OK I"m new here but I like to talk a lot so .... I'm putting my first few posts here as cut and pastes, if it works, then I can just add the latest on here like it's a blog or something.
Here goes, here's my very first post here
"(I'm in Gilroy Calfornia) and I have chickens. More later, I'm literally building a chicken house hopefully before the rain comes in. And doing waterers, feeders etc.
at least the eggs are sure good."
"Yep they still grow chokes and garlic, not like the ol' days though I guess.
I've lived here 2 years, and a bit. I'm a handyman on a 5-acre place and the landowner is the nicest guy in the world, extremely well meaning and extremely competent, a bit of a junk collector too.
Animals kind of accumilate ....... when I came here a couple of chickens kinda wandered in.... I like to think I'm one of the more useful animals that's been allowed to stay (insert the standard lost my job/business been out of work yadda yadda that's happening to so many right now) and I guess I'm gonna be here for the forseeable future.
So, we now have about 24 chickens or so, got a couple of hens running around outside I gotta try to trap (havaharts work on chickens) and 14 mostly bantys a friend dropped off, they're in a cage that's way too small, so I'm turning the ex-goose house that I've been using as a bicycle and work shed, into a chicken house. walls are chicken wire. Roof was curvy plywood, ugh. I've framed a new roof, we have TONZ of corrugated galvanized steel pieces, holes in 'em about every 4 ft. So the new chicken house is 8 ft wide, thereabouts. So, I cut 8' pieces of this stuff, the holes in about the center of each piece will be used to screw the pieces down to a center beam, it will be pretty cool.
I also need to put tarpaper on at least 2 walls, get my flooring out, install feeder and waterer, and try to catch "the gals" without too much trauma and pop 'em in. Also gonna take my workbench top and remove the drawer units I'd built the top to sit on, take those out, and stick legs on the top, and fit that into a corner and for right now, I think, put a row of buckets in as nest boxes. Plus put in perches, walkway up to the nest box table, etc.
The land owner likes chicken tractors. I think, here, they're just a good way to lose chickens to coons. I like conventional, BIG, walk-in and work standing up type chicken houses. Since the land owner's off sailing around Hawaii for a few weeks, I'm going ahead and doing what I think is best. We can mess with chicken tractors when he's back.
I built that bench etc and really thought I'd be doing a lot of bicycle work in there, but I never did. I've got a little cash work disassembling electronics and thought I'd do that in there, but I work on the stuff in my trailer here, and have found another place to store the stuff.
Man that building was a "flexy flier" with the old roof off, it wasn't that great with it on, with my bracing it's nice and rigid and strong! I can do chin-ups on the beams!
We've got rain coming in and I am NOT going to work up on a roof of anything in the rain, so I'll just do what I can. Meanwhile the hens are in this small cage ..... I've put more perches in which helped. I also took random junk like buckets etc out, also creating more room.
My big experiment is using what I call hamster bottles for watering. Eventually I want to get some of those chicken nipples from Farm Tek, but that will have to wait until the land owner gets back and can order 'em with his credit card. Meanwhile, I got 2 half-gallon "water wells" at Tractor Supply. They're US-made, surprisingly. Very well-made too. I'm putting "mil spec" red tape on the tubes, since apparently chickens are attracted to red. I saw a chicken drink from this kind of bottle at Poultry Farmers, but when I visited yesterday to see their setups, they have conventional waterers with the conventional dirtiness.
These birds deserve clean water, clean food, and clean conditions. I feel very strongly about this."
"Well, (lol) I set up one of the 1/2 gallon "water wells" in the overcrowded cage that had a GROSS old metal waterer, and it was an instant hit! It's a bit fiddly setting up the support wires, and 1/2 gallon of water weighs something, you have to really screw the lid down to stop leaking, but it works, and initially until a good vacuum is built up, it leaks a little which is a plus, it gets the message across right away. I'm going to watch the water level like a hawk, since I want to make sur they're getting water. I dunno if putting red tape on the nozzle helps, but it can't hurt. Red seems to be a real signal to chickens. I also set up the feeder in the overcrowded cage (set up the other one in the not crowded cage yesterday) hanging by a string, I set it up with a clip to clip to the roof, this is an improvised cage made of sections of hurricane fence. Frankly I'd like to keep that cage equipped and ready, it's a good one for popping an injured bird, new birds, etc into so I may get one more set of the feeder and waterer for my "super chicken house" I'm working on.
