Sunday, April 24, 2016

Spring Projects are Under Way!!

Hi Folks!! It was time I got another post out.  My surgery is now scheduled for May 27th.  De's last day of school is May 26th, so she doesn't get much of a break.  Back when I was naive and optimistic and thought this would be an "out-patient and a couple of days off work" thing it was earlier in May.  Now that it has grown into a "one or two nights in hospital and at least two weeks off work and VERY light duty after that" thing, De needs to be home to keep me out of trouble.  We moved it out two weeks.  I'm antsy to get it over with, but the delay was best for all.  That being said, I now have to do all the projects I'm going to do and get all we're putting into the garden in this year before the end of May: The mad dash has begun.  I guess I can't dash too madly without risking more damage, but you get the idea.

First up was a little project to update the chicken waterer.  The heated dog bowl worked good through the winter but, being chickens and all with a somewhat lackadaisical sense of good hygiene, it was hard to keep the water clean.  At least for the summer we are going to nipple waterers made from PCV.  The plan is add a chicken-safe heat tape to the waterer for the winter, but we'll see.

I used 4" (about 10 cm) PVC so the pipe can be the reservoir.  The bit on top is a clean-out.  I hope I don't need it.

Made a small pilot hole, then larger holes sized to the watering nipples.  There are 4 nipples total for 15 birds.

No task at the Hoosier Country Home is completed without a chicken-helper's inspection.  The purple stuff on the pipe is PVC cleaner.  I didn't need to use it, but it seemed like the right thing to do.

Sometimes you have to 'bribe' the inspectors with a little scratch.  Shhhhh!!!
The completed project!  The pipe straps I used as hangers will make it easy for me to adjust the height a few inches.  The nipples are about 20" (about 51cm) off the floor.
Feeders and waterer from the inside of the coop.

Feed and water are both filled from the 'people' area where you have a better chance of keeping your shoes clean.

De fills the waterer.  It holds just over 2 gallons.  And 'no' they don't get distilled water, the jug is just being re-used.
One should not be fooled just because it looks like a quick and clean project in the pics.  The usual homestead project rules apply.  Traditions are important, and we all know how they work:
  • Only cut into the truck tailgate bedliner a little when cutting parts to size.
  • No more than one (or two) instances of "glue before trial fit, grouse, cut, dry fit, glue again".
  • No more than two trips into town for parts.
  • Minor injuries allowed only for people.  None allowed for chicken-helpers.

Next up: Shelf for the hoop-house shelter so I can get enough stuff out of my barn that I can use it as work-space again.  I'll have fess-up before-and-after pics of the barn later.  I have the lumber and got a start on it.  Kid's and grandkid's bikes will sit underneath.  The bottom 'shelf' will be 4 feet (1.2m) deep x 10 feet (3m) wide and the top 'shelf' will be 4 feet deep x 6 feet (1.8m) wide.   More to come on this as I get it done.  It'll likely be 'slow but sure' for this one.

The completed bottom 'shelf' frame.  It sets just under 4 feet (1.2m) off the ground.

 We are really enjoying our spring and all that comes with it.  We are blessed!

Col. 1:9-12,



  1. I love the chicken feeders, I keep telling hubby about them and we hope to incorprate them into our new poultry house when we build it :-)

    1. Hi Dawn - Those feeders have worked out really well. We've not had any problems with manure or anything in the feed. They do seem to favor the lowest one, so if I had to do it over I'm might lower the taller ones a little, but not too much.

  2. Hi Mark-hope all goes well for you. I'm sure between De and the chicken helpers, all will be fine with the garden.
    And I did't know you'd stoop to bribery. I guess even Chicken Inspectors have their weak spot--haha

    1. Hi Sue - The girls do have a weak spot when it comes to scratch. You just get used to them being wherever you are whenever you are out.

  3. Your "homestead project rules" are priceless. I know we can all relate! Not that any of us would want a surgery date to be the impetus that gets us going to finish certain projects (!), but you're definitely going to have things ship-shaped up before the end of May.

    By the way, those are some very lucky (and maybe pampered a little bit?) chickens that live with you and De.

    1. Mama Pea - Those rules have help pretty steady here for quite a while, so I suppose I've learned to live with them!

      Yeah, and I suppose the chickens are a little pampered, but we are still getting 8 or 9 eggs most days when most of them are going into their 3rd year, so I guess they are still earning their keep.

  4. I'm curious how you trained 3 year old chickens to switch to the nipples. We've been thinking about switching but I've been leery due to that.

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