Saturday, July 25, 2009

Another Chicken Farmer

Dave -

Do you remember our friend Joe? Flip back several "blog days" to when we initially got involved in honeybees. It turns out that Joe is quite a character. In late May he picked up four day-old chicks and was looking forward to raising them for eggs and maybe chicken soup.

Shirley and I find it so refreshing to see our octogenarian friend taking on such a long-term project as chickens typically produce eggs for six years and can live several years after that. Joe is more involved in life than many people half his age - what fun!

Shirley and I dropped by to visit with Joe and his wife, Alice, to hear his chicken stories and to check out his chicken coop. Joe and Alice live in your typical residential neighborhood and they have accumulated the usual stuff that staying in one place for decades brings with it. It was interesting to see how Joe made use of this junk to build his chicken coop. He fashioned a couple of bolts and door fasteners from scraps of wood. (Shirley and I, lacking this talent, opted to pick up a couple of metal fasteners at the hardware store.) The pictures tell more of the story.

Here is his feeding box. Joe has it stabilized so the birds cannot tip it over.

Here are his home made latches.

Joe set up his chicken coop at the end of his shed. He replaced the roof with a skylight so his "ladies" would not have to spend their time in the dark.

Joe's chickens are thriving in their new home. We all agreed that two of Joe's four chickens are roosters. The birds are still a couple of months from crowing - the sure sign that the "ladies" are really not ladies at all - but the narrow feathers and long tail make it pretty obvious that the two are not ladies.

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