Jul 25, 2008

It's a Real Hen House



Yesterday afternoon we moved the chickens outside into their newly completed coop and run. They are still figuring out the coop and the ladder to get in and out. They had no problems getting out, but when dark fell they didn't seem to realize they should go in. They were distressed by the dark and the fireworks (yes I picked the worst day to put them outside) but all they would do is huddle under the ramp/ladder and peep.

We haven't built in a gate to the run yet so in order to get them into the coop we had two options: tear down the run or send Holly through the coop and out the chicken door to get the chickens and bring them inside. Guess which one we did? Fortunately, they hadn't "christened" the coop yet so crawling around in it was not a dirty experience. If I have to do this again it will be a whole other story. So a gate is on the top of the priority list.

The coop project definitely tested the strength of our affection. For anyone not married, this means we fought about it...often. Toby did a great job and it has a great design. I can open the entire south side to expose it to light and air and to clean. It is ventilated along the very top on three sides and has a window.


The ladder to outside is also a fold-up door for night-time.


The big door has two heavy duty bolts to keep out predators and curious toddlers.


The nests are easy to access with a flip up egg door on the west side.


I'm looking forward to the girls getting a bit bigger. When they are big enough to defend themselves from the cat and too big to fit under the fence, I'll be happy to let them "free range" a little at a time until I'm sure they are safe.

Robbie enjoys peeking in the window which is just his height.


At the very last minute I made one "upgrade" - a chicken wire "flap" behind the big door. This way we can leave the door open for cleanings and water changes without having to worry that chickens will come out. The flap is only stapled on the top and halfway down each side. It isn't really a security system..just a convenience for me. An added bonus is that it lets Robbie observe the chickens roosting, eating, drinking, etc right at eye level.


He also likes to photograph them just like mom.

1 comment:

Kim said...

Love these ladies.