The bigger they get, the more room they need.

The latest addition to the RindyBerry egg laying crew are getting big and as they grow so do their accommodations. They were a couple of weeks old when we determined the height of their brooder needed to be extended.  At the same time Rod added a custom built “jungle gym”, giving them room to roost.new jungle gym

This was a hit, but we knew it wouldn’t be long and they would need to leave the brooder for the “big house”.

The chicken coop, was originally built with the option of splitting the coop by hanging chicken wire and a screen door.  This is helpful when integrating new chickens into the flock.  It was now time to hang the screen door and wire, but the hens use both sets of nesting boxes so the screen door was re-framed and plywood installed to give them a quiet place away from the nosey big hens.moving day 2    This will be plenty of room for now.

With the adjustments complete, it was time to move the newbies.  It had only been two weeks since we extended the height of the brooder and as you can see they’d grown considerably.moving day 1

Poor things, they hit that ugly adolescent stage.

We set the dog crate (used for transport) in the corner of the coop and allow them to work their way out into their new digs.moving day 3

While we searched out more used kennel panels to divide the main run, Rod set up a small run on the other side of the coop so they could enjoy some fresh air and bugs.original pen   It was a warm day when we moved them, so decided to leave the door open.  The big door, rather than the hatch and ramp, seamed to be their preference.intro to the outside world 2  They are getting bigger after all. 😉

About a month after their move we found a good deal on a 6’x12′ kennel.  We had a 10′ section on hand but needed another 20′ to split the main chicken run.room to roam 1  With the panels in place the teenyboppers (as we refer to them) have room to play.

enjoying the new run

The next task will be to take the plywood enclosure out of the main coop and hang more chicken wire.  This will expand their coop space.  Integrating chicken flocks is a process for sure.

In search of the “First Sister”.

 

While doing my garden research this last winter I came across the Three Sisters Garden, a method of companion planting used by many Native Americans.  We are trying to cut down the amount of mowing by developing various gardens and this looked like a good way to utilize the area between Rod’s work shop and the original row of asparagus. Three Sisters Garden 2

 Once the area was tilled and raked, I made 13 mounds and planted the first sister.  In this garden we’re planting Golden Bantam sweet corn, purple pole beans, and acorn squash.Three Sisters Garden 10

A few weeks ago Rod had planted two rows of Native American corn along the back side of our bantam’s coop/run.  I decided to try a variation of the Three Sisters Garden here.  As you can see this was planted in rows rather than the traditional mounds.Three Sisters Garden 7

Three Sisters Garden 9

Looking down the rows

The other two sisters planted here are a pole shell bean and Lakota squash.Three Sisters Garden 11

Three Sisters Garden 8

Squash in front with pole bean between corn rows

Meanwhile back at the mounds the first sister has grown . . .Three Sisters Garden 3 along with a bumper crop of weeds!  We’ve had so much rain, it has been next to impossible to work in the gardens, and so began the search for the “First Sister”.Three Sisters Garden 4

With the mounds cleared of weeds, I proceeded to plant the other two sisters.Three Sisters Garden 6

A dressing of shredded mulch to help keep the weeds down and we should be good to go.Three Sisters Garden 5

There is lots of good information online regarding the Three Sister companion planting method.  Various ways to lay it out and suggestions on when and where to plant each sister.  It will be fun to see how these two gardens turn out.