Thursday, 18 June 2009

The 2009 Chicken Coop is Done

Well, almost! I still have a little painting of trim to do, but that will have to wait until it quits raining for longer than a minute. And speaking of all the rain, we have had an abundance of mushrooms and fungi because of all the moisture. Case in point:
This is growing out back. It started off really white and is now turning sort of golden colored. I kid you not, it is at least 18" from left to right! and stands about 10" tall. It could feed a family of 4 easily, if it were edible. And it may be, but I'M NOT GONNA TRY IT!

Here are the latest pictures of the coop:

Front with new pop door and ramp. I need to paint the trim around the door. We added 3 foot tall, 2x4 welded wire to the bottom of the pen to help deter any would be predators. After doing a lot of reading on my favorite chicken sites, Backyard Chickens, I decided chicken wire wasn't enough protection.

This is the back side from one angle:

And from the other. Notice the ramp and pop door and the white door between the two sides of the pen. This was done so that we can eventually rotate the chickens from one side of the pen to the other, to allow grass and clover to grow so they can have some greens to eat. I'll let you know how that works out.

So far we've had to put the little ones on one side and the big girls on the other to keep the peace. You see, the big girls were keeping the little ones from getting to their food and water, chasing them around and generally terrorizing the whole group. It was REALLY STRESSFUL. And the chickens didn't like it either! So I had to seperate them. I even strung some chicken wire up on the inside to maintain the separation. You can see it in the picture of the inside roost.

I'll give them a few weeks and try it again. By that time the little ones will be a bit bigger and better able to protect themselves. I HOPE!

We added some 2x4s to the top of a couple of saw-horses to give the girls (and boys) a place to roost outside and away from the edges of the pen. I'm worried that something will sneak up and grab them from outside the pen if they sleep too close to the edges. I use the yellow crate to sit and commune with the girls (and boys). The little ones like to jump up in my lap. The big ones, not so much.

These are the nesting boxes where the older girls can lay their eggs. The younger ones too, when they are old enough.We moved these from the old coop instead of building new ones in hopes that the older girls would feel more comfortable. They were originally given to my son by one of his teachers when he was little and had a few chickens of his own. We retrieved them from my father's shed, fixed them up and painted them and put them to use. They are mounted about 18" off the floor. We added the little step up in the front so the heavier girls would have an easier time getting in and out.

This is the inside roost that my handyman built to make sure everyone had a roomy place to roost at night. See the chicken wire I told you about? The little ones stay on the roost side and the big girls stay on the nesting box side. We moved another saw-horse in for the big girls to roost on. So far it's working out.

This is Bonnie Blue demonstrating the proper use of the front ramp. I think she is a Blue Old English Game Bird. She and her mate, Blue Roo aka Baby Blue, only stand about 5" tall. They will eventually move into the old coop and be allowed to reproduce. I haven't told them that yet. They are a little too young for that sort of news.

And here is a picture of the new coop next to the old one. As you can see, we are framing out the addition to the pen on the old one. Raising the roof, so to speak, so I can get in to keep it clean.

I'll post pictures of that project as it moves along. And . . . I'm gonna introduce you to the rest of the chickens. Aren't you excited?!

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

That is one NICE coop!