Drstratton - My Backyard Journey Journal

drstratton

True BYH Addict
Golden Herd Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
504
Reaction score
1,954
Points
213
Location
Eastern WA - USA
Good morning! My name's Rene' - my husband Dale and I have been married for 35 years, we have 3 adult children! Our family consists of our oldest son, our daughter & her husband, our youngest son, his wife and their brand new baby boy, our first grandchild, born on 3.26.2020!

I'm here to learn and share as I begin a new backyard animal journey! My husband is going to be retiring in 2-3 months, dependent upon when the current job he's doing finishes! We thought it would be June 1st, but then Coronavirus. Covid has changed the direction we thought we were heading and we have made the decision that we need to become more self sustaining for ourselves, our children & their families!

We have 5 acres in WA State and have always grown a large garden. We've had dogs, cats, Banty chickens, pet rabbits and 2 of our children raised pigs for 4H! Currently we have 16 chicks in the brooder. These are not Banty's, hopefully they will all be good egg layers! We have been working on upgrading the chicken coop and expanding the pen. We want our chickens to free range, but they need to be protected, as there are dogs in our neighborhood that love to come in and slaughter chickens! We also have coyotes! The rabbit hutches will be in the chicken pen. We are using the old hutch that we built for our children's pets and are in the process of constructing a new one! The pig pen is in another area of our property! The pig area includes the original pen and it is tied to our old chicken pen, we have decided to expand it to give the pigs more you, so they will have access to the old chicken area. Doing this not only gives more room, but provides shade & shelter for them throughout the day, they should be able to get out of the sun and any nasty weather that might bother them.

Pig Pen!
Pig Pen.jpg

Pig Pen 2.jpg


Chicken Coop & Pen Area
Chicken Coop.jpg


Chicks!
Day 7 3.24.2020.jpg


Full view of garden, chicken and rabbit section!
Chicken pen Expansion Area 2.jpg


Starting modifications to coop! We removed the nesting boxes from inside to give more room for our larger chickens. My husband is adding new nesting boxes to the outside!
Cutting the opening for the new Nest Box.jpg


View of Chicken coop & soon to be new pen area, rabbit hutch before moving into pen. The new pen will extend to the existing fence straight ahead and to the right! It's quite messy right now, but that will be cleaned up soon!
Chicken pen Expansion Area 4.jpg

Chicken pen Expansion Area 3.jpg


Rabbit hutch moved into place! My husband raised the hutch up so that we would not have to stoop down to handle the rabbits, this hutch was built for our children when they were little's!💞
We need to finish adding the support for the lift, our battery died on the cordless drill, but we were okay with that as it had been a very long day to get to this point! When finished with the modifications, I will give it a fresh coat of paint to match the new hutch we are in the process of building! The new hutch will be to the right! We will be adding an auto watering system for the rabbits and the chickens!
Rabbit Hutch Attached 2.jpg
Rabbit Hutch Attached.jpg


That's all for the moment. I will share the build of the new hutch along with the plans and materials list that my husband drew up! I hope to get the rabbits, by the weekend, we'll see how it goes!

~ Thank you for stopping by!~
 
Last edited:

drstratton

True BYH Addict
Golden Herd Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
504
Reaction score
1,954
Points
213
Location
Eastern WA - USA
A little update on our journey! The job that my husband has been doing is almost finished and so is he! He told the PUD that his last day will be June 18th. He only has 8 more days of work...:celebrate:weee:jumpy:bunny:jumpy:celebrateNo more driving through the dam gate, walking across the dam parking lot and entering the dam door, no longer a dam worker... 😂 I told him that I'm retiring too, the alarm clock will be moving to his night stand, either that or I will take it out & blast it with a shotgun 😂
 
Last edited:

drstratton

True BYH Addict
Golden Herd Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
504
Reaction score
1,954
Points
213
Location
Eastern WA - USA
It's been so crazy busy lately! I need to get caught up on everyone's journals...hopefully I can do that this weekend! I want to share a couple of pictures of my French Black Copper Marans roosters. They are so beautiful...I hope they stay nice, because I don't want to have to chose between my roosters...time will tell!

