We’ve reached mid-February of the first full year on our homestead. Regardless of your confidence in a groundhog’s predictive ability, there are still a few more weeks of winter to go and we’re getting a bit antsy. There is no better cure for cabin fever than getting outside in the fresh air and soaking up some vitamin D. We decided to split up and tackle some much needed work on the homestead. I was put to work refreshing the chicken coop; Dave set out to gather fallen logs for the wood stove.
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It is always easier to work in the coop when the chickens are not in there asking questions, and since it was hovering around -10 C, I let them outside to stretch their wings. I spread out some more of our old hay in their run on top of the snow and gave them meal worms to keep them busy. It worked like a charm.
When I had the coop to myself I went to work on the makeover. First, I hung a cabbage on a rope from a hook on the ceiling of the coop. This was really easy to do. Stab the cabbage through the center to make a hole that is larger than the rope (important step). Tie a knot on the end of the rope that is bigger than the hole and pull the other end of the rope through. Ta-da, you have a cabbage on a rope.
Next I took a toy xylophone that Dave “volunteered” for the purpose and attached it to the coop wall. I attached it using 2 screws and some steel strapping. The idea is that chickens will be entertained by the sounds that are made by pecking at the keys.
The chickens were getting quite curious so I let them back in. They seemed to like the makeover. They really liked the cabbage, it wont last long. A few of them even checked out the xylophone and gave it a peck or two. They will need a bit of practice before they drop their first single though. Caddis also enjoyed the fruits, or should I say frozen egg, of my labour. She loves to grab the frozen eggs and run around with them, tossing them up in the air and catching them until they crack. I prefer frozen eggs to the other frozen thing she likes to run around with outside (all I will say is yuck).
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The added benefit of doing this extra work on the coop meant that I was able to delay helping Dave with the logs for just that much longer. I caught him just in time to help him bring some of the logs that he collected and cut into manageable sizes back to the house. We used our ice-fishing sled for the task because, well, nothing has only one job on the homestead.
After helping Dave cut the logs into fireplace sized pieces, I was able to soak up some rays before joining Dave inside with the fire already roaring (notice a trend here?).