The "super" house is about feet high, 8 wide and 16 long. All walled with chicken wire, I'm putting a good roof on it, and I'll use tarpaper I guess at least for now, to wall in about half of it. The reason why I'm fussing over the old cage is that I want the most help and comfort to the birds the soonest possible. Get clutter out, fresh straw, clean food and water. I can't help everything, but I can help what I can. We have rain coming in and a possible freeze on Saturday, not a good time to work on roofs or move birds.
4 eggs today. We have all this high-fiber bread in the freezer for some reason, I think I'm gonna make French toast."
OK that gets it all in one place. I'm really happy that chickens will gravitate to a "hamster bottle" and these "water wells" seem to be really well made. As much of a newb as I am, I recommend trying them, they may solve your poopy water problem.
Feb 24th - I got the spacers nailed down around the top of my coop, and put the first piece of corrugated steel up. Easy-peasy! Lined up the holes down the middle (pre-existing, this is used stuff) and used a hammer and awl to poke a hole in for the sealing screw, then put the screw in and tightened down with a nut driver. No power tools required! These pieces are 2ft wide, so I cut 8 of them with a skil saw, good noisy fun! The building was very wobbly before I put the framing and corner braces in, now it's not the straightest building in the world but it's a lot more rigid, and I can do chin-ups from the cross members. Now the rain's going on and will be doing so until Sunday. I'm glad I got the feeders I got installed in both of our other cages, and the lixit-type waterer in the one, while the old fashioned type waterer seems to be working OK in the other for now. I want to get one more each of the feeder and waterer, the overcrowded cage will have its occupants moved to my coop here, but I still want to get it all cleaned up, neatened up, and ready with feeder and waterer since it seems to be where we put those sudden arrivals, such as a neighbor giving us birds etc. But the "gals" will have to stay there for a couple more days through this cold/wet spell.
Feb 25th. Rainy, windy, and cold. Checked on the gals and made sure they have food and water and got 'em greens (collards) and while the golden comets didn't bless me with any eggs, the mixed bantys gave me 5! I was planning to have an easy day (was reading a very good book today) but noticed the wind had torn the covering off of the green house and there was a big BAG of water hanging from the top! Staples are just not real great for holding down plastic, even thick plastic. I cut some squares of old inner tube, put holes in the middles of those with my soldering iron, put roofing nails through 'em, and used 'em to tack down the plastic to the wooden frame at the ends that sort of holds up and helps the PVC. Also a PVC "rib" had broken so I splinted that - just cut a pieces of bigger PVC and cut the broken ends and jammed 'em in. Works great. I'm making a surplus of these rubber-gasketed roofing nails and will keep them in the greenhouse. The greenhouse has a sophisticated system of pipes under it, to put warm air down into the soil, I think, but it keeps filling with water down there so there's a pump, well, the pump's stopped working. I'm not gonna worry too much about it, I'm more concerned with making sure it works properly as a conventional greenhouse.
On my new coop, I have 7 8-foot corrugated sections to fasten down at the center and the ends, it's all hand tools, just starting the hole with an awl then screwing the screw in - these have rubber gaskets on them and concave washers, come to think of it I have the dies to make 'em and rubber, and screws, but it's just easier that I bought 'em at Home Despot. I love to be a despot in my own home!
OK so once the roof is done, I need to put walls on, there's plenty of plywood around here, and more corrugated steel if I feel like using that. I'm almost tempted. And I need to put the legs on the benchtop I have in there, get rid of the drawer units and just drill holes and screw those legs on, I have them and their supports pre-cut. And set up nest boxes, which I can build or I can just set up a line of buckets to start. Perches, I have lots of 2X2 redwood for those. I have to take my existing flooring out of there, it's just boards laid crossways over redwood 2X2's, over acacia-tree litter. Hopefully I move the gals in on Sunday.
Feb 26 - It got COLD last night I'm glad I found the problem with the greenhouse and got the ends of the cover nailed down so they'll stay. It was cold enough that I stayed in bed and read a book most of the morning.
The usual futzing around, the gals got looked after and today's treat was shredded carrots.
I had some lunch then started working on the coop - nailing down loose edges of the chicken wire at the top edge, which will be a lot harder when the roof is on. A sleet storm started and I worked in it for a while, but it was just too cold. It looks like it's going to stay a while. Again I'm glad I did what I could for immediate improvement in the feeding and watering situation with the gals because what I thought would take a day or two is taking longer.
The asparagus is coming up!
Feb 27th - Wow that sleet just kept on sleeting, and built up slush on the ground and that stayed! Then at night it got hard! In the morning I could hear all the ice breaking up and falling off of things. It was like being in Colorado. I did some electronics work instead, took one scope apart, halfway through another, and got a big ugly Tektronix to work on, then I have to munch through all this other stuff before the weekend. Then theoretically my friend comes by and picks up the taken-apart stuff, drops off a new load, and I get paid Yay! Plus I'll have a good load of aluminum for the recyclers, that can come to $20-$30, really good money these days.
Gotta work on the coop today though. COLD but the sun's out, get that roof done then I think it's gonna be a row of buckets for nest boxes. I have to put walls on this thing too, all the stuff.
Later - Got the roof pieces up, screwed down to the center beam, got one side nailed down, got the bicycle out of there. Tomorrow I will nail down the other side, put some pieces of plywood we have around here up for walls around part of this, get my flooring out of there, and stick the legs on the bench top then set up a row of buckets for nesting boxes there.
I got a DOZEN eggs today! 4 from the bantys and I think I didn't check the Golden Comets yesterday, found one hovering over 8 eggs! I put straw in all the nest boxes but they only like the one at the end, furthest from the door.
Dinner = scramble 4 eggs, heat chili and dump on top, ass hot sauce (a brand everyone here knows as "rooster sauce" no kidding) to taste.
Feb 28 - I got the roof on the coop done, but that's about it. I went and got pine shavings for bedding, gathered 6 eggs, got everyone some collards, cabbage leaves, and wild lettuce, put pine shavings into the next boxes. It's been wet and cold so water consumption has been low, but the "water well" bottle in the overcrowded cage was pretty far down - refilling it and reinstalling it was easy.
I did some price shopping, basically Tractor Supply beats Silva's by a little, a buck here and a buck there on stuff. Silva's is a lot closer. If I had to go to ONE place only I'd just go to TSC. I'm that impressed with 'em. I got one more feeder and waterer from 'em, the feeder was even on sale. I want to have the front coop the land owner bought equipped, my "super coop" back here, and a set in the overcrowded cage which is going to be the new arrivals, quarantine, rest and recuperation, etc pretty much "we need to stick this bird somewhere" cage. When I've got the bantys out I'm going in there and seeing if I can put a decent floor in, take the old straw etc out (yuck!!) have it set up with feeder and waterer and a better nest box setup, so when it's needed, it's there.
It's a lot of running around and frankly, sometimes a guy just needs a decent hamburger and a haircut. Which I treated myself to. I'll be up past midnight here taking the rest of this 'scope apart. I even spent about $30 on a good 3/16ths nut driver and a decent set of large needle nose pliers, save me HOURS on this stuff I'm doing.
