Saturday, April 3, 2010

Found a cool chicken information site...

I am really getting excited about embarking on our chicken project. As I continue to peruse the web in search of answers to my many questions, I stumbled upon this site

I actually found it by just google searching questions such as "how big should a chicken nesting box be"? And viola...I found her site. She has pictures of her coop and answers questions in a very detailed manner, which is helpful to a beginner. She also has many other things that on her blog, mostly to do with gardening and raising poultry.

Now, onto my next you know by now, I jump around, it's my personality and seldom is there a rhyme nor reason, it's just because...

Anyway, as I was admiring my shotgun yesterday (I had it with me during my compost project...just in case Mr. Gopher came visitin'), I thought it would be a good idea to check it out, find out more about it, some history. This gun was handed down to me by my father, who had it handed down to him by his grandmother on his mother's side. I feel so blessed because I actually grew up knowing and loving both sets of my great grandparents on my father's side of the family and my great grandmother on my mother's side of her family. That is uncommon for someone my age.
My great grandmother Luceile, whom this gun belonged to passed away about 7 years ago. The gun I am referring to is a Stevens Arms .22/.410 over and under model. The gun has two barrels, one on top of the other, the rifle barrel is on the top and the shotgun barrel is on the bottom. The gun can be switched between the two options depending on what type of game you are hunting. I seldom use the rifle, but instead use the .410 as my "critter eradicator". Thus far, it has proven to be "superior firepower" as Carl Spackler would say...Caddy Shack 1980

So back to the history part. Unlike many products today, the gun is beautifully and proudly engraved (see picture below) with the name of the company and the location of the company. I looked up the company and found out it was established in 1864 in Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts. According to the internet, this particular gun make and model was discontinued in 1939. I don't know how my great grandmother came to own it, I'm guessing my great grandfather probably purchased it for her as they were avid hunters when they lived their younger years out in rural Michigan. Nevertheless, I am blessed to have something to remember her by and something to pass on to my son someday! Keeping it in the family is priceless...

Until next time...R Dean (a.k.a. wanna-be Gopher Hunter) checking out!!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday day off...

I really enjoyed my day off today...I tried not to think about work and I didn't!!! Yeah!!!

Didn't do too much today, moved one of my compost piles which I am hoping to till into the garden this fall. I think based on how it looked, I may be able to do it. Moved a pile of mulch also, and noticed mold under the surface of the mulch...wondering if I can use the mulch or if I should add it to the compost...Thoughts anyone?

Have our plan now for the chicken coop...instead of building a standalone coop, we are going to build it in the back portion of the garden shed. I plan to enclose an area 4 feet wide by the width of the shed which is 10 feet, giving it more or less around 40 square feet. I don't plan to have more than a half a dozen chickens to start, so I think that should be ample room. My big concern, which I need to find out about is how insulated I need to have it for the winter...Up here, it tends to get cold sometimes...hahaha...

Outside, I have the run already fenced in and it is approximately 10 ft x 15 ft. We would like to have free range chickens, but until we understand the nuances involved, we are taking this approach.

I watched a webinar the other night sponsored by Grit magazine on raising chickens, and it was awesome. I learned a lot!