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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Shelter for the Annies

Beloved dyes duck eggs for children to find tomorrow

So much to do! The weather is still unstable, but today we have been able to mow, spread clippings around beds and fruit trees, weed, chase escaped chickens out of the garden (so much wreckage in ten minutes! Agggh!), rake the mulch back into the beds, replant the scratched-out onion sets, harvest kale and leeks, water in the new quince trees, and do projects.

Beloved's projects were to build a new pen for the Rosies (8 Rhode Island Reds) under the nesting boxes, giving them lots more room; and moving the Annies (10 Ancona ducklings) out to the barn and into the space vacated by the Rosies. Now she's dyeing duck eggs for the annual Easter Egg Hunt.

My projects were to "mud" (with joint compound) the new patched areas (done during week, in the evenings) in the dining room ceiling; put handles on the sides of the truck canopy, bolted through the 2X2s, for the kayak straps; and build an outside pen and shelter for the Annies, because they are growing fast and shan't stay in the rabbit cages much longer.

For this, we want something that can be used either as a duck shelter or chicken tractor -- as in portable. I leaned a full sheet of 3/8 CDX plywood against the wall of the house, measured to the walkway, and cut two triangular pieces 32X38X48 inches for the side walls. Two scrap pieces of 2X2 were sufficient for the framing, with drywall screws through the roof piece and then wall pieces at right angles to the roof, resulting in a kind of lean-to. Four sections of old garden hose made handles, by putting drywall screws through them into the roof, and a coat of light semi-gloss green paint on outside surfaces completed the carpentry.

As soon as it dried in a bit of sun, I found I could carry the whole thing myself, so I did, and took it into the area where the pen is to be, and set it in its place, then drove the t-posts and set up the fencing. Hardware cloth across the front of the shelter, with a door in it for the ducklings, completed the project. Their new yard is about fifteen by eighteen feet -- but they may not move in for over a week yet. Sorry! no picture -- night came -- maybe tomorrow?

:::

'K, here 'tis. Not pretty, but if it is raccoon-proof it will do the job ...
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