of the truck onto the ground.  This photo shows Hayden and grandpa working - there is a big dirty spot on the garage from where the old coop butted up against it, we have to scrub that clean now.  Hopefully we'll have the house and outbuildings painted "barn red" this summer.

Here is Caleb helping with the project.  I am so happy they get to grow up on the farm with us and learn how to work and take care of things.

To further make the base stable the guys laid down two rows of concrete pavers as a foundation.  Dayle had bought a bag of chopped straw to lay inside the coop and to fill the nest boxes.  I fluffed the nests around and laid two "fake" eggs inside so the chickens would know where to lay their eggs.  Dayle bought the two eggs at the farm store and they are really NICE.. they are ceramic and actually look and feel exactly like a real egg.  I put and X in black on the bottom so whoever picks up the eggs will know to leave these in there.  :-)

Here are the 5 nest boxes all set up.  

I pulled up a camp chair and watched the chickens as they tried to figure out how to get into the new coop.  The old door was at ground level, this one is up a ramp.  They kept trying to find their old door and were rather confused.  

The grey one is named "Gracie", she's an Ameraucana that lays aqua eggs.  They other is Shelby who lays a brown egg.  Gracie was the smartest and bravest and finally went up the ramp into the coop.  Shelby nervously strutted around wondering where she'd gone.  Gracie came out and visited with her and then went back in.. after 3 times seeing her do that, Shelby finally went up the ramp!  Success!  This was Saturday evening, and the automatic door worked and shut at dark.  Yesterday on Easter Sunday - Caleb checked the nests and both chickens laid their eggs in a nest, neither one in a nest with a fake egg.  LOL!  I was so happy they used the nest boxes and the eggs were completely clean as opposed to how the ended up when they were laying under the roost in the old coop.  Success!

The Easter Bunny hid some eggs and here are the boys with theirs.  :-)

The DIL bunny even left some gold eggs hidden for grandma! :-)

I'd ordered these on Amazon when I was sending a big Dove chocolate bunny and a cute stuffed rabbit to my granddaughters that live way way far away in Ohio.  I've been sharing these with the family.. they are yummy!

We had a different Easter dinner - instead of a ham we had baked pork chops.  While it was very good, I hope we go back to a ham next year.  But we had such a nice dinner all together.  We toasted each other with sparking cider.

Dayle prepared the feast of baked pork chops, fried Yukon gold potatoes and onions and boiled corn on cob.  Num!

My daughter shared a photo with me of Paige and Jenna with their gifts from us.  The Gund stuffed bunnies look so real, I almost got one for myself!  LOL!  I sure do miss being able to see these precious girls more often.  

It was a bittersweet weekend as the kids found that their dog Bubba was terminally ill with cancer and so they had to make the hard decision of putting him out of his misery.  It's been very hard on Kristi.  

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and have a great week ahead.  We are preparing to head to the coast this week!  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 


  1. Teresa, your chickens will surely be happy with their new home, and your family did a great job providing it for them! It is good to see your handsome grandsons, and beautiful granddaughters enjoying their gifts, as well.

    We had five little Grand Girls hunting for eggs here on Saturday, and friends and family gathered here on Sunday for a ham dinner after church...lovely, but we are missing far away family members, too.

    I am sorry for the sadness Kristi and your family feel for the loss of Bubba....

    Have a wonderful time as you prepare and travel to the beach and as you celebrate your birthday and the beauty around you while you are there. xx

  2. So sorry about Bubba, that's really sad news, I can imagine how much they'll miss him. Nice job on the new hen house, and I'm glad the hens worked out how to use it. Glad you had a good Easter, the food looks delicious, and those rabbits you sent to your granddaughters are brilliant. CJ xx

  3. It looks as though the boys were a big help in putting the coop where it needed to be and getting it all set up for your chickens. I laughed when I read that Gracie is the smartest chicken! "Our" Gracie is one of the smartest ladies I know too!

