The Chicken Chronicles - Chapter Four

You can find The Chicken Chronicles Chapters One, Two, and Three under “Grow It” at the top of this page.

Construction continues. Greg is building the front room of the coop first. We want to move the chickens into a safe space so we can sleep and not worry about losing them to neighborhood raccoons. What you see hanging off of the left side, or back, of the coop will eventually be the second room. Two outside walls have been sided with repurposed barn siding and four windows are installed. I know it looks pretty rough right now but give us a bit of time and you will begin to see what we have imagined.

 

Here is the inside view of the front room. Look carefully and you can see a chain holding the window open at the top of the left hand window. Chains allow the windows to stay open and are an inexpensive way to use the windows for ventilation on hot days. To close the window we simply push it shut and use a wooden peg at the top to hold it safely in place. Obviously, we still have a loooong way to go but we can stand inside these two walls and feel the sun stream through the windows. It is beginning to feel like a real coop.

 

This simple, hinged, exit door gives the chickens access to their outside yard. It is held open with a simple hook and eye and closes tight with another hook and eye. This should deter nightime raiding raccoons. The next step here will be a ramp.

 

 

Meanwhile, Greg is rebuilding our old layer boxes. They look pretty sad, (an understatement), but after taking them apart, putting the best parts back together to fit our new space, and painting them, they almost look like new.

The finished row of laying boxes fits perfectly in the new coop. You are looking at the egg collection side of the boxes. The yellow catcher is what, supposedly, the eggs roll down into for easy collection. Except that, if memory serves, in order for the eggs to roll down into the catcher, the hens must be willing to sit and lay their eggs on the bare wire floor of the laying box. When the boxes are lined with a comfy layer of straw, which is what the hens insist on, the eggs will not roll out of the straw and down into the catcher. So we will have to go into the inner ‘chicken room’ to gather eggs. This is not really a big deal because I like to be around the chickens. If you look carefully you can catch a glimpse of Greg working on the interior wall.

What you cannot see is the inexpensive linoleum that we put down over the wooden floor. The linoleum makes it easier to sweep and sanitize the floor and, along with bedding, prevents drafts from blowing up through the floorboards.

The front of the coop is now an enclosed room with four windows, four walls, and a warm, secure floor. Throw down fresh bedding, bring in food, water, a roost, the chickens, and – – we have a coop! Or maybe I should say half a coop.

We sleep better knowing that the chickens are finally tucked away safely for the night. As long as we close the windows and the latch the trap door they are safe from raiding raccoons. So – there you have it – we are half done – – sort of!

Next Saturday I’ll share how work on the back room transforms the look of the coop. We will have more walls, more windows, and a few refinements.

Hey from the farm,
Fran, The Country Cousin

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