Mar 1 - Got my Rediculously Overbuilt Chicken Table thing done - when the coop was going to be a work shed for me, I put a top made of humongous pieces of wood across two industrial drawer units, for a work bench. I wanted it sturdy because I thought I might need to hammer on things etc. Well, to this heavy mutha I added heavy legs with heavy bracing, when I had it done I had to use good lifting form to lift it, whew! So, that went into a corner, put little "guides" of old redwood 2X2 on that to hold 5 buckets for nest boxes. But! - I didn't want to nail down the buckets or anything, I want them to be removable for cleaning, substitution, etc. Made a little laddery thing for them to get up onto the bench with nest boxes. Got 3 sheets of plywood fastened up for walls, I had to slice 13" off of the ends of 'em to make 'em fit. Got my flooring out and the non-rotten stuff stacked on a pallet next to my trailer here. I need to fasten down one more sheet of plywood, it's SO curvy, that after shaving that 13" off with the skilsaw, I paid it down on my pallets "belly" up with some heavy stuff on top, to flatten it out a bit - it may be rainy tomorrow anyway.
I still need to put some pieces of plywood over some openings under the roof at the ends, especially at the nest box end they're just too big. I need to put perches for them to roost on, and am going to to put plywood "roofs" over the perches for a couple of warmer roosting places, then there will be more more out in the open, warm-weather places too. 15 birds means lots of room, really room for at least 2X that many, I think. I need to put in the feeder and waterer, but those are almost afterthoughts.
I'm working myself stupidly hard. I'll be up until midnight or even later taking electronic stuff apart. I need to get the coop done and my gals in it then I need to put serious HOURS into getting this batch of equipment taken apart.
My gals are on crumbles now and they like them! Cool! And of course veggies etc. I got 5 eggs today.
Mar 2 - I got the holes (a "feature" of my design) covered with plywood. Since the roof curves slightly, I had to cut 'em 29" by 4" at one end and 5" at the other. I'm getting really good with my skilsaw, best $10 at a thrift store I've ever spent. Found a couple of angled brackets and used those to fasten my rediculously overbuilt bench the nest buckets are on, to two frame members of the coop. I worked out how I'm going to work the door closing system - just like the land owner did with his green house: A string fastened to the door goes through a hole, to a weight, so the door automatically wants to close. It will also get an electronics test equipment handle for easier opening and for that aerospace touch.
The overcrowded banties drank most of a half-gallon of water yesterday/today, either they're drinking more or the bottle was leaking. I'm mixing crumbles (Purina flock grower) with a bit of oyster shell and a bit of scratch, and that goes in their feeders. I got 6 eggs today. The wood shavings I'm using work well, cleaner eggs and in the land owner's coop, they were only using the nest box at the end, well, I found an egg in one of the other ones.
I still need to: Nail/screw up that final piece of plywood, it's still a bit curvy but not too bad, tomorrow it ought to be just about right, put up roosts, find a string and weight for the door, put some straw and wood shavings into the nest-buckets, hang up a feeder and set up a waterer, and find a few interesting acacia branches to put in for "fun" perches. Also make a sort of "ladder" to go up to their perch.
I was up way too late last night taking equipment apart. Working on that now, just taking a break. I need to pace myself, to get it done in time for pickup on Saturday, I have to "eat" 7 pieces of equipment a day, for Sunday I have to "eat" 5. And I think my pal who's giving me this work will come down on Sunday.
Mar 3 - Got the last piece of plywood put up. Put perch holders on, and a 2X2 redwood perch. Made a cool tapering ladder sort of thing to go up to the roosting perch. Set up a waterer - these 64oz. "water wells" have instructions emphasizing how they have to be set up to support the spout and be stable etc., so I fit a piece of aluminum that was part of a piece of test equipment in there, drilled holes, put the wires on and bent the ends so they're not going anywhere, lots of trying and fitting and re-checking all through this of course - and it works great. Set up a feeder, made one of my "lids" for it and put in the crumbles/oyster shell/scratch mix. Put straw in the buckets and on the "walk" along the front of them. Set up a falling-weight dealie for the door so it's sort of an auto-closer (it still needs a knob or handle or something, and maybe a couple more fishing weights). Realized I had everything done and it was time for the chickens!
