Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Building from the Bottom Up

Today I found two eggs in the coop where my Light Sussex Chooks are. Despite earlier excitement there are definitely three hens and three roosters in the batch I incubated in September. The cocks have begun to test out their voices so I was hopeful it was egg time. Five months is pretty standard for hens to start laying but I had been led to believe that this breed were a bit slow.

First-time eggs are always small but they should increase in size over the next few weeks. Once they are full size then I can collect some to incubate and start the breeding cycle again. Another six months and I hope to have chickens ready for the pot and if all goes well a rolling program of chicks following on to both breed up more layers and have plenty ready for the freezer whenever needed. It all takes time but today is an important starting point. Up to now we have purchased a few ISA brown pullets each year from a peripatetic chook van. Now we can keep it in house and concentrate on Light Sussex. They lay for longer and are a much bigger bird so are dual purpose. I reckon they look much more beautiful too.

Another project that was started in September and needs a bit of a move on is building a toilet/shower shed. We have 50 scouts coming to stay the night in April and so there is a greater sense of urgency.
So far the building has foundations, floor, stud walls, roof and ceiling.  Now it needs the deck on the front to complete the floor level work.

First I had to dig three holes for stumps to match the others already there. They had to be leveled in all directions and then I tipped a bag of ready-mix concrete in each hole and added 2.5 litres of water. Half an hour later I could add three home made ant caps, a bearer and then six joists. The deck now just needs decking.

 I also inserted one of the windows into its frame so the building looks more alive now. Just having some time to reacquaint myself with this project felt positive and all the challenges and the possibilities start to turn over in my mind. Nine weeks left to complete it - once the harvest eases off.

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