DIY diva

Around The Farm: Holy Shit it’s Almost Winter Edition

October 28, 2013 | 13 Comments | Black Feather Farm
DIY diva

There has been a slight constriction of my chest muscles regarding Winter since sometime back in August, no joke. It may seem melodramatic that a girl who will scare off coyotes by chasing them down with a water bucket in her underwear would get panicky over a little frost on the grass…


But I do.

And you have to cut me a little slack, because this is actually the first full Winter I’ve ever experienced with Parker, Doc…


And the Nuggets…


And hey, funny story, of the nine members of this farm, only one has opposable thumbs and can install fencing and build coops. Weird.

I haven’t been great at keeping the World at Large apprised of the progress, but here’s a few things that have been going on around the farm…

The new chicken coop is almost done.


The inside is actually pretty well finished…


The Nugs have adjusted to it in the last week. Although they still insist on sleeping in these nesting boxes…


And laying their eggs elsewhere…


(That’s a stash I found behind a piece of plywood, apparently every farm animal I care for is destined to inherit my sneakiness.)


The front of the nesting boxes looks a little weird because I made it detachable for easy cleaning.


That was a small stroke of brilliance, because I can just scoop the old straw out with a board instead of picking it up.

The nice thing about the “big” coop is that when I know I’ll be home late I can leave the Nugs in the coop all day, with the window open…


The screen door is also on hinges and I open that up on days I let them out.


My goal is to have an outdoor run built for them by the end of next weekend, in this general area…


Meanwhile, back inside the barn, the workbench-side of the coop has actually been rather successful at containing my crap…


Farming = lots of buckets, apparently.

The donkeys also recently got an upgrade to their stall as well. I caught them playing tug-o-war with the leads I hook them up to for hoof cleaning…


So I upgraded to a new stall-toy. It’s already a hit.


And, speaking of things that are a hit, my mom and I put another 100 feet of fence in this weekend, which might not sound like a lot until you consider that we sunk every T-post three different times trying to avoid the old barn foundation that is pretty much right under these posts.


Just so we’re clear about the fence situation, the pasture has about 220 lf of split-rail fence along the front and driveway-side of the house, leading up to the barn.


(That’s the dirt road I live on.)

The rest of the fence– approximately 500 lf– is a wire fence, with t-posts every 10 feet, and 4×4’s every 50 feet. You can see the transition from split-rail to wire fence here…


My mom has been coming up on the weekends to help me get the thing done. As of this morning, we have 220 more feet to go…


And she is kicking my ass at installing the wire ties.

We’ve gotten enough done to keep the donkeys napping inside the fence, at least…


There hasn’t been even one break-out in the last week.

Even though, as the temperature drops every single day, it doesn’t feel like I’m making quite enough progress… there are still things to enjoy around the farm.


The good news is that I’ve got Monday off from my day-job to attend the local farm auction, stock up on hay, and get a few more things done before the deep freeze sets in. That’s all a farm girl can ask for these days.

Farmers Auction
New Homeowner Survival Kit
DIY diva


  • Jessica@CapeofDreams

    You will get it done. Make sure to keep breathing and live in the moment. Now if I could only follow my own advice.

  • Emily

    I know nothing about fences: why not have all of one type rather than two types?

    • Kit

      Mostly aesthetics. I love the look of the split rail, but it is significantly more cost and labor intensive. The wire fence is nice around the back side of the property because it’s cheap, strong, and doesn’t obstruct the view.

  • Mike

    Hey Kit, maybe I’m missing it, but I didn’t see a roost in your coop. That could explain why your nuggets are sleeping in their nesting boxes. I do see the 2×4 in the top left of the picture with the feeder, but my understanding (via my wife, the actual chicken expert here) is that they need something smaller that they can get their feet around. In our coop, I cut a 2×4 down to 2×2, and then put a fairly serious roundover on one side to give it some curvature. Seems to work nicely.

    Just a thought.

    Oh, and thank you for this site. I’m sure it’s not easy updating as often as you do, but there are a great many people “out here” that appreciate it!

    • Kit

      There’s a 2×2 roost on the top left. I’ve actually heard a 2×4 roost is better for their feet, but they were used to this size from their old coop. I actually think it’s more about the size of the coop. They are used to bunking down in a smaller space, so I think roosting out in the open feels strange to them. Or else they are just weird.

      • Mike

        As an owner of 7 chickens, I can confirm that weird is definitely an option…

  • David

    They’re chickens…they’re inherently weird.

    They’ll adjust eventually. Or you will…;-)

  • Julie

    The fence is looking great, and that shot of the donkeys with the house in the background is gorgeous!

    chickens do what chickens do. Never try to understand a bird-brain.

  • Kit's Mom

    I knew you took my picture, you little sneak!

  • Joyce

    Parker and Doc look so much happier and healthier than they did when you first got them :)

  • Wanda

    You might also install a plank ladder up to the window. It can be a removable one. You will need It if you plan on raising in baby chicks. The hens will teach the babies to walk up it to go outside. Things are looking good. You’re a hard worker. Love you whole farm (this from a farm/ranch girl), but your animals are wonderful.

  • Amanda

    Is that a woven wire fence? I only ask because I need to build a fence next spring and I’m trying to figure out what type…most people around here have crappy electric fences (crappy because the make them cheap and inevitably fail often). I think I like the woven wire ( for sheep and horses) but how do you like it for the donkeys? Does it keep them in and is installable by a middle age woman and three preteen boys?

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