So I took this little cage we have with a door and baited it with some cat food, and sat quietly until the group of half-grown chicks went in, closed it and off they went. Then went back, no one was too keen on going into the cage, so it was catch time. Well, I'm not an experienced chicken-catcher, and these chickens are not used to being handled, I don't think. I got a couple by their tails, sad but true, at least I knew to get a lot of tail and not just some feathers, then they lose feathers. In they went, and into the new cage - they and the half-grown chicks had a scratchfest going right away. Lots of undiscovered bugs in that acacia litter on the floor I guess! Then back, they were getting hard to catch so I got the net, well, it's a salmon net I think not a chicken net, but it does work. I was transporting them one in the net and one in the cage, one noisy fellow I just hand-carried, there was a lot of chicken angst expressed this afternoon. Once I got 'em all in, well, they're working out who's gonna perch where, and so on, in this new, huge after that little heck-hole of a cage, place. Two roosters with golden ruffs started facing off to fight, hilarious to watch but I can't have that, so I went in and caught one and put him in the land owner's cage with our golden comets who are all hens.
Ahh I'm so glad to be done with this! I got 5 eggs today, I'm amazed none got broken in all the hullaballoo.
Mar 4 - My bucket nest boxes don't hold the bedding well enough, I had them just slightly tipped back, from all the examples on here I can tell they need more of barrier across the front to hold the bedding in, so I got my drill etc in there and worked among the gals, moved the front 2X2 out so instead of engaging the groove around the lip, it goes in front of the lip, then screwed down another one on top of it. I like stuff to fit well so there was a lot of trying and fitting, and it was funny, I had hens standing there kinda like, "Hey, some of us have got an egg to lay here".
Meanwhile in the coop up front, the one the land owner built, I found a dead hen this morning! She was by the door, and very thin, her keep bone stuck way out. Not Good. Their old type metal waterer seems to be doing OK, I changed the water in that, and just did the usual chores. I'd been asking about the feasibility of wood chips, like from a chipper, for bedding and there's the remains of a pile of 'em out front, we told the City guy to just leave 'em there when they were clearing tree branches. So, I gathered up a wheelbarrow load and put that in the land owner's coop. Looking pretty good. Dryer and healthier.
The guy who gave us the bantams came by, so I dragged him on back to have a look at 'em in my new coop, and he thought it was great.
I put a knob on the door too. I have one extra from my trailer here so nothing like a vintage early 1960s POS travel trailer knob to make a coop look cool.
5 eggs today.
Mar 5 - My gals/guys seem pretty well settling in. Less noise and crowing in the morning - I have at least one rooster among the bantys, and we have a our last semi-feral, game cross rooster who lost a fight, and an eye, in there too. I think he's probably going to become stew fairly soon. But since he can't see on his right side, even though he's 2X as big as the little guy, he's no match. I can come right up and pet him on that side, he doesn't notice until he feels me touch them and even then it's kinda OK. The wood chipper chips in the front coop seem to be working well. Straw just gets too gunky. I got two eggs from them, and 4 from my gals. The usual half-dozen. I'm putting in a lot of work now disassembling test equipment since my friend is supposed to pick up a load of disassembled stuff from me and pay me tomorrow, so the gals are getting used to me moving around and making loud sounds etc lol.
Mar 6 - Finally a routine day! I was busy with this work I have taking test equipment apart, and I pretty much worked on that all day - my friend came down with a new load, picked up stuff that's done, tried (in vain) to get cash out of an ATM to pay me, finally had to resort to paying me with a check. I hope it's good! So I'll take a load of recycling to the place tomorrow and deposit this check in my bank account, which I keep $10 in, and as soon as it clears, take the $200 out and put it somewhere safe - Mason jar!
I went out in the garden and just did some random weeding, pulled a lot of comfrey trying to come up in the garlic bed (it had comfrey before) the odd wild lettuce, a little black medic here, an earthworm there, a handful of pillbugs, all went into a bucket, I took out a bunch of hemlock too (no one needs to kill THAT many philosophers!) and malva, Oh Malva, you came and you infested my garden ... LOL. So the goodies went to my gals. I want to come up with a sort of grasshopper catcher that a person can drag across a field and catch goodies for chickens, but I don't see many hoppers out here at all.
