Jun 30, 2015

The (Almost) Finished Coop

Bet you've been wondering what ever happened to the chickens and turkeys?! No, they are not still living in the garage - thank goodness!

The gang moved outside to the "almost" finished coop at the very end of May. And not a moment too soon. The smell coming from our garage, no matter how often we cleaned the small pen was growing stronger by the day. You couldn't walk past the garage door into the laundry room without holding your breath.

And I only say "almost" finished coop because we still need to paint and add decorative trim to it. Otherwise it is done. At least it's livable and safe for the birds. The paint and trim will come, probably in the Fall as we ready it for winter. 

Everyone seems to be happy with the change of scenery. And without any training, all the birds head into the coop at night to roost. And I mean all. Everything we had read said that turkeys don't go into coops to roost at night, that they just want something high to sit on. Apparently turkeys don't mind being outside all the time or even getting wet. Not ours. Within the first week, during my daily checks on them, I noticed that none of the birds were outside after the sun had set for the day, even though it was still light out. 

Upon further inspection, every body was hunkered down in the coop for the night, with the tom, Thanksgiving, closest to the door standing guard. When Cameron got home from his annual trip to Chicago for work, he too discovered this. Thanksgiving is the leader and protector it seems. Another night we went to check on them, all were in the coop, surrounding Thanksgiving. 

The part about turkeys liking to get wet? Yes, that part is true. Cameron changes out the water at least once a week and when he does this, he hoses down the inside of the coop. On Sunday, while he was doing this, the turkeys walked right in front of the spray and enjoyed the water while they could. Not that I blame them. It's been hot! I'd probably stand in front of the spraying hose too. I've definitely been taking cold showers, especially when I've come in from the garden.

Having the birds in the garage ruined all effort Cameron and I had put into cleaning the garage. They left a layer of dust all over. It was so thick it accumulated on the cobwebs on the ceiling to the point that the cobwebs were falling down.The garage started to look like a haunted house.

The day after the birds moved, I spent a couple hours moving everything out of the garage and cleaning/hosing/dusting it free of all the dust as well as sweeping and dusting inside as much as I could. I managed to only clean 2/3 of 1/2 of the 2-car garage. After that, I decided I'd wait for Cameron to get back from Chicago to help me the next time. Of course, California Central valley summer heat hit the next week, so the Great Garage clean up of 2015 will continue in the Fall (hopefully).

At least the birds are happy and safe in their new home. And we'll likely convert the shed in our backyard before we have chicks to raise again. I don't want to keep cleaning the garage only to have baby chicks destroy it so quickly again. Regular dust and spider cobwebs take a lot longer to accumulate than chicken dust. Yuck!

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