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Jul 2, 2018

Vacation Day = Project Time! Keeping Chickens Cool in The Heat

Vacation Day = Project Time!
I had today off as a vacation time day which meant project time! There were a few different projects I wanted to do. Some of them were little, some of them larger, but all of them take time. With gardening season full blown we are really busy on the weekends. We also do periodic babysitting for our grandchildren. We love them and are happy to to help. Since I knew I'd be off today we went and saw Ocean's 8 yesterday, great movie! So here we go...

Shelf Wood Finishing- One of the projects I wanted to do today was finishing our corner hall unit that Dave built DIY Floating Corner Shelves. I looked around for quite a few ideas about finishing the shelves, but decided to live with them as-is until summer. Using any kind of paint or varnish etc., would have really smelled up the house in the winter. I thought about paint, stain and wasn't sure if we wanted to keep them light or dark. Both Dave and I really like the natural wood look and so I found Watco Danish Oil which is a one-step finish. Got it at a big box store for about $10.00. It's oil-based product that protects the wood and is very easy to apply-

I went with Natural since that we didn't want a really big color change in the wood. We have a nice light wall color in the hallway and I didn't want to go dark since we're going for a bright airy look in the house. First I removed the decorative items and dusted well-

bare wood

Put on first coat, 'flooding the wood' per directions-

Rubbed in well with 2 folded up paper towels-

1st coat

Next let sit 20 minutes, then did a 2nd coat-

Let sit another 15 minutes, wipe off the excess, it was easy! It has a mild smell, not bad compared to poly, etc. Darkened the wood just a bit, nice luster. I used less than 1/3 the bottle, so more left for other projects. I didn't need to tarp, just careful, washed my hands, came right off with Dawn.  Loving it! I let it sit overnight, then added back the decor.

Why I call this a project

Curtido- Another project was to make some Curtido, a Salvadoran spicy sauerkraut. It's amazing and so healthy! Post here Curtido Making . FYI, I use pickling salt, but you could change that. It's easy to make but it's a bit labor-intensive, using a mandolin to slice a lot of cabbage, carrots, onions (and dice any leftovers), season, and add salt to ferment. Then there's the clean up! I leave the diced jalapenos out, it's spicy enough for us!  I weighed the veggies before starting, simpler to gauge the salt amount. I bought this inexpensive OXO Mandolin a year or 2 agoand it works great for this!!! Small and easy/safe to store. Perfect for recipes when you need something sliced very uniform. For $14.99 it's perfect, has 3 adjustments for thickness, and it's razor sharp-

Making Curtido is really worth it, since it lasts for several months in your fridge once it ferments. It is really great for your tummy, tons of probiotics. You can ferment for several months, but I wait about 10-14 days, and great as is. I'm sure it would have a deeper flavor if you went longer. The flavor is really amazing, not just spicy, but very aromatic as well. I will ferment some pickles this summer once I find some pickling cucumbers locally. I have a good fermenting jar that I use and it works perfect for these applications simple and easy. Recipe here- Curtido Spicy Fermented Sauerkraut

Not done yet

Donations- Another project was just getting some donations together to drop off at a thrift store. Sometimes you keep things because you think you're going to use them. Or you keep things because you're just emotionally attached to them. I had two pair of nice, expensive clogs that I used to wear at my old library job when I was on my feet all day. I thought about selling them on eBay but frankly I thought it would be more fun to throw a little something expensive into a thrift store donation bag! Some lucky person will find them, works for me. Adding some other things and dropping off tomorrow, since I won't have jury duty.

Baking- I've been wanting to make some homemade cookies for a while. I wanted to freeze some for when the grand kids come over, or just have a cookie emergency. So I decided to make some Toll House chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, w/pecans. I love the fact they have oatmeal and adding nuts makes for a great cookie. Simple and easy but very tasty.  You can also sub bittersweet chocolate, more like an adult cookie if you like.

Shade area

Keeping Chickens Cool in The Heat
A few years ago I asked Dave to fence in the area between the coop and the maple tree since it was open and nice and shady. The original chicken run was pretty much full sun around the vegetables and WAY too hot. So for very little money we just added a small section of fencing in an L going from the coop to the tree to the fence. Problem solved, mostly! I've written about keeping chickens cool in the summer before, but just one little inexpensive tip! I'm adding this as it works so well and is inexpensive- a hose mister! Just attach to your hose, turn the water on low, and cool mist! I bought one of these hose misters and use it near their shaded area and coop-

Note here- You never want to put a mister inside a coop as it will cause too much humidity, and could make your chickens sick. I never put the mister right in the shade area, but instead I put it about three feet away, usually on a lawn chair. These use very little water, are easy to store in the winter and that little bit of extra dampness really helps cool the air. Cucumber slices, melons, any other kind of cool wet food is really helpful to. I've use crushed ice and they love that as well. Sadly we don't have an ice crusher anymore so I stick to things like cool fruits or vegetables that have a lot of water content. I read repeatedly you never want to give chickens corn in the summer as it tends to overheat them, better in the winter. Having a well-ventilated coop also helps and having a shady place for them to go. I keep the water founts clean and well filled all summer long.


Kristina said...

Yeah, a mister in the coop would make the bedding wet too. I treated mine with some ice cold watermelon the other day.

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Yes nice and cold!

Liz said...

I love getting projects done on vacation time too! Nice job - and thanks for sharing on Homestead Blog Hop!