I've been doing more reading, and using wood chips for a coop floor is pretty much standard practice for a lot of people. I love this idea because we have so much wood around here, so I want to be able to chip it and use it for our chickens' houses floors, and also on the paths around here which are too often goopy mud (thanks, geese!)
I got 5 eggs today.
Mar 7 - Not much happened chicken-wise. I got pellets for my little food wasters, and I'll see how that works out. I notice the golden comets are also starting to splash their crumbles around a bit so it may just be pellets all around. Went to TSC for the pellets and a couple of bags of whole corn for the geese - they use about a bag a month. I found some diatomaceous earth at OSH but it's pool type which I'm learning may not be very effective since it's been "cooked" to make larger particles. But apparently good old Home Despot sells a "Safer Brand" insecticide that's just DE so I may check that out.
The gals got collard greens, and I chopped up some walnuts and everyone got some of those too. Tomorrow I'm going to rake up more of the nice dry top layer of the wood-chipper chips and put those in the golden comets' cage, and fix up a Water Well bottle for them (Water Wells take some fitting and trying to get 'em set up right but once they are they seem to work great) since the old type metal waterer is working .... ok ... ish ... but the water's not staying THAT clean and it takes up a fair amount of cage space - I'm a big believer in lebensraum for chickens!
I got 7 eggs today.
Mar 8 - put a 64oz Water Well on the cage up front with the Golden Comets. Put a wheelbarrow-load of wood chips from the front of the place in that cage too.
My chickens seem to like pelleted feed OK, so that's good. I picked wild lettuce and everyone got some of this luscious, slightly psychoactive veggie. Yay!
The old waterers and other waterer/feeder odds and ends got washed and dried, and are in one of the shipping containers, in my "chicken dept" where I'm keeping feed and DE, etc., where it's somewhat out of the weather.
I got 4 eggs today. I'm posting very late because I went to pick up the land owner and his flight was delayed quite a bit, I waited an hour and a half in the "cell phone waiting area" lol. Then we went to Denny's. Positive: Food. Negative: No rooster sauce!
Mar 9 - The land owner had a look at my coop, and thinks it's great. He told me I should file down the sharp corners on the redwood 2X2's though, that it will give the chickens' feet trouble - so I ran the extension cord in and used my Dremel with a little sanding drum, and got that taken care of. I think I need to put in more roosting space.
We got 6 eggs today - only 2 from mine, and 4, surprisingly, from his.
Mar 11 - Well, the land owner's settled back in, there's a bunch of untouched scratch (they're stuffed with it now) in the bottom of his chickens' cage, all ready to get soggy and gooky. Sigh. Meanwhile, mine got a bunch of wild lettuce, I turned up boards and found a bunch of earthworms and stuff for them, they did NOT seem thrilled but I think they'll catch on. They also got some YOGHURT, I read on the forum here that they like it and ..... they do hehe! Chickens eating yoghurt is just pretty funny to me. I think I gave them some pumpkin seeds cut in half and some walnuts this morning too. In return, I got 5 eggs, not bad. They're doing well with the layer pellets, eating them and not splashing 'em around. We also "cornrowed" a row and most of a second one, of our corn field. It's all grown up with wild oats and stuff, pretty easy to pull actually, and then lay it in a row with the roots up, if you do it right you get a nice row with the roots at the "peak" of it where there's no chance of the grass wild oats whatever, of sprouting. Instead it just dies and rots on down. We plant on the equinox or a bit after, and that's not far away.
