Sunday, May 31, 2015

Getting Ready For Our First Animal Friends!

Today we will be welcoming two adult Khaki Campbell ducks to Wildwood Cottage. We weren't even thinking about getting ducks, but some friends  offered theirs to us since they are moving. After doing a little research, we gladly accepted their offer, and can't wait to begin our hobby farm with these two fowl! In fact, we were so impressed with what we read, we are planning to pick up four Rouen ducklings from the local feed store on Tuesday as well!

To get ready, we solicited the local poultry Facebook group to see if anyone had any leftover wire or building supplies that we could salvage. One member offered up a 4'x8' wooden shipping crate that we could modify into a quick duck house or chicken coop! Score!                                                      

We borrowed a kind friend's pick up truck, dropped it in our front yard, and set to work. (Ooo, and as an added bonus, the truck was a stick shift! I hadn't driven one of those in YEARS! :D )
Farmer Girl learning to use the drill and driver!

The crate was framed in cedar and had a partial covering of OSB (One Strand Board). If you're unfamiliar with OSB, it's the sheet of stuff that resembles how it would look if someone ate some plywood and then threw it up. Just sayin'...

Normally, OSB is not recommended for use with outdoor exposure, but after checking with the very helpful, very patient man at the lumber store, he reassured me that if I put a good coat of exterior paint on it, it should last plenty well enough for ducks. With that in mind, I bought one more 4x8 sheet and some hardware so that we could get building. If I had the money I would have preferred to rip off the partial OSB and just buy a few sheets of ply to recover the whole thing. It would have also been MUCH faster than cutting a bunch of small pieces to patch the holes! But again, with budget in mind, we made do with what we had, and this is what we got: 

Lil' Sis checking out the duckies' swinging door from the inside :)

Then came another big score! Woot Woot! Someone on the local Buy-Sell-Trade board was selling a full 5 gallon bucket of Benjamin Moore off-white exterior paint for, get this: $40!!!  And can I just say that after having painted over two very bright rooms with BMoore paint, I am a huge fan?!
And she threw in the Behr white ceiling paint for $10 more!
Winter project for sure!

And their exterior paint totally delivered. The coverage is unbelievable-even over OSB which tends to absorb the paint because it is overly porous as compared to normal wood. Two coats, and this duck house was sealed and ready!

Farmer Gals painting

What makes me really happy is to know that when I look at the paint left in the bucket, it is only about 4 inches down from the rim. I am pretty sure I have enough to repaint the T1-11 siding around the entire bottom exterior of the cottage! Later Hillary...Stay focused...Ducks....

Ta da! Now all we need are the ducks!

So roughly one week later, we are pretty much ready. We anchored the crate with 4x4s dug into the ground, and fenced it with large pieces of cattle fencing that were salvaged from our last garden. The 4x4s were part of a large lumber stash that the previous owners left us. What a blessing!
Farmer Boy and Lil' Sis digging holes for the gate posts

I have to hang the gate and add the bedding before we go pick up our quacky friends, but the big work is done, and we are beyond excited to see our little hobby farm dream begin to come to life! :) 

Lil' Sis learning to use the level while Lil' Bro is determined to help dig!
I can't wait to show you what I'm using for the gate, and pics of our sweet new additions. Stay tuned! :)

Hillary At Home

1 comment:

  1. Looks like so much fun, Hillary! I love reading your blog posts!