Month: July 2015

Chickens vs Predators? Chickens Always Lose

We’ve raised chickens for eggs for 13 years now and have seen more than our fair share of death in the coop. Sometimes they go quietly and quickly and sometimes you can look at a bird and know they will be gone in three days based on their symptoms. It’s just how nature works.

Last night we got a call from a friend, who was watching our chickens while we attended a family reunion, because he suspected some fowl play had happened to our two free range yard birds. Normally, these birds ,Elvis and Freckle, ran up to humans in the hope of getting fed so when they did not come racing across the yard he knew that was a red flag. When he saw a few white feathers on the ground along the back side of the chicken shed he decided it was time to call me.

Sure enough, after returning a little bit ago, I tracked a trail of trodden tall grass to a set of pine along our property line only to find the remains of both of them. The only thing to do now is make sure whatever decided to take these two doesn’t decided to take the rest of the birds or, worse yet, they three cats we have living with us that have full access to the outside.

For the record, Elvis was a rare commodity. He was a rooster that never developed any alpha tendencies and always maintained a healthy fear of me. He won a 1st place blue ribbon at the 2012 Benton County Fair. Freckle, on the other hand, was a wily feral hatched bird that lived free from beginning to end, never having actual physical contact with humans. They were a twosome flock that stayed together through several seasons and they went down together. That’s where their story ends.

Elvis gets his Blue RibbonNote: That is the one and only time Elvis was ever in a cage. He didn’t like it AT ALL.

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Our Tiny Home Experiment – Chapter 2: Dealing With One Of Life’s Constants

If there is one thing you learn to accept, or blithely ignore, is that CHANGE will happen whether you want it or not. The timeline for building our tiny home has moved time and again. First, we were going to build it early in the spring so that we would have a place to stay when we remodeled our normal sized house during the summer. As of right now, we are over half way through July and so far we’ve got nothing built. Fear not though, a few of the things that have held us up, or changed the plans, may be good in the end.

First off, at about the same time as we reported Chapter 1 of our journey a friend told us of an open casting call for a TV show that  was looking for a family with children who might be interested in living in a tiny home. I didn’t think it would go anywhere but I followed up on a link to their site and submitted our basic information. The whole thing seemed like one of those moments when you send your resume off for a job and never get a response in return. That is what I was expecting, but the very next day we received a call from that casting company. We spoke briefly about why we were interested in tiny home living and how it would be a great learning experience for all of us. They said they would probably call back in about a week about setting up a Skype interview with both my wife and I.

That was cool! Getting a callback was more than we’d ever expected. Well, then there was a Skype interview which was recorded for an audition and follow-up messages and calls. Nothing has happened, but they’ve said things are still moving forward. Will anything come of it? Who knows, but the whole possibility is very intriguing nonetheless and the continued possibility of this being something has kept us from really embracing our build project. Can you blame us? Since nothing is for sure, all the major details of this casting thing are left out of the article and you will be neuralized upon finishing reading this so as to not in any way derail our chances.

Time waits for no man. This being the case, we’ve once again started moving forward on our tiny home project. After consulting with a trailer specialist, the cost to strip our 7×10 trailer down was about the same cost of buying a newly built custom and larger 7×12 trailer to our specs. The additional length and ability to spread the width out beyond the frame will give us approximately an overall exterior size of 8×13. BONUS! Also the trailer place said it should be built and ready for us by next week. Then it’s just a matter of changing our designs to accommodate the additional room.

We’ll obviously have a lot more to talk about on this front in the near future. Huzzah for simple living!

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