Mar 12 - Got up early, not early enough but .... early enough, and did the De Anza Ham Radio Flea Market. Nope no ham radios, or fleas, just an assortment of stuff. I had to use my "selling ice to Eskimos" skills but I got rid of a LOT of stuff and sold just under $400. Selling costs me $50 I figure, it's easy: $20 to sell, $20 goes in the car for gas so I"m paying for my gas use plus a bit extra because I'm getting to borrow the car, and $10 for lunch. Lunch was at Lee's Sandwiches, good ol' Vietnamese food, but the tray of boiled peanuts I got were MUSHY, so I gave those to my gals, they liked 'em just fine. The pork etc on rice with fish sauce and cold cream'n'sugar intense Vietnamese coffee were fine. Good food. But the trouble started early .... I got sold out early, bought some magnets and another pair of side cutters, those were on my shopping list. What things were not were, $132 on silver coins (which I did the math on back home here and I scored! 20% below melt value!) $20 on some really cool military cordage, another $10 on some cool camo netting (the fine kind) and a cool pair of Fiskars snippers. All well and good! Then I went over to Kerley's and looked around .... wanted to look at a Marlin 39A lever action rifle, although they're at least $500. Well, they don't make 'em any more and they cant get them new, it was starting to sound pricey. I then looked at some others.... the Browning, something else, and this cool Henry. I was also shown "the carbine" which upon researching here at home, isn't the carbine, it's the Youth model. The carbine had a big ugly ring type lever, I'd never buy that. The Youth is small, light, and very nice! Fits me to a T and has an incredibly smooth action, I bought it. Or rather, I've started buying it. I put half down, and will pay the other half in 10-11 days when I go pick it up. Lots of paperwork, the usual California thing. But this is great, because my Marlin bolt action is more of a long range gun, the stock's a bit long, not a problem if shooting prone and in most "sniper" positions, and now I can put a 'scope on it and it will be my long range gun. The Henry will be my tool for midnight raccoon trouble, putting down possums, the usual stuff around here. I actually want to see if I can mount a flashlight under the forearm, and will see how I can optimize the sights for low-light in-close work. Someone might say, Why not just get a 10/22? Well, not only are those about $150 more, but a lot of the ammo I use may not cycle that action well, or at all.
So between the silver and other stuff and the gun, I came back with more money than I left with but not that much! Of course the silver's an excellent idea. Long-term savings.
I got 3 eggs today, hmm, French toast for b'fast?
Mar 22 - Not much to write about lately, the geese are laying now so I'm pilfering a few eggs a day. Since we want to sell them, we've decided not to raise goslings this year, so the idea is to keep them laying and not going broody, and keep a few eggs in each nest (there are two going right now) to keep them using the nests. I leave 3. Goose eggs are BIG!
I'm getting a half dozen eggs from my chickens, and the land owner says he's getting the same, although yesterday we each got 7. He's up one hen since we trapped the one that was running around loose. His are all Wheaten old english games, a few of mine are too. He's got a goofy little rooster that's one of mine, kept fighting with his brother, so one's with mine and one's with his. I've got the one-eyed game rooster who's kind of taken down a notch, he's pretty mellow being one-eyed and all. My half-grown ones I suspect are either 3 out of the 4 roosters, with the one pullet just a bit of a tomboy, or that one's just a very henny looking rooster. In either case, they're starting to square off so I may just sell those.
I talked with Metzer's on the phone and they're not interested in a flock of geese. so they're going to go on Craig's List.
Mar 24 - We're getting 3-4 goose eggs a day. Plus my gals are giving me a half-dozen eggs. I went up to San Jose to pick up the Henry lever action rifle I'd bought (there's a waiting period in CA) and drop off a load of electronic components to a guy I who's paying me to take stuff apart for him. I went to 99 Ranch market and got some Chinese 5-spice, a jug of shoyu (I only buy Kikkoman, made in Wisconsin for 100 years!) and some black tea. I wanted bulk but it was far cheaper per lb in bags. I can make tea eggs now! Type that into Wikipedia and try them, they're great!
