Posts Tagged With: chicken coop


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I grew up with chickens on our family farm. When I married and moved to our first house, I got my first chickens. We lived in a tract home with close neighbors, but no one complained about my chickens and I’ve owned chickens everywhere I’ve lived since.

I’ve never kept chickens in a coop during that time. This summer,  my son built the Taj Mahal of chicken coops, open and airy.  Easy to clean, no odor. We enjoyed a fun summer with this small batch of three. My housemate, however regards them as pets, while I think of them as livestock. She has been after me to close up the coop as the weather has gotten colder. (The picture above shows the fully open side)

Then we had a 12 hour storm, a real gully washer, badly needed, much appreciated, except by my housemate who was practically in tears and calling me cruel for not providing more shelter for the birds.

I finally gave in and had a handyman  begin the process. And, I’ll admit she is right. Even though all of my chickens through the years  flew into trees to roost, and were never attacked by wild animals,  I did lose my last batch to hawks. Thus the coop.  If you have a coop, it should not only protect, but, since it isn’t their choice of a place to roost, it should also be dry. The storm wetted half the coop. I’ll show some after pictures when its done.

I’m ferociously busy because I’m downsizing and filling my storage building. And, revamping my office to be less crowded. No time to go through everything and toss much. I say I’ll do it later. Jim says I just move stuff around. I find it funny and fun, so I keep at it. It is certainly more fun than all the money begging going on in the political arena where every candidate is now addicted to lots of cash. I wish we could throw them all out and start over with better rules.



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Yesterday, I crossed the river (without my camera,) and a woman plowed into me in a shopping center. Typically called a fender bender. The front passenger door could open but the back door, no. When I called the insurance, I told them, I have to have my little Prius back because I bought the first one in the state. Toyota shipped three to each dealership from Japan in 2000, and they gifted me and took my picture for the news. I love my little Prius, not only for its good mileage but because it fits in my small garage. The sticker on the back fender was proof of an electric, and used to allow me in the diamond lanes without the two-people-in-the-car requirement. Since, rescinded. Thankfully, it is fixable and neither of us were hurt.

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I normally let my chickens out about 6 a.m. or even a tad earlier. But, yesterday, I heard a commotion and the chickens had scattered to all parts of the yard. When I got outside, I had to chase a fox out of the yard. I scolded him, but a hungry fox is likely to return. Because these chickens were in a small yard, their wings are clipped and they don’t have much defense. Hopefully their wing feathers will quickly grow. They think I’m God. I only give them a treat at night, whatever greens, or compost stuff I have. Yet, the minute I let them out in the morning, they follow me like I’m the pied piper. I think it is interesting that I’ve had chickens at every house I’ve owned, from 1961, except this one. And, I’ve never had a coop. They can basically take care of themselves, but always before, I had a rooster.

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So, here I am, with the Taj Mahal chicken coop; it still needs paint and a few other modifications, like automatic water, and so on. These girls get all organic feed and let me tell you, these are the most expensive eggs I’ve ever eaten. And, that fox is NOT going to get them. I’m going to build a yard roost they can fly up to for protection. Hey, I’m having fun. My housemate loves watching them from the deck. They follow her around too and one of these days I’ll get a picture because it just tickles me to see them following her. I guess they have two Gods. Life is never dull.


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Last night, a friend of mine offered to share some information he has worked on about Monte Wolfe.  I’ve known Mark for some time, but what I didn’t know about  Mark Bonar was his  long history of interest in the reclusive Hermit, Monte Wolfe.  Since I’d written about Wolfe in the 1980’s,  Mark  came by with materials and we enjoyed an evening of ruminating about Wolfe. Mark had the good fortune of living in Calaveras County in the 1950’s.  His then father-in-law, Paul LaTeer had met Monte and later wrote stories about Monte and influenced Mark and his family to engage the vast, mountainous arenas and rivers that Monte called home. I promised Mark I wouldn’t write anything from our interview until I passed it by him, first.

For those who don’t know the legendary Monte Wolfe story,  I’ve provided two  links  to my  blogs of 2009 as an introduction to Monte Wolfe.

Wolfe spelled his names two ways, sometimes as Wolf and sometimes as Wolfe. Mark uses Wolf with an e and thus this blog is consistent with that spelling.

Wolfe lived like an Indian, surviving completely in the wild with no services. He didn’t have a totem, that I know of, but on a recent walk, I took a picture of a neighbor’s totem that I’d like to share today. I’m always looking for ways to display my amazing pile of junk and this totem  inspired me to build the bottle fence I’ve promised myself.  I only save bottles and jars that are embossed with writing or insignias of some kind, or that have unusual shapes. Anyway, here goes. Don’t tell me. My kids have already informed me that I’m weird.  And, they ought to know.

You  might note that the top of this totem is made of  carved wooden feathers.

What else can you do with rusty tools and broken pieces of tile?

A true totem has a face.

Two faces, optional.

Since I’m part Indian, and I approve, three and four faces are also appropriate.

I also took a picture of a chicken coop.

My brother, Norman, told me he will come back in the spring and build me a chicken coop. (But, what I really want is a totem.)


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