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My avian empire choogles right along.

The chickens are laying again, incidentally. I know you were all wondering, gentle readers. They stopped for a couple weeks in there after we rearranged their coop and the deep cold bit down hard here in the Piedmont, but we switched them over to grower feed (more calories!) supplemented with oyster shells (for calcium!) and they’ve picked up. They’re also, of course, getting first dibs on all the veggie compost. Arugula was a HUGE hit with them, this morning they’ll get some random mixed veggies that I bought for trashy comfort food prep and we’ll see what they prefer from corn, peas, green beans, and lima beans. If chickens will eat lima beans then they are my new feathery best friends, cause I never have acquired a taste for the things. The new food really has made a difference, though, I thought we were at an egg a week but it looks like we’re getting an egg every 2-3 days, so that’s not bad at all for winter. As of this writing, we’re at 30 eggs total, which brings the cost down to $27.06/egg! Very exciting, we’re well on our way to $20 eggs here.

We also bought plans for the Garden Coop with an eye toward bantams in the spring just for funsies. Well, they will produce little bantam eggs which are just as edible as big eggs, but I’m looking at getting some banties just for the cute factor. Tiny perfect chickens! I have a thing for weird lookin chickens, so we’ll see what I end up with. But Polish bantams and Showgirls are definitely in the running.

Built as specified in the plans, the Garden Coop would run $618 for lumber alone if using treated lumber, but replacing the fancible roof with plywood and asphalt shingles and using plywood for the house exterior, I can get that down to $354. Not a bad reduction, and it makes the project pretty doable. Spring chickens may be a go…

Related: check out for the best wood composite sidings.

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