Friday, May 2, 2008

Bring on the Birds!

No, we’re not ready for our chickens just yet. As it turns out, there is no real market for backyard chickens. Home Depot and Lowes sell doghouse kits, but no chicken coop kits. Most of the online resources we have found reveal the true nature of fellow backyard chicken keepers: uber greenies. They by and large build their coops themselves with scrap materials the scavenge throughout the city.

Off we go then. Joe has been to Andover, Minnetonka, and south Minneapolis, filling up the Vibe with odds and ends ranging from plywood large enough to serve as a wall to small pieces that will probably end up in our bonfire this summer. We’ve got floor plans and power tools. We even have the neighbor girl lined up to watch the girls for a bit.

Soon our backyard will be a construction zone... and a hatchery.

It appears that our poultry farm has gotten off to a fruitful start!

For a week or so, we have watched a couple of wood ducks waddle around our yard. Yesterday we discovered their nest! I was tipped off by the mama duck’s crazy flapping and squawking each time our enormous house cat would get to close to one corner of the fence. Maya and I watched her dance around for quite a while, long enough to toss her some breadcrumbs and pull up a chair by the gazebo.

Apparently, if we’re wiling to limit disturbances around her nest, keep our cat inside, and only go near the area when she’s away feeding, in about 5 to 7 weeks the chicks will hatch and relocate to the pond!

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