Nesting in a new coop

If you thought this post was going to be about the chickens, well I’ll include them at the end, just for you!

New digs

Here’s a sneak peak at the chickens’ contribution to this post

What this post is really about is my nesting experience as the end of my pregnancy looms in the near future.

Something that I would never recommend to do while pregnant, especially in the third trimester, is move house. I would also not recommend moving house twice in the third trimester. That’s what we’ve done!

Over the course of one week, we have gone from trying to make ourselves comfortable in the less-than-ideal house we were living in, to being completely moved into a new rental. As promised, our local property manager was keen to move us on from the first house as soon as something else became available, which that happened suddenly. Wanting to make the most of our long weekend to move, we had committed to move in one day, and started un-flattening boxes the next. With the help of Jonah’s brother and a coworker, we were completely moved in over the weekend, with the chickens following within the week.

And folks, my nesting instincts just have no idea what’s happening this pregnancy. A few months ago I was pulling baby clothes out of storage and moving them to our bedroom. Then we packed up and moved.

The week before our most recent move, I had resigned myself to staying and making the most of the house; I had fixed a dodgy door, secured haters, unpacked and arranged baby things, and we had just set up the vege garden beds. Boxes were sorted into rooms depending on whether they would be stored or unpacked, and the spare room was cleared for our postpartum guests.

I was even knocking some sewing jobs off my to-do list!

Fixing a cloth nappy cover with my little helper who seems to think my stitch length is always wrong. Go figure.

And then the boxes came out again. The baby clothes were packed, the beds were dismantled, and the house was emptied. I was completely useless through this process, primarily focused on child-minding snd sustenance provision while trying as hard as possible to keep my stress levels down and my body happy. Once we were moved in, I was 38 weeks pregnant.

With all the changes in this pregnancy, I have to wonder where the time went, and where did this bump come from??

Things are calmer now. The plants are thriving in the conditions; much happier than they ever were in the shady garden in Adelaide. Saturday morning pancakes have come back into our weekend traditions, different benchtop but same cosy family feeling.

New kitchen, same tradition. Boys are whipping cream as fluffy goodness cooks in the pan

Amongst the hustle and bustle, I’ve managed to start preparing for our postpartum time by baking and freezing something simple but which helped me immensely with the late night feeding hunger that comes with a newborn and recovering from childbirth: a baked oat slice adapted from Traditional Cooking School.

Perfect amount of slice once you take out enough for us to snack on!

I write this as my estimated due date is only 4 days away. We wait with anticipation and expectation but also knowing that baby will come when baby and I am ready. It may be this week, it may be in two weeks’ time. But now we feel a little more ready.

Now as promised, an update on the ladies.

Before our first move, we were shocked to discover some wounds on our dear Darla. We suspected an accident on the fence as Darla was a regular escapee. We later discovered she was being horrendously bullied; plucked and pecked by flock boss Queenie. We isolated Darla and treated her wounds. After the move, we thought things had been fine. We were wrong.

A few days after settling in, the bullying started again! Queenie was blatantly walking up to Darla and pecking her. She would even follow her into the coop and harass her while laying! I was so shocked! They had heaps of room to roam, so why was this still happening?!

Bullies be bullying

So we isolated Queenie this time. In the busyness of the move, I neglected to get a photo of Queenie separated but still technically in the same enclosure. We hoped this would show her she’s not so hot stuff after all! If this failed, we would take up a friend’s offer to move her in with some very aggressive chooks to see what happened.

Thankfully it looks like that won’t be necessary. Since the move, no more feathers have been lost, no skin is ripped, and Queenie seems to be minding her own space finally! They’re casually pecking at some garden scraps right next to each other without so much of a stray beak. Phew! We have been enjoying watching them devour some of our garden bounty; kale is their favourite, but they will eat the silverbeet if there’s no alternative!

Happy garden, happy chooks, happy mum and happy bub (most days for the last two)

Now with happy chooks and happy plants, we’re overrun with eggs and delightful greens. What a way to live!

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