Monday, 19 September 2011

June 2011 - Stoep revamp pt2

New roof  :-)

New roof from a different angle..
We eventually got the new zinc for the new stoep roof. We decided that a part of it should be covered, like over the soon to come Dining-room double doors, which will open onto the stoep. Ja.. I know more building, and more changes...more mess and more dust...

But once its done it will be lovely. :-) We also on this side of the stoep want to create a small sitting space, a kind of comfy-nook where we will have two chairs, and a small table.

Just right for enjoying the sunrise, and having a cuppa, or reading a book, or even all three! So that's the plan anyways. And we will have some hanging baskets with geraniums/pelargoniums in them for a splash of colour, as well as actually getting around to re-painting the whole house one day.

The other side we are going to build shut, in order to have a mud-room. A what? A mud-room... its kind of like an extension of the kitchen, but also kind of like a scullery.. its actually just a place for the freezer and washing machine, and a place where we can let the dogs sleep, and walk in with muddy shoes. That way my theory is that we will have mush less dust and dirt in the kitchen proper, as well as the rest of the house! We will also, by doing this, minimize the number of entrances to our house.. But more on that later.. haha!

May 2011 - More Mushrooms!!

False Parasol...
On a recent walk around our plot with the dogs, I decided to take my camera with me.. just in case. :-) This is something I like to do now and then when the seasons are changing... and since we were heading towards winter it would be a good time to look for mushrooms.

We did find a few late ones, but more than that we harvested the seasons first, and rather late, and what also turned our to be the last crop of White Parasols..

Dunno what these are... :-|
A whole bowl of gorgeous edible mushrooms.. :-)

A young White Parasol
The underside of a White Parasol

May 2011 - Stoep revamp

Since we thought it would be a good time to revamp our stoep as well, and it would be a good source of zinc for the purpose of cladding the new chicken coop.. we started that as well concurrently with the building of the actual coop... Completion of the latter sort of depended on the beginning of the first.. :-)

Construction site?
So we removed most of the zinc, and just cleaned up the outside of the walls to prepare for the new beams. We had to remove the round pillars as they started to crumble with the removal of the zinc. This in turn meant we also had to rebuild the pillars. For them we decided to just go square using brick. and for the new beams, we decided that round ones might be good, and had to therefore create holes/recesses for these in the house wall. Not major structural changes, though because the house was built using clay bricks, we are ever worried that the walls might crumble.. so any structural things that we do, we reinforce the immediate area as we work.

New beams up

With the new beams in place, we could continue with the cladding of the chicken coop..

May 2011 - Chicks come home

Our box of chicks
So the time had arrived for us to fetch the chicks at Guinea Glen by the Crags. We had ordered 20 un-sexed Koek-Koek chicks, and when we got there the woman asked us if we would be interested in some Buff Reds too.. so we bought 5 of them as well, and got 2 extra on top of that in case some perished on-route home.

We drove slowly over the Prince Alfred pass again, and the chicks did not make a sound all the way. Not even one!

Jan hard at work on the coop

Having arrived home, and knowing we had not yet completed their new home, we had temporarily borrowed a chick-box from our neighbor Gary. :-) This would keep the chicks warm and dry till they got a little bigger. And we set about finishing the coop. Most of the structure was done, though we needed to clad it still, and just add some finishing touches like the chicken wire, some hatches for them to go in and out of, and some other sundry things.. We ended up borrowing Gary's chick-box for the best part of the following month.

The basic structure completed - more or less...
The Chookie - complete...almost

We managed to get the coop almost completely covered by recycling the old worn zinc from our stoep. But we didn't have enough for the whole coop, so we had to use some builders plastic for the back. This would keep out the worst rain and wind at least for the time being.
We were still using Gary's chick-box at that stage, and the chicks were thriving. After about 6 weeks they were too big for the chick-box, so we organised a lamp for them to stay warm, and a feeder, and water trough for them in their new home. At this point we still had not lost one single one, and they were all happy. :-)

The little chicks in Gary's Chick-box
We made sure we had plenty of saw dust for them, and they just did their little chick business, and grew.

We were having a little difficulty telling them apart though, and only recently have we been able to actually tell who is roosters, and who is hens...
One Koek-koek chick..
I have found them most entertaining, and even though they might not be the brightest animals around, they do still have personalities. Or at least I like to think so.. we have named a couple now.. Our main rooster, Mr. Rooster is a proud Koek-koek rooster, with gorgeous plumage, and a good vocal! He is king of the flock, and the roosters that are left have all accepted him as leader. In the same flock we also have Kleintjie, and Squeak.. Kleintjie is a small koek-koek hen, she has remained small than the others, and is only now catching up.. after 4 months. She is our only black koek-koek hen. Squeak got her name cause she like Kleintjie remained small for long. She is a thin little hen, and her vocals have not developed well.. so she can't cluck, but will rather squeak... kind of like a chicken with laryngitis...hehehe.. The rest of the chicken story I will tell later... :-)