Chicken Bath Box

The Bath Box

The Bath Box

With winter upon us the ground is frozen and our chickens are suffering with dust bath withdrawal. The poor things are rolling around in the pine shaving litter in the coop and it just isn’t the same (or as healthy) as a good roll in the dust of a shady garden patch. To help them with their bathing I put together dust boxes for them and I put one in the coop so on cold days they can bath until their hearts are content. By being in the coop the bath also stays dry and doesn’t freeze hard like the garden dirt. The bins that I am using are actually my self watering bins, I don’t need them in the winter, the chickens can borrow them.

This is what is in them: 1 part peat moss, 1 part compost, and 1-2 cups of food grade diatomaceous earth.

Shed Update

Attempting to be Green is not as politically correct one might think. In the past month I have been visited by city building officials, attended city council meetings, and the upcycling of our shed has caused excess work for Mr. & Mrs. Nextdoor.
Let’s start with the city building officials. Remember this shed?

Shed on the trailer in the driveway.

Shed on the trailer in the driveway is a big NO-NO.

We brought it home on Saturday, May 11 however, we had received an inch of rain over 24 hours and our lawn was too soggy to drive it into the backyard. Unfortunately, we had to leave it on the trailer until the ground was drier. Lucky for us the rain stopped and over the week our lawn dried out. We scheduled the move for May 18 (the next Saturday). On May 17 two city building officials arrived at our door regarding a complaint about the shed. We explained to them the situation and they were understanding but told us we needed a permit before we placed it. I ran to city hall to get my $35 permit so the shed could be placed the next day. With the help of some of our neighbors the shed was placed in our backyard on schedule.

Permit

4 wonderful neighbors helped place the shed.

4 wonderful neighbors helped place the shed.

Luck goes up and luck goes down…on the day we went to pick up our shed there was an article in the local paper that our city manager wanted to be “proactive” on the growing chicken problem in our city and was proposing an ordinance to limit properties to only 6 chickens. It gets worse from there; the proposed ordinance also states properties with chickens must be 1.5 acres and the coop must be placed 100’ from any property line. Off to the City Council Committee meeting. Here is a snippet from the news article:

“Of the 1,500 written complaints filed with the city’s division of animal control over the past 12 months, just seven were in regard to chickens. This fact was among a number of complaints presented by local hen owners who say the need to regulate the number of chickens homeowners can have on their property has been exaggerated.
Resident Steve Girard, who raises chickens in his backyard with his wife, Kristin, told members of City Council’s Building and Building Code Committee June 6 that most homeowners elect to raise chickens as part of an organic lifestyle.
“In reality, we know that we live in a city and we’re not trying to have a farm,” Girard said, noting that experts recommend that hen owners have one to two chickens per family member to provide the amount of eggs they need for weekly consumption. “One omelet alone takes three to four eggs and it takes each hen one week to lay that many eggs. If you legislate the number of chickens to three or four per household, you’re simply going to have a bunch of people who have chickens for pets because it won’t be enough for eggs.”

On May 23 we received another visit from the city official who had received a complaint that the shed was too close to the property line. We used tape measures when we set it down the first time. I guess someone needed to be sure! The city officials let us know we were well within code. We could even move it 5 feet closer.

The next weekend, Mr. Nextdoor worked really hard in the 90 degree heat to create this view from our shed door.
The Fence

Our view of the shed has also changed!

Shed Before

Shed Before

Shed After

Shed After

Before

Before

After

After

Cute, Huh? This month it will be leveled out and white lattice will be placed around the foundation. Next month I will post on the entire building project when it is completed.