Beginnings of the Bantam Coop

The weather here has been…unpredictable, to say the least. We’re past the snow and the below freezing temperatures, I’m happy to say…but literally we can have all four seasons within a two hour period. Last Sunday, it was cloudy with a couple of stray showers, and I was trying to build up enough enthusiasm to go outside and work anyway. But then the skies abruptly opened, and TORRENTIAL rain poured down…and out of nowhere it got windy, and the road outside my window turned into a lake, and the wind was blowing the water down the street and up into the air, and it was…kind of cool, actually. My mom asked, “Are you still thinking about going outside?” And I said, “I think that dream is over.”

And then. And THEN. Five minutes later, the wind went away, the rain went away, and the most glorious sunshine you ever saw came pouring out. Friends, I grabbed my chance, and went outside!

Over the next couple of days (none with such glorious sunshine, however) I did a few things that needed to be done. Including setting the foundation for the new bantam coop.

This area, back behind the pigeon coop, is definitely a work-in-progress at the moment. It’s looking pretty terrible. Actually, maybe you should just pay attention to the cute corgi! There used to be a compost pile back here, but I’ve decided my new method of composting will be to throw it all in the bantam run, and let the chickens do the work. So I moved the third guinea pig coop back here.

It is currently wrapped in plastic to keep out the winter wind. But eventually, the pigs will be bindweed patrol for the herb garden further behind it, and this area underneath and in front of it.

And this is the foundation for the bantam coop.

The chickens will be able to go underneath, but I primarily want it raised off the ground to keep rats from burrowing under it.

And here’s a view from the other side, looking down what will eventually become a covered bantam run.

No corgi in this picture. 😦

And I’m happy to say I will quite possibly be getting turkeys again this year! Last year’s turkeys were an accident (the breeder sent me turkey eggs instead of the chicken eggs I ordered) but this time I found a local breeder of White Midget turkeys. They are the smallest breed of turkey, the females are about as big as a large chicken hen, and when Mother Earth News did a turkey taste test these guys were rated the best tasting by far! I plan to get around 4-6 poults (baby turkeys) and keep one pair to breed, and harvest the rest. I love having sustainable, humane sources of meat on my urban farm. Did you know that those butterball turkeys you buy at the grocery store have been commercially bred to pack on the weight until they can barely stand on their own by butcher date? The female turkeys have to be artificially inseminated to be bred, as the turkeys themselves are incapable of breeding naturally due to their size? As Joel Salatin would say, “Folks, that ain’t normal.”

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