    Those bunnies of your granddaughters really do look real. They look very happy with their gifts from grandpa and grandma.

    I'm sorry Kristi and Travis and the boys lost their puppy. That's never easy. I'll keep them in prayer.

    I am glad you had a wonderful Easter holiday. I hope you have a wonderful time at the beach for your birthday.
    Blessings, Betsy

  4. Thinking of you Kristi and wishing you peace and comfort as you remember Bubba. I've been where you are right now, having lost so many sweet & loving four legged companions. They fill our lives with the purest unconditional love. ❤️

  5. So sorry to hear about Bubba. I think we are now just getting over the loss of our Rusty last August. I keep expecting him to lope around the corner where I am weeding and throw his ball at me. Happy to hear the chicks found their way in to the coop and proceeded to do what was expected of them. I'm glad you had a happy Easter - fortunately the weather mostly cooperated this weekend.

  6. What a bittersweet end to such a lovely post Teresa. I'm so sorry to read about their dog. However how lucky your grandsons are to live with you, what awesome childhood memories they will have. I'm glad you had a lovely Easter xx

  7. So sorry to hear about Bubba. Perhaps the book by Cynthia Rylant (Dog Heaven) would help the boys? Bet you have some happy chickens with their fancy new digs! Sounds like a nice Easter. The weather here is slowly improving. Have fun at the Coast!

  8. I had to laugh when I saw your dinner table...bbq sauce and ketchup. Just like our house would be. We had pork loin that took longer to cook that I thought it would and to had to hurry it up by nuking it in the microwave a minute worked. Will do ham next year. Nice chicken coop. Glad you all had a nice Easter and I'd eat those chocolates too. Yum! Have a fun trip to the coast. We're headed there next week! Can't wait! Sorry about Bubba the dog. Sad to have a pet die as they are part of the family. Hugs to all! xx-xx

  9. Sorry to hear about poor Bubba. :( That's one fancy hen house. Spring sure is looking good in your neck of the woods. Nice to see the boys outside doing real work.

  10. It all looks wonderful! I so agree with you about children being lucky to grow up on a farm. It is a great ambience and they learn so much. I was also lucky to spend most of my school holidays on my Aunty & Uncle's farm in Somerset. They were the very best holidays a child could have !!! My Aunt would have loved to have had a Hen house like that!!!

    keep well

    Amanda x

  11. So glad that you had a lovely Easter...such happy times for you all....although I was so sad to hear of the loss of the children's dog.
    Sending love.
    Helen xox

  12. Please tell the family I'm so sorry about Bubba. They just don't live long enough.
    I love hearing the Chicken stories. I want to see the aqua eggs! Please.

  13. The hen house looks very smart! Glad you had a lovely Easter, my those girls are growing up. Sending hugs to all re Bubba, sad news. Hugs Anne x

  14. So lovely all your doings at your home. The coop is high rent and your chicks are so lucky!!! Love seeing the kids, all so grown up. But so sad to hear of Bubba, always so sad. Hugs to them all. Have a great week at the coast dear friend, xoRobin

  15. Looks like a lovely Easter with your family. LOVE the coop and the ladies look like they are adjusting. The photo of your granddaughters is so funny!

  16. Teresa, I loved reading about the new coop! My new coop was delivered this week. In 7 huge boxes!!! Hubby is out of town for a few days, so the construction won't begin until next week. I know Greg will be interested in seeing how you prepared the soil before putting the coop down. He was going to do cinder blocks. But I think the gravel is a good idea too. Your coop is darling! Just darling! I am thrilled beyond words to have my chickens again. All 12 have been growing and seem very healthy! But we won't have fresh eggs until September. But that's okay. I can wait.
    I am so sorry about the boys dog. So hard. But part of life, and a lesson we all must learn. They have grown sooooo much! And the girls too. So big! I know your heart hurts at being so far from them. Dayle made a lovely dinner for Easter. But I am like you, tradition, tradition, tradition. So ham it is.
    Hugs from California,


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