Chicks: practice roost

The baby chicks (now two weeks old) don’t need a roost for sleeping yet, but yesterday I built one anyway out of wood scraps. It’s fairly low, scaled to chick size. A fun playground and practice for them:

They weren’t sure about it at first, of course, but soon got used to it:

Also, this morning while holding some of the chicks, this one climbed up my arm and was most fascinated by my beard:

Garden plumbing: pond tap repair

It’s warming up, so it’s finally time to turn on the garden water. We have lots of taps around the property, divided into south, west, and east zones. They are normally turned off and drained over winter, to avoid them freezing and bursting.

Unfortunately, I left the east-side taps on too late last year (so I could refill the chicken water), and I had a couple of bursts: one in the veggie garden, and one by the pond.

So before I could turn on the east water, I had to fix those, which I did late today. While I was at it, I extended the tap by the pond to add a second tap closer to the pond, a bit lower down, so it can be used to drain the water out of the system (and top up the pond, as needed).

I must say, it was fun to get back to garden plumbing projects, even a tiny one like this.

Here’s the burst and resulting ice sculpture, from back in January:

And today’s repair & enhancement (not yet buried):

A chick in the hand….

We’re working on getting the chickies used to being handled, by spending time with them each day, speaking to them, and picking them up (also good for inspecting them for pasty butt etc). It’s going pretty well so far. This morning I held five of the chicks, and three of them settled down and sat for a few minutes each on my open palm, comfortable enough for me to reach for my phone with my other hand to take photos.

And then there’s the chick that decided she wanted to spread out on top of her sisters:

Bees: inspecting the hives

The sun came out for a while, so we did the second inspection of the bee hives (not counting the initial installation).

One of the boxes was getting sufficiently full, so we added a second 8-frame deep box to give them more space for brood.

Here’s some drawn-out comb, with honey in the upper corners:

The other side is still being drawn out on top of the darker plastic foundation:

A bunch of worker cells:

More honey:

Not sure about these… might be drones or worker cells:

An example of a foundationless frame, where the bees build the entire comb, attached to a bar at the top:

Chicken coop: roof shingles

The project for the last few days was getting the roof finished on the chicken coop.

I previously added the roofing paper, and over the last two days installed the shingles. Though I had to make a run to Home Depot to get more yesterday, due to a miscalculation in the number required (short by about 8)… so I ended up working on it until almost sunset, to get it finished before the rain started today.

Here’s the starter strip, that helps secure the edge:

The south side of the roofing underway:

I used grip socks while on the roof, to avoid scuffing the shingles:

In progress (plus you can see the beehives in the background):

I think I might need new gloves. Working on the coop, especially the shingles, are rather hard on the gloves. Touching the hot shingles through the holes wasn’t fun:

Tools of the trade:

The ridge vent hole, the vent material (kinda like a scrubby pad), and uncut ridge caps:

Ridge caps in place over the vent (not super tidy, like everything else about the coop):

Inside view:

Completed roof:

First rain on the roof, this morning: