Posts Tagged ‘freecycle’

The Truck Cap Chicken Tractor

Saturday we started to work on our Truck Cap Chicken Tractor, which is a portable chicken coop with a Truck Cap as the roof. We are building it in two separate parts, the Cap and the Run.  We  don’t have a whole lot of carpentry experience, and don’t have the best tools, but we are doing the best we can.  Here are some pictures:

Paul putting together the base, which we made from salvaged wood from our deck we just tore down.

The cap, which we got for free from FreeCycle, fits on top of the wooden base.

Here are the roosts on the inside of the cap. The nest boxes will be in the back under that window, so we can reach in to get the eggs.

We have the plywood around the sides, but we aren't sure how we want to build the door in the front.

We plan to put four wheels on the base so we can move it, because the cap is kinda heavy. For nest boxes, I thought some milk crates that we picked up on freecycle would work, mounted under that rear window.  Does anyone have any objections to that idea?  Also we aren’t sure how we want to build the chicken door in the front panel.  I would like to have a horizontal door that folds down to make a little exit ramp, but I’d also like to be able to shut and lock it from out side the run, which we haven’t built yet. Run is going to be detachable with small wheels, and slip over the end of the coop with the window.  To facilitate feeding, watering, and moving, the idea is to lock the chicken in the cap at night and then in the morning, detach the run, move  the cap to a new spot of pasture,  open the cap window and refill the water and feeder, close the window, and then re-attach the run, and then open the horizontal chicken door to give them access to the run.  I’d like to have the cap coop to be predator proof enough to be usable without the run, if I need to isolate a bird, or  raise some young birds separate from the rest of the flock.

Any feed back, comments, questions, advice or suggestions are welcome!



Barter and Trade In the Internet Age

Barter and trade are a pretty quaint way of getting the things you need or want or getting rid of your surplus. (Like my eggs.)  Here are some websites designed to facilitate the barter and trade of goods and services. Not all have a local focus but some can be organized for a local focus.

PaperBackSwap I’ve been a member of this site for several years and love it! I’ve gotten rid of many books I wanted to read. It’s not locally focused, and you do have to spend money on mailing out your books, but to request a book is free to you. You earn book credits when your requester marks your book as received. Costs are kept down by using media mail. And it’s not just for paper back books, its for any book, including audio books, which cost 2 credits. Recently they have added the sale of books where you can use your credits to lower the price.  If your the kind of person who is terrible at returning library books, this is a great alternative, if  you don’t mind the postage.  Oh, and just to let you know, it’s USA only, sorry! The same people also run DVD Swap and CD Swap. This is a neat site where people can trade in groups for just about anything! Mostly crafty people use it to make works of art of all kinds to swap.  I’ve done some hand made post card swaps, and crocheted item swaps.  Some people swap things in their crafting stash that they don’t want anymore. Some swaps are very specific and some are as vague, but all members have a profile that includes their preferences: things they collect, wish lists, and things they don’t like.  It’s a typical practice to send extra goodies in with the required swap items.  This site does have potential for local community building because you can form private swaps and private groups, based on a region. Once you join a swap, the site organizes and matches swap partners, and keeps a rating system to let people who when people are dishonest and join a swap without sending out their items. Of course you can avoid this by having private swaps and private groups. I think it would be fun for a large extended family spread all over the country to make a private group and exchange holiday gifts, one partner per family member, with a cost limit on the gift exchange.  The possibilities are really endless with this extremely flexible system.

Babysitter Exchange I just found this site and I love it! You can create communities of local people you know to exchange babysitting with. You start with a certian number of tokens and use them to “pay” for requested services, like babysitting, pet sitting, house sitting, carpooling and other errands.  Groups of 5 or less are free. Larger groups have a paid premium membership. You can also have multiple communities, so if some friend live to the north, and some to the south, you can organize separate groups, though members in the middle can belong to both.  I’m always hurting for some childcare, and looking for someone to watch my chickens when we are away, so I’m really looking forward to using this service.

FreeCycle This is an email list where people can give just about anything away, as long as it’s free. You can also post “wanted” adds. It’s organized locally and the receiver picks up the item, no mailing.  The premise is that we should reuse old things instead of filling up our landfills.  If you hating getting a ton of irrelevant mail, you might not like this group, but you can always choose the no mail option and just read posts at the web site.



Crocheted Winter Solstice

We have a very small  Solstice Tree since we moved the computer desk into the living room to make room for Julian.  This year I found a pattern to crochet garland for it, and it’s so cute I made a star topper to match! I used a thin white yarn with a silver thread through it for the garland.  The topper I cut out of a pie tin, poked some holes in it and outlined the star with the same yarn, and crocheted around it. To save a bit on the electric bill, I put the pre-lit tree on a timer so I don’t even have to remember to turn it on or off!  It’s perfect! I also  took some time today to weed out Solstice decorations that I don’t really need or use and passed them on to someone on FreeCycle.  Next time I’m feeling blue,  someone remind me to make a donation to FreeCycle, because it feels so good helping out a person in need!

Whatever Holy-Day you celebrate, have a Blessed one!


Mini Tree

My Mini Tree

Close Up on Garland

Close Up on Crocheted Garland