The weekend had a big surprise. In a word, CHICKENS!!
I am part of the local Buy Nothing group on Facebook, and someone posted this weekend that they needed to re-home three young pullets and a coop. I put my hand up as interested, and they chose me, so we now have a small coop and three new girls in the family. On the left is Zoe, a Rhode Island Red, in the front is Inara, a Buff Orpington, and in back is Kaylee, an Easter Egger. Most of my friends should get the reference.
Here’s the coop:
It looks adorable and cozy. I had been planning to build a coop this summer and get chox in the spring of 2016, so this seemed like a great way to shortcut and get a nicely made coop. Until I noticed the tiny access door, the lack of ventilation, and lack of roosting poles— there are only wobbly sticks at floor height. wtf?
There is also a tray that’s meant to be pulled out for cleaning. It slides quite freely. I’m going to have to figure out how to block it in to keep rats from squeezing in and enjoying a chicken dinner with a side of eggs and scratch. The little tiny bolt latch looks like it would take a dunce of a raccoon about a minute to open. Half of the roof and the lid of the nest boxes cantilevered off the left side also opens part way, but neither provides easy internal access for cleaning.
Oh, and the nest boxes are at floor level without any real separation from the rest of the coop:
right now I have grit and water in one, and the girls are puppy-piling in the other to sleep. Once I get roost poles in I’ll chivvy them out of that area and figure out some way to make them more nest-y and less floor-ish. I think another front board and curtains might help. I may place boxes in them for a bit if they don’t take a hint. They are still several months from laying.
So this coop needs some emergency upgrades to make it comfortable, safe, and secure, and the coop build-out is still on plan for some time this summer. This little coop will become an isolation coop, which isn’t a bad thing to have. Once I give it ventilation and a roosting pole, nice waterers, and upgrade the security it should be cozy for some youngsters or a sick hen.
Expect coop projects this week. I have a waterer half built and hardware cloth to put on the bottom of the coop, as well as a hole saw to make ventilation holes under the peak of the roof and roosting poles to put in.
But first, a chicken movie, and then more pictures! The girls had never encountered fresh greens or strawberry tops before today, so were a bit non-plussed by their introduction to dandelion greens, but they started to catch on pretty quickly. The movie was shot after the photos that follow, when Inara had decided the greens weren’t a tentacle monster and she could inspect them herself.
Zoe and Kaylee were first out of the nest box after I put in the greens:
Zoe pulled off the one dandelion flower and raced back into the nest box with it, then Kaylee started nibbling on the greens:
Zoe came back for another taste:
And then Inara got into the action, and I thought to switch to recording video. 😀
Today, 5/5, is the Seattle Foundation’s Give Big! day, on which they encourage folks to donate to local non-profits to help out with whatever needs we see in the community and further.
Through Hack Your Clothes I’m donating sewing machines and other sewing supplies as well as my time as a teacher to assist the Somali Center in getting their Sewing and Fashion Design program off the ground. Do you have anything you can give? They’re starting out, so they need lots of help and supplies! Donations of money will allow us to buy what we need, and we also appreciate donations of materials and time. Everything helps!
Below is Sahra’s statement about the center and what they are requesting.
Back home, many Somali Elders enjoyed sewing as both a social activity and as a way to create beautiful clothes and accessories for themselves and their families. Here in Seattle, very few members of the Somali community have regular access to sewing machines and the necessary equipment to practice their skills in a comfortable environment.
Somali Elders and Youth have requested this training program as a way for both generations to come together to celebrate Somali culture and fashion, to learn the fundamentals of creating hand-crafted apparel, and to express themselves through design. SCSS is currently recruiting experts to help design our training curriculum and lead classes that begin in July 2015. The program will be completely free and open to Women and Men of all ages.
SCSS has already received generous donations of sewing machines from Hack Your Clothes (a local business), Horn of Africa Services (a local non-profit), and donors from around the country to help us launch the program this summer! We are incredibly excited to begin and we can’t do it without your help!
Fire Thief is getting popular on Ravelry again. I was so afraid I had muffed it when it went viral early, but it seems like the pattern is recovering well. I’m also getting an education in online social marketing, but I won’t bore you with those details now. Maybe after the release is passed, if folks are interested.
I’m going to cast-on Friday, May first, and try to knit it out in a month, but you’re welcome to cast-on now if you’d like.
I’ll pick a random winner when I finish mine from everyone who posts FO photos of their project in the thread.
I’ll pick a second random winner from everyone who casts on.
Winner will receive a care package including yarn to make a nice Fire Thief.
I encourage you to try different ways of using the charts. They’re all modular and designed so they can be put together in different ways. If you have an idea and aren’t exactly sure how to make it go, ask me! I have all sorts of thoughts on modifying this pattern. For instance:
It could be a circular shawl
Or as a Curl without the circular start
It’s possible to knit out a smaller version by stopping the central motif after round 22 and beginning to Curl at that point.