Back to work

What a whirlwind the past couple of weeks have been.  The kid is all graduated.  Grandma has come and gone (thanks again for the gardening and coop painting help!).  I’ve visited clients in Steamboat Springs.  We sold a piece of property that will help to greatly reduce our expenses.  Aaron and mom are headed to college this weekend for freshman orientation and I am out here for the rest of the week trying to get the building phase of the chicken coop finished.

We are hoping that by the end of this month that we will be ordering our first chicks.  For ease of initiation, we read that Buff Orpington chickens are pretty easy to care for.  From there, we will try others and we also hope to both hatch our own chicks and start raising our own meat birds in the not too distant future.  After all, JAZ Farm exists to be sustainable.  What is more sustainable than raising your own meat and having chickens to provide you with eggs- all with a majority of the flock’s food raised right here on the same property!

Here is a link that shows what Buff Orpingtons look like:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/buff-orpingtons-chicken-breed-information-pictures

What has happened, that was indeed expected but is always something of a shock, is HEAT!  As I write this it is 97 degrees with 30 mph winds and it seems to be starting a bunch of Colorado on fire.  For those of you who have gone on tours with us to Royal Gorge… it has been evacuated due to a fire that broke out today.  Global warming is a myth right?  The latest is that NYC will see a two foot rise in sea levels by mid-century.  Seester!  Come to the high ground!

My sister once described western heat:  “Its like sitting in an oven while trying to cool yourself off with a hairdryer.”  Its WAY too hot today so the banging and clanking of construction hasn’t started yet.  Poor Basil the dog is trying to cool herself down any way possible.  I have been feeding her ice, which she really seems to enjoy.  I may head up to the feed store tomorrow and see if they have a small water trough I can use as a wading pool for her.  She’s downright miserable.

This past weekend Zina started to add the final coats of paint to the coop.  We chose a cream color to match the barn’s trim.  We also plan to paint the house the same color so all will be somewhat coordinated.

While she painted, I insulated and started to put up the interior walls.  Once done and painted, the coop will be useable.  After that, then we will order our 25 chicks (one rooster).  They will brood in my grow room in the city.  It has plenty of room, hot lights, and the ability to have one of us around to give them the constant supervision they require for the first month.

At about 5 weeks they will be transported via dog crates that Basil has long since outgrown (she is now 9 months old and weighs 90 lbs!).  I will take some time off to be here at the farm to make sure they get acclimatized and that all the feeding and watering and automatic door opener gizmos work.

We are very proud of all of our accomplishments to date.  We got the place in December of 2012 (the predicted end of the world) and since then it has been full days every weekend or more since.  It certainly doesn’t look like the place we bought!

Also, our door wall to our deck didn’t have any curtains on it.  We would eat breakfast with the sun shining directly into our eyes.  Zina bought a curtain rod and some french style drapes and we now have some of that good ol’ modern ambience.  It looks great!

Here are the latest:

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