The chickens moved into their new coop yesterday. We’ve upgraded from the urban yard coop to the small farmstead coop, with room for more chickens next year.
It’s made from pine boards we salvaged from a house when I was eight months pregnant with Nemo. One of the benefits of being a carpenter is that you are able to bring home unwanted yet useful building materials.
For the roof Glen used shingles that he found in the garage when we moved in. Roof guard he saved from the dumpster at work was used to paper the walls and roof.
In the spring we’ll use siding we had for the house to finish of the outside. Oh yes, the base of the coop is an old section of dock Glen scavenged off a job site, as well as the window. If you ever buy a fixer-upper, it wouldn’t hurt to get a part time job as a grunt at least, you never know what you’ll be able to bring home!
For nesting “boxes” we’re currently using 5 gallon pails turned on their sides, which will work until spring when we’ll need them again, and at that point Glen will build shelves of wooden boxes for nests.
Glen is currently designing the chicken run to attach to the coop so we can contain them. This will be the most interesting part because those chickens like to roam, and they won’t be happy unless they get a significant amount of room to move.
We’ve been giving away eggs to the neighbors who have been so gracious to let the ladies scavenge on their yards, but we’d like to keep them on our property now that we know they will just keep traveling down the road in daylight.
Last night the ladies spent their first night in the coop. We let them go into their old home and then Glen carried them to their new place. When he got up this morning he peeked in the window and they were still wandering around the coop, as if they hadn’t even gone to bed! The heat lamp might be confusing them as to the time of day.
I left them in there a while today, hoping that it would help them to get used to it, but they still returned to the old roost this evening. I hear it can take a while for a chicken to be trained to seek out their new coop, so we may end up covering the old one with a tarp for now. It’s so much more convenient for them to come in for the night on their own than carry each of them to their beds!
Welcome to your new home ladies!
As an interesting side note (how could I forget!), on day 2 of this operation, the power drill equiped with a screw tip slipped off the screw while Glen was trying to attatch the rafters (the drill was not on), and he managed to make a nice hole in the side of his left forefinger. But no worries, with plenty of peroxide, antibiotic cream, a popcycle stick splint, comfrey salve and lots of bandaids it is healing up quite nicely. Glen reassures me that it really didn’t hurt that bad since his hands were numb from the cold anyway, and he never lost mobility of his finger so it looks like his body is doing well in healing itself. Yay!