Sunday, May 31, 2009

Here is where I stand, hammer in hand!

Well; maybe not, yet! Calvin and I had a session brainstorming the other night of chicken coop designs and how big it will be and all that fun stuff.... I got my zoning paperwork to turn in tomorrow along with the measly 10 dollar fee for the building permit from the City of Kotzebue. What a rip! haha. I collected more wood also, mostly drift wood for perches for the brooders. (and I will come get that crate from by the teachers housing, from by!) I have counted enough ply-wood to construct it.

I also have registered with the FDA for the refrigerator. Ask me how funny it is that we have to do that... anyway I've been looking for a "dorm room" refrigerator on craigslist, my most favoritest place to pass time at work (ssshhhh!). I'm getting excited, even though the chickens wont start laying until at least October at this rate... we'll see, maybe I'll encourage them to lay earlier than 22 weeks. :)

Sorry I don't have ANY pictures on this blog yet, I finally found my camera's battery charger cord, so my battery is happily charging away right now. I will be in Seattle all week next week for work so I don't think I will blog then, I might. We shall see. :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Are you going to throw that ply-wood away?

So it seems like everyone is working on something outside this spring. I keep driving to and from work and keeping my eyes peeled for some good ply-wood or anything I can use for my chicken coop. I've done a lot of research for this and seem to have full confidence in myself that this is going to work. We'll be eating a lot of chicken if it doesn't work out. :)

My friend Charity told me that chickens are like pigs, they'll eat anything and they are messy. She also told me that as long as they have water, so they don't get dehydrated they'll live thru the winter. I think that's two of the best pieces of advice I've gotten so far. She herself has a few chickens that she regularly gets eggs from and they live in her back yard coop. I haven't seen it but if they live in it all winter I imagine its a good one.

I've been procrastinating on asking a few community members about their wood piles for the past couple of weeks. So on Tuesday among doing other things on my only day off I plan to call around town to various house holds to ask what they are going to do with their wood. I think its silly to be asking around but if it is going to go to waste or in a fire and its worth taking to my parents house (where the coop is going to be located) then it is worth the embarrassment to ask around. I've seen some nice wood piles and if I had a crew of about 10 people and a nice big truck I could have gotten a bunch of wood, of course in the darkness of the night... only a couple hours a night now and disappearing fast.

I also applied for a grant at our local borough for small business'. I hope I get it. I should hear back from them this week. Cross your fingers for me as I could use that money for a feed I plan to stock up on and the chickens themselves. Back to reality. :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tundra Chicks, ptarmigan?

"Aren't tundra chicks; ptarmigan?" No, I answered. Tundra chickens are, not tundra chicks! :) So is the name of my Chicken Coop, Tundra Chicks. I came up with the name one morning laying around my house with my dog, it was sunny and she was eating nuvivaks (flys) off the window. I wanted to have a good name for my Chickens to be known as, and I think Tundra Chicks does the job.

It all started with one fresh egg. My dad had talked to me about a person who he doesn't really know but has chickens that lay these cool different colored eggs and Red the post man gives him a dozen here and there... I asked about the chickens and my dad didn't give me an answer that I was happy with so I googled it. :) I came up with a plethora of answers, chickens laying all colors of eggs at all seasons of the year.

I never had a chicken in my life but as my parents know me to be I probably could have kept it well and for years longer than the guesstimated life span. I am an animal person, someone who animals just are a magnet to and I am to them. I've been up to my arm pits in dog shit my whole life, literally. I remember walking around my grandparents dog yard in Sisaulik with puppies in my atiqluk pockets and bottles made for the puppies out of old Tylenol bottles, the ones with the droppers. A huge influence on my love of animals was my Ahna, who was always yelling at the dogs but loved them dearly. She would sit in the evening with her dog Pinky in the sunset and smell of the ocean and talk her about her day and what she did, what Doc (her husband and my grandfather) came home with to cut up or to cook that day. I think when I saw that growing up I wanted to be that person, and older native lady, no white hair, sitting on the porch of her old falling apart house 12 miles from any kind of civilization, talking to a dog and being totally content with that.

Of course the love of Dogs wont equal the love that Chickens give or receive. You can pet a dog and hold it in your lap while it contently sits there with eyes closing and nodding off. Chickens on the other had aren't as lovable but I think I can handle that. :)

So I came up with I think is a great idea, why not have a chicken coop that produces eggs all year round for the residents of Kotzebue? I could maybe make a few bucks, of course after paying off all the feed and little pooper scoopers I plan on hiring. I can also and more importantly give the chance to the residents of Kotzebue to eat a fresh egg. I can tell you the first time I ate a fresh egg and what I thought of it but its boring and nobody really cares... haha. All I can say is that it is much better than what AC has to offer.

I started just asking around town about left over building supplies and I picked up some great crates from Sandy Huss, whom I am indebted to some fresh eggs when the chickens do start laying. I also picked up some random pieces off the road and here and there. I think I have acquired enough to build a 8x8x8 coop. I might change it to 8x8x6 just for some insulation reasons but I think I can pull off what I originally want. So this is where I stand, crates in front of my parents house, no chickens yet, and waiting on Calvin and Sonia to come home to tell me how much more wood I need...