While in Wisconsin I visited the resort and horse ranch where I worked as a hand thirty years ago. As expected there were many changes but its history was left untouched where it mattered most. A clearing through the woods hinted of the path to the old red barn still standing, though with little dignity. The cottages on the lake were all still there but only a few actually lived in.
- Old tack shed and laundry on left, one of the cottages behind. Meta Lake
- Overgrown path to the barn
A fella raking leaves behind the once upon a time office walked up and asked if I was looking for somebody, or in other words wondered why I was trespassing on private property. Once he approached me the grin on his face was ear to ear. It may have been 30 years but there were no more questions about why I was there, he knew. He was one of the hands from way back when, now retired and owned one of the cottages. We headed for the hint of a trail to the barnyard, just like we all did back then twenty times a day, except this time only to reminisce. We passed the ol’ fish house and shed, a common place to hide when you didn’t want to be found. It was one of those places on the ranch that you could look busy among the array of useless treasures. Actually, it was a big junk pile of crap nobody knew what to do with, when it was picked clean of anything useful it was supposed to be burned. However, the ranch owner saved everything and there was no burning going on up there that I ever saw, only some drinking and smoking when nobody was watching. The owner of the ranch has been dead for maybe 20 years, his son Jack owns it now and the junk pile was reduced to a mound of organized clutter.
- The old barn and shed…and organized cluttler
I found Jack living in cottage number ten, which was his mother’s favorite cabin, maybe because it was the only one that was winterized. She lived in that cottage until she died, I heard she was in her nineties! She was a wonderful lady, cowgirl, and without a doubt the boss of the outfit back when I was there.
It was a great visit, I was assured the no trespassing sign at the Tilden didn’t apply to me, I was still family and always would be no matter how much time passed.
The old barn is being torn down this summer, now I know why I was there, and I don’t believe for a minute it was by chance.
- The Tilden’s history will never die, there are just to many whispering pines to carry it’s legend.
- I’ll be back friend…
Create or buy a chicken coop, it’s up to you…
This is one of my smaller chicken coops here at the ranch, I bought it on-line at Murray McMurray Hatchery.
It’s actually two coops and I took out center panel and joined them together. My hens aren’t confined to this coop, they are in a fenced area about 20ft. x 30ft but it’s available to them all day and night. They go in the upper portion to lay their eggs everyday and then return at dusk until dawn. The upper portion is just a box with a hinged roof for easy egg removal; I don’t put nest boxes in there, only grass hay. This coop houses 12 birds right now, but the other side is unused, they all sleep together in one box. This coop could easily house 24 birds if they have a yard attached, if you don’t, probably only 6 if you want to keep peace. In winter I tarp the sides, but if you’re in cold country plywood attached to the sides and top would be a simple task.
BackYardChickens is a great informative site for the novice as well as the experienced poultry keeper, I highly recommend this website! I found all these wonderful coop ideas there.
Remember, one of the best things about building a poultry farm whether large of small is to accomplish it by spending as little money as possible. Something I learned much too late I might add. Be creative, that so called junk in the garage or shed may prove quite useful once again.
Check out these pics and see what a little creativity can build.
Small Chicken Coops
Medium Chicken Coops
Chicken Tractor Coops
Large Chicken Coops
Join the Flock! View 1,000+ Chicken Coops, Brooder & Nest Box Ideas, Building Plans, Set-up Ideas & More…
Come & Gone….
There are always roosters in the hatch, although they are an unwelcome guest on the ranch, all have been, and will continued to be re-homed.
A Hen Knows Best…
Chickens never lay more than one egg per day. If the eggs are not collected, and a sufficient number of eggs are allowed to remain in the nest, the hen may stop laying eggs and start brooding. When the hen leaves the nest after laying an egg, it cools which suspends the development of the embryo inside. If the temperature remains between 45F and 65F, the embryos will remain viable for as long as two weeks. When the hen becomes broody and sits on her eggs for three weeks, all of the eggs will hatch at about the same time. This is why it is normal for the hen to leave the nest after laying.
- Buff Orpington: friendly, docile, excellent layer, has broody tendencies
Remember, not all hens will sit on eggs…ever. However, some breeds have very strong tendencies to become broody, or be inclined to incubate eggs.
Here are a few common broody breeds…
• Light Brahmas
• Dark Cornish
• Buff Rocks
• Cuckoo Marans
• Cochin Bantams
• Cornish Bantams