My Edible Garden

I've been gardening for most of my life and have been a devoted fan of organic gardening the whole time. It just makes so much more sense to work in harmony with Mother Nature than to fight her. Besides which it is better for the planet and better for our bodies. Here you can see what I'm planting and harvesting, with gardening hints and resources thrown in for good measure.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

New Pup & Chicken Coop

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Last weekend I had a couple of days off. On Saturday I picked up the new pup and on Sunday I tried to work on the new coop. But the wind was blowing really crazy hard.

Carrying a hollow core door up there I nearly flew away with it!

trimming a hollow core door
I know the hollow core won't last as long outside as it would in a building, but hopefully with several coats of exterior paint will last a few years. Besides it was free and on it's way to the dump otherwise; my friend diverted this one and several others to me.  Because this coop is just over 6' at the top I had to trim quite a bit off the door; did you know that these doors have mostly cardboard supports in the center? With some solid wood on each side and just press board at the top and bottom. After trimming I cut a piece of solid wood to fill in the space at the bottom of the door. But it was so windy I could not hang the door or get any painting done.

Instead I decided I would board up the bottom of the end frames. This will help cut the wind and give it more stability.

yes that left hand side is leaning a lot; I just can't seem to get it up straight. Ah well it is what it is and it is good enough for chickens.

Since I usually work by myself I have discovered that my clamps come in handy as third hands when working on projects like this.


I have named the new pup Giotto (pronounced jotto). He is very smart but already I see the stubborn streak coming. This is in all the information I have read about Livestock Guardian Dogs in general and Maremmas specifically. When it is something especially enticing, like digging in the wet flower pot or trying to play with eggs in the gathering basket it he will test me several times until he gets a thump on the nose. Even then he will continue to test if I really meant "no", but will stop it as soon as I call his name.

Yesterday we went to Tractor Supply Company. This was our second time there. The first time Giotto was scared and I had to put him in the cart. This time he walked on the leash. Afterwards we walked all the way around the shopping center, practicing "heel", "sit" and "leave it". Like I said he is very smart and he did very well for what amounted to his first time out for a real walk.

He still gets nervous and cries in the car so I will continue to take him for short trips so he can get over that. We have settled into as much of a routine as we can with my crazy job schedule. In general if I have a day shift I  go open the kennel and feed him breakfast while I feed the chickens, then he can run and play until I have to get ready for work. He really does not like it when it's time to kennel again. Sometimes I end up carrying him because he doesn't want to go. He makes me feel guilty looking at me with those sad puppy eyes like he has done something wrong.

In the afternoon he is out loose until dark, then back to the kennel. I don't want him to think he's a house dog, although he has free rein to come and go in the house, just not overnight. If I don't have to work he is out with me all day. Most of the time he lays by my chair when I'm on the computer or follows me around while I work outside.

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