So the coop is complete and the girls are moved in. Thanks again to The Garden Coop. The plans were fantastic, easy to follow (even for us novices), and we are so thrilled with the final product. It took us way longer than expected--about 7 full weekends of work. But that had more to do with the challenges of juggling a hammer, plywood, and a feisty toddler than the complexity of the plans. Milo adores the chickens and likes the coop, too...although he was more enamored with it when he thought it was a playhouse for him. Now that the chickens are in residence, he is slightly less enthused.
Here are some pics. of the finished product as well as the ladies' first night out on the lawn (free ranging). It was really cute--they didn't stray far from Ryan the whole time. It's become our new evening ritual, after putting Milo down, to spend some quality time with the flock. As many people have commented, they really are more entertaining than tv. I shouldn't laugh at their distress, but watching them try and scoot under Ryan's chair and shout alarms to each other when planes fly overhead (which I assume they believe are the biggest hawks ever?) makes me giggle. It's really unfortunate that we are in the Burlington airport flight path...hopefully they'll get used to it over time.
You can see our little raised beds in some shots. We purchased them from Keith at Cedar Goods in Montpelier and love them; they're really well made and very affordable. Would highly recommend them if you're looking for raised beds in this area. So the garden is doing okay but not great...it is our first year planting a garden so I'm trying to cut ourselves a little slack. We've harvested lots of zucchini (Milo loves to peek under the leaves to see if he can spot them and gestures wildly if he finds one), a few green tomatoes (compliments of the babe who doesn't understand the concept of harvesting when ripe), some tasty basil, Swiss chard, and lettuce. All in all, not a bad crop. Oh, and we planted sunflowers around the corner of the coop in the hopes that they'll provide the chicks with some shade...but no blooms yet.