Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hens, Outdoor Concrete Table and Red Paint.

Our two lovely original hens are laying an egg every day. Only one turns out to be an Araucana as each day we only get one green egg, the other is an imposter. And the family I gave the other two Araucana hens too, are also getting green eggs, not daily but on occasion.

After we resolved the inadequate light problem, hubby got all keen and built a mobile hen tractor which, the hens have taken to like ducks to water.  If we don't get out and open the doors for them they start clucking and fussing. They walk through the trap doors into the tractor and then walk forward as we move it onto new grass. All but one that is, one black one has quickly worked out that it is easier to sit in the housing area and get pushed along rather than have to walk.

I have to give hubby credit for being ingenious. As you can see one end is a sack trolley attached to the house for mobility. It was cheaper to buy a sack trolley than it was to buy two wheels and with the tall handle you get some leverage. The makeshift handle on the other end was a piece of waste pipe and the two small wheels at the front obscured by the steel edging were swivel wheels recycled from an old commercial grinding machine.

I've read on a number of occasions that Araucanas originated from South America and are deemed a rare breed. I had no trouble buying my hens and at the same price as the more common Hylines. We have discovered that we are both taken with hens and would love a few more but the house is simply too small. Unless we build a bigger one!!!!

In March we got busy painting the white end of the house into something far more interesting. Not yet completed, we have to paint the steel black, it looks grounded into the landscape rather than a harsh white house sitting atop the land. The black board and batten end was always perfect but the modern living room end was so stark in white. It took me awhile to convince hubby that red was the right colour. I actually wanted a brighter orange/red but compromised to get him to agree. Of course, once it had the first coat he loved it and I am happy I compromised on the colour, as I think the slightly darker red is befitting the black.

The pukekos continue to attack my daffodil and tulip bulbs so I have tried covering the clumps of bulbs with wire but it is a little too late for most, chomped daffodil and tulip leaves lie chewed all around.

 I have been asking and asking for months if hubby would make me a concrete outdoor table. We brought a couple of smaller ones with us from Auckland but not one of the bigger ones. I have the chairs sitting on the deck looking forlorn without a table to put them around. Finally, last week it was ready. Middle of winter but I am not complaining, next summer it will get well used. 3 metres long and 1200mm wide, ground to expose the aggregate and sealed it is perfect.

Next summer we might get the block and glass wall, that is to continue around the edge of the deck to give some protection from the wind, built. Keep debating whether or not to include an outdoor fire in the wall. And that vege garden fence needs finishing, battens need nailing up and the bottom edge tidying up.

It is very satisfying when you can say it is unique and all ours, even if it seems the work never ends.  That's building a new house for you.

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