The land owner's chickens are more under his care now, I keep an eye on things, make sure they've got water, give 'em some greens etc. Now they're getting a ton of scratch and table scraps like cooking grease, that ought to help those eggs slide on out! There are HOLES, two of them, that look like RAT HOLES, going under the edge of the coop in 2 places, and the land owner's like, Oh, can't be rats around here.... Well, yeah, there can. So I'm going to see if I can do something about this, either a very judicious placing of P-nut butter poison surprize, whch is just D-con with peanut butter mixed in, after it's good and dark, near the holes, or putting a bit of peanut butter out for bait and then getting them with my airgun. I also have a little bitty hav-a-hart I could try.
This wet weather is not fun. Puts my work taking test equipment apart on hold, puts selling the geese on hold, puts most things on hold. My work bench / desk is bare here. I wonder if I should make a batch of these "survival stoves" I've designed, and put on hold for over a year? If I get some done, I should offer some here, too. They're neat!
mar 29 - Got a broody goose so I took the "house" off the top of her nest, after fiddling with the eggs a bit, she got off the nest and I removed all but 1. She got right back in there with the roof back on, and then later there was a fight over that nest box! I went in and pulled on the tail of the intruder, which gave the defender a chance to get in a couple of good socks with her wing, Whop! Whop! I took the one nest box that's behind the others and moved it up so it's more in line with the others, why fight over one when there's a good one waiting? Geese are silly.
Today I took some recycling in, since I had some house wire (that I pulled out of a dumpster 2 years ago) they took my photo, copied my ID etc. I got $37.20 plus sold a book to an antique store here for $4, so I was all set, for shopping! (The ladies at the antique store tell me they'll happily buy my eggs for $3/dozen so this is good!) I got a bag of layer pellets, some grit, 10 egg cartons and a bag of shavings. I'm getting 3 weeks easily out of a bag of pellets, since I feed my troops LOTS of greens, and goodies each day.
So here's MY version of chicken math: I've got 16 birds, 6-7 are steady layers, the rest are "supercargo". I'm going to sell one hen who's really pretty but not a layer, 4 cockerels, and a pretty but flighty rooster, on Craig's List or to a friend. The hens "Beavis" and "Butt-Head" will stay because I think Beavis is laying, and Butt-Head may be too. I may be getting more chickens dumped on me, which hopefully means more Wheaten Old English Game hens, which are my mainstay layers. I'm keeping my rather beat-up one-eyed Old English Game rooster too, since the hens I have are not related to him, and if I want to raise a brood, I'll need him. Right now, even with all the non-producers, I'm getting enough eggs to keep myself in eggs and the whole crew in feed, plus a bit. My goal is to get about a dozen good laying hens, then I should have something close to a dozen eggs a day. I'll be selling more eggs than eating, that's for sure. With a dozen layers, I'll have much more than needed to feed them, so I'll have a small trickle of income. I've offered my nonproducing 6 birds to a friend for $30, and he says just give him a week and a half, he's close enough I can take them on over.
If I pickle the eggs, or make "tea leaf eggs" of them, etc., then I can get more, probably $6 a dozen. Being a seller of eggs isn't my first career choice but in a Depression, what works, works.
April 1 - My little roosters are starting to crow, or one is. I need to get them put on Craig's List.
About selling stuff online. I've been doing a ton of research and .... wow. The IRS is keeping tight tabs on everyone selling online starting this year, and sales are just about dead on all sites. I've put stuff on Craig's List, cool old Hermes 3000 typewriter, motorcycle leathers, stuff there's normally some demand for, for months and finally sold the things in person, to folks who run antique stores, or in the case of the leathers, guy at the m/c shop here told me to call this other guy at another m/c shop .... just word of mouth.
What this means is, I'd probably have an easier time selling my extra chickens out of a cage in my bicycle trailer just asking around in town. The trouble is, I need to overhaul the trailer, and I need to get a bike that will pull it OK and be able to stop - my 1-speed cruiser with a coaster brake is not going to work too well.
I honestly think that in a decade, having an "internet computer" is going to seem as dated as having a Pac-Man machine, and will be about as relevant to making a living.