May 1st, 2011


Camping Prep

Today I set up the tent in the backyard so that we can introduce the dog to it and make sure he's generally comfortable with this new object and familiar with the basic Rules of Tent ("This is inside. Do not pee on it.") before we take him camping. So far I have learned the following things:

1. The diagrams in the tent assembly manual are misleading and not comprehensive.

2. It is possible for one person to assemble the Giant Tent of Doom, but I don't know that I'd recommend it.

3. Assembling a tent in the backyard startles the heck out of the chickens.

4. Boy, it's hot out.

5. These stakes bend really easily.

6. As it turns out, Dragon can slither through that space in the dog crate[1].

7. Teckla reacts to accessible junior chicken just exactly like one would expect (i.e., the sort of chase that ought to be scored to "Yakety Sax").

8. These color-coded buckles on the tent & rain fly are really handy.

9. Galen thinks the tent is pretty cool.

10. He shows no inclination to pee in or on it (though it is in the yard, and he is in general not all that willing to pee in the yard), but he thought maybe it would be a fun place to dig. The workings of the doggish brain are inexplicable.

11. The tent walls statically attract dog hair with a force greater than the force of gravity. This looks kind of cool but is probably going to be a pain to clean up.

12. The correct way to enter or exit the tent, according to Galen, is with a high, graceful leap over the little sill with the zipper on it.

13. The vestibule has a tendency to pull off the stakes if they are not firmly sunk into the ground. I am not willing to bother sinking stakes into the ground any more firmly than they go when I step on them when the tent is set up in the yard for dog introduction purposes.

14. The air mattress inflating pump should not be stored with the batteries in it, because one of them leaked. I have cleaned it up and think it will be okay once it dries out, but checking whether Galen has an issue with air mattresses will have to wait for another time.

[1] I moved the junior chickens outside yesterday. They're in the plastic dog crate that Galen chewed up, tucked under the coop in the shady part of the run. I covered the chewed-up bits with duct tape so nobody would get scratched, but there was still a space below the door where plastic was missing. It looked a little borderline as to whether the small chickens could fit through it, so I figured I'd give it a try and fix it later if it turned out they could. There is cardboard there now. Also yesterday, I got out all the material needed to divide the run into two parts so each set of chickens could have outside space until the little guys are big enough to be safely combined with the older chickens, then looked at how much space the dog crate takes up, how difficult it would be to arrange a temporary divider in a way that still allowed access to the crate for feeding and cleaning, and decided that the first idea I'd had, where each pair of chickens can alternate days out in the run, was in fact a fine idea.