I'm irritable today. I spent the weekend building a chicken tractor-which is a portable coop. I built it for a few reasons: 1) to let the girls scratch the yard while still being protected, 2) so they can get more sun, 3) the %$#$^ finches are eating all their food in the regular coop!!
Chicken wire keeps out quail and cats, but not finches. Chicken food is fairly cheap -$15 for 50lbs. But with the local birds helping, I'm going through feed twice as fast. So I built a new smaller coop (called a chicken ark) with plastic mesh (it was half as much as wire mesh) and the birds are staying out. The only problem is the girls wont lay in the new coop and I can't figure out how to keep the water unfrozen and free from dirt.
I finally found a solution for the large coop though - window screen. I'll simply buy a roll of window screen (please tell me it's cheap!) and lay it over the chicken wire to keep all kinds of predators out. Including the grey mouse. That's right mouse. I saw you and you're not invited.
Now to figure out what we're going to do over Christmas. I need someone to feed and water my girls so we can head to grandma's house (only 45 min away, but we did plan to sleep over).