The two Gentlemen _ Marquis & Maximus!
Marquis & Maximus 7.9.2020.jpg


Marquis - His coloring is more pronounced, but his tail feathers aren't as long as Maximus...hopefully they will grow nice and long!!!
Marquis 7.9.2020.jpg


Maximus
Maximus 7.9.2020.jpg
 

drstratton

True BYH Addict
Golden Herd Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
504
Reaction score
1,954
Points
213
Location
Eastern WA - USA
Well, we finished the gate and set the automatic door in place!

Building the gate!
Welding up the Gate  7.8.2020.jpg

Gate Primered & Ready for Paint  7.9.2020.jpg

Gate Painted Ready to Hang  7.10.2020.jpg

Gate Hung 7.11.2020.jpg


Automatic door! My husband built this many years ago, it used to sit where the new pipe feeders are now!
Automatic Door 7.11.2020.jpg


Covered and steps in place! The steps are nothing fancy, but they work!
Automatic Door & Steps 7.11.2020.jpg


After all of the work we've done, we finally get to see our flock enjoy their new space!!!

23 very happy Chickens!!! 💞
23 Happy Chickens first time in new pen 7.11.2020.jpg


Bravely exploring!
23 Happy Chickens bravely wandering in new pen 7.11.2020.jpg


<iframe width="1180" height="664" src="
" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 

drstratton

True BYH Addict
Golden Herd Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
504
Reaction score
1,954
Points
213
Location
Eastern WA - USA
Well, we didn't get the green beans planted, but we did get our final raised bed of the year finished! I also bought a couple of more Heirloom tomatoes and planted them today!

Here is the link to the plans that my husband followed for the raised bed!

My husband did a different type of bed for our strawberries, if he had designed it himself he would have made it so that there wasn't as large of a lip on the inside from the top board! He decided to do this design because of the galvanized pipe that we bought! I'm still amazed at the good deal we got on them.

Strawberries Raised Bed Ready to fill 5.25.2020.jpg

Strawberries Planted 5.25.2020.jpg

He did make one change to the above plan, he used a 1 1/8" Forstener bit to make a hole that the pipe could fit into! It should hold everything nice and tight!
Hole for Strawberry Raised Bed 2.25.2020.jpg
 
Last edited:

drstratton

True BYH Addict
Golden Herd Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
504
Reaction score
1,954
Points
213
Location
Eastern WA - USA
Some updated photo's of our breeding stock! We will be separating them into their own hutches soon, just a bit more updating needed on the old dual hutch!

Sharing some Swiss Chard! Buck, Chloe & Daphne!
Sharing Chard 6.17.2020.jpg


This little girl (Chloe) has come a long way! She was born in a rabbit colony and has been extremely wary of me! She has finally started coming over to say hello! I'm a bit concerned about what kind of growth rate we will see from her kits, as the ones from the same colony grew quite slowly, to much inbreeding! Hopefully with the infusion of fresh purebred NZ gene's they will grow faster. She's turning into a sweet little rabbit, so hopefully she will work out!
Chloe 6.17.2020.jpg


This boy has really grown, but he's still smaller than Daphne! One of my favorite rabbit poses!
Buck 6.17.2020.jpg
 

drstratton

True BYH Addict
Golden Herd Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
504
Reaction score
1,954
Points
213
Location
Eastern WA - USA
Time for a small update! We spent some time at our daughter's home & then went & helped our son & his wife with the final touches to get their house ready to sell. We got home last Friday, but then I got sick, I think I'm finally starting to feel better! Anyway, that's why I haven't been around.

My husband checked on the chickens this morning & found our first egg! It's a little small, but I know they will get bigger! I have it next to a large egg from Costco, which I still have quite a few of. Hopefully more will start laying & I won't have to buy any eggs for a long time!

20200728_092723.jpg
 
Top