Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lots of things done and a few lessons learned today.  I did say in my first post there will be plenty of mistakes along the way:  Today I'll 'fess up' to a couple!

First the good news - Nice progress on the chicken coop today.  The first construction step in this particular project was 'de-construction'.  I took it a little further than I originally intended but when I got into it, and was reminded that my skills as a builder are a large part of why I make my living doing other things,  it was clear I needed a bit more of a clean slate.  I managed to get the whole front side off, leaving me a good place to start for the 're-construction' phase.  Here's a pic of where I ended up. The whole thing is about 8 feet wide and the current floor as you see it is 4 feet deep.  I'll be bringing that out another 3 feet or so.  I believe that will make the coop big enough for the 15 birds I plan to keep. You'll find a 'before' pic in my first post if you're interested enough to see what the 'bus house' looked like before I got busy with the hammer and pry bars.  There are not so many posts yet that I feel TOO bad about making you go back and find it.  :-)  [Someday I'll have to figure out how to do emoticons so you get a real smiley face.]

This brings me to the first 'lessons learned' bit of the day.  You'll notice the window in the picture to the left my window has a seven hazy, dirty panes and one lovely, pristine pane.  If you look even more closely you'll see that lovely, pristine pane doesn't have even the tiniest streak or speck of dirt.  You'll also note it doesn't have even a hint of a reflection!  ("Hey!!  That's not right!")  You are correct, my highly observative readers - my lovely, pristine pane is, in fact, an open pane where I knocked out the glass as I yanked out a piece of lumber.  The upside to this unfortunate consequence of my demolition ineptitude is that Mark gets to relearn another skill from his distant youth in replacing and reglazing a glass window pane. (Whoopee!!!)

I figure in the interest 'full disclosure' I ought to show you the other side of the coop where all the extracted pieces-parts went.  Most of them will be still be good for finishing this and other projects.  I also have a pick-up truck with a handful of 2x4s, four sheets of plywood, and a 4x4 for use in getting this job done.  In the background off to the left you see my poor little tractor waiting for new rear tires to come in.

So what else did I learn today?  I learned from the good folks at Murray McMurray hatchery (They really are wonderful folks to work with!) that if you have your chicks vaccinated you should NOT be feeding them a medicated chick starter.  Turns out that negates the vaccine. ( I suspect I'm late to the party with this bit of avian intelligence, and that most of you already knew this.)  The
wonderful niece who has been brooding my chicks noticed the feed I purchased was medicated, knew I had the chicks vaccinated before delivery and was worried it might be too much for their little systems to deal with.  So I called to ask and got my education in chick feed pharmacology 101.  Part of my new found knowledge is that once you've had them on the medicated feed and effectively negated the vaccine, they need to stay on the medicated feed.  At least the feed I have is still good.....  She also sent me some motivation to keep me moving on the coop work.  The chicks, even this early on, are starting to get feathers!  It has been so long since we had chicks on the farm I grew up on I had forgotten how quickly they change.  Please indulge a proud new chicken papa as he shows off another pic of something most of you have likely seen a hundred times!

Finally, I'm learning a lesson about blogging, or maybe about myself.  I'm a fairly prolific writer at work, but mostly in the form of emails, that generally don't required rigorous grammar and proofreading, and technical memos that do require both but are peer reviewed to help catch that sort of thing.  I find myself going back and tweaking previous posts for typos and grammatical mistakes.  Is that normal?  Or do I just need to get over it and leave them alone?  I'd be interested in hearing what other bloggers do.

Take care all - II Cor. 13:14


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