Because today was forecasted to be very hot, our plan was to work outside in the cool of the morning and then go into the air-conditioned house and work on the floor in the afternoon.
Days don’t always go according to plan.
I slept late this morning–the latest I’ve slept for quite a while. I awoke occasionally during the night feeling a little sad and a bit of guilt for getting rid of the ducks, although I’m glad we did. After I finally got out of bed, I fed Hannah and the cats, who were very hungry, and then I went outside and let the chickens out of the coop. It was nice not to have to fill the pool for the ducks. When I got back in the house, I sat for a while drinking coffee with EJ, and then I fixed us breakfast, and then we sat drinking more coffee until the pot was empty. I finally took my shower and got dressed. By the time we got outside to work, I think it was 11 am and the day was already heating up.
Our back yard had been divided into three sections. There was an outside pen for the chickens and an outside pen for the ducks. We had to separate them because our drake was a pervert who kept going after the hens. Last year we built our raised garden pens and fenced them in so the deer couldn’t get our produce. In the summer we opened the gate between the duck pen and the garden and let the ducks go among the beds and eat bugs. So there were three fenced in areas: the chicken pen, the duck pen, and the garden. Last night after the ducks were taken away, I removed the fence dividing the chicken and duck pens. The chickens still aren’t allowed in the garden area because the perimeter fence isn’t tall enough and the chickens could easily fly out. Also, they probably would be able to get into our garden plants and eat them. But even without being allowed in the garden, the chickens really seemed to enjoy their new expanded area.
This morning I planned to move the section of fencing to replace the perimeter fencing that wasn’t as good as the others. When I first put the perimeter fence up, I ran out of fencing and had to corn-cobble the last little bit together. It wasn’t very predator-safe. EJ was going to put straw on his potato plants this morning, but he ended up putting up the fence for me. The section of fencing is actually part of a dog pen that one of EJ’s co-workers gave it to him a couple of years ago. It wasn’t quite long enough to reach the garden gate so EJ moved the gate. Eventually–maybe even this summer if we have enough time, money, and energy–we want to expand the garden and get taller fencing for the rest of the perimeter.
While EJ worked on the fence and gate, I redesigned the coop.
The inside of the coop had also been divided into two, with the ducks on one side and the chickens on the other. I pushed aside the inside dividing fence, which involved unscrewing the panel of dog pen that had a door in it from the wall, and untwisting or cutting wires that held up other sections of fence.
Then I moved an old dog house that the previous owners of our property had built, and which we had put inside the coop to use as a duck house. The ducks liked going into it at night and they often laid their eggs in it. It was very well-made and very heavy, and I grunted and huffed as I shoved it to where I wanted it–on the opposite wall of the little gray chicken coop that was inside the big coop. The chickens like roosting on top of their little coop. The dog/duck house took up a lot of space, so I moved the dividing fence forward to give the chickens more space. Then I reattached the dog pen panel and the other fencing. I used screws, nails, and wire to attach the fencing. EJ helped me with some of the nailing–the ones near the ceiling–because he is taller and can pound the nails in faster–and I was getting tired. We are using the remaining space where the ducks used to be as storage for the chicken feed and straw bales.
In addition to working on redesigning our coop and fencing, we washed clothes and hung them on the clothesline. EJ hung the first load of clothes on the line for me.
It was very hot today. EJ says it was 92 or 93 degrees (fahrenheit). There was a very strong wind, which helped, but we still got hot and sweaty. Whenever we felt overheated, we took breaks in the air-conditioned house.
It took us all afternoon to work on the coop and fencing. We were exhausted and grimy when we finally finished the project and put our tools away. I was glad to take a shower (my second today) and get clean again. We never did get around to working on the living room floor. We will have to do that in the evenings this week. Our new flooring gets installed this coming Saturday.
Once the flooring is in, we hope to order a truck load of limestone for our driveway. There are places in the driveway that could use more stones.