We're all friends here.

Have a blog or website devoted to backyard or urban farming, sustainable living, gardening, or just something cool that you think would fit in with what we're trying to do? Drop us a line or leave a comment. We'd love to add a link to your site!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The coop!

Earlier this summer we became chicken sitters.  We wanted to get chickens and had hemmed and hawed for quite a while. Finally some friends that live in the neighborhood who were about to embark on a year of travel asked if we'd like to watch their chickens for them.  And of course we jumped at the chance.  We ended up with a ready made coop, run, three friendly (mostly) layers and all the other accutromond that comes with raising chickens.  I already posted about the storage shed I built in preparation for said chickens and here we have the coop that came along with them.

This is the winter placement for the coop.  This is right where I had my potato boxes the last couple years and I'm not sure if the coop will stay here next year or we'll find a new place for it.  It was originally over behind the shed, but part of it was in the electrical easement and we decided to move it after the utility was snooping around.  They never told me I had to move it, but I'd rather them not have too.  We had moved it to a nook behind the house and our small addition, but moved it because it was right under the eaves  and I'd rather not have to worry  about a huge chunk of snow coming down on top of it.

The run is 4x8 and has a nice door on it.  The top is clear corrugated roofing.  I was going to improve it by raising it up so that water would drain off of it, but it was well secured on top so I just left it.  You can see the food tray and heated water fount.  The best thing about getting a whole set up like this is I realize if Steve and Abby come back to get their chickens and coop what I would build and improve upon.  Over all though the girls have a nice large space to scratch and bath and come spring the run detaches pretty easily and we'll clean it out really good.

Here we have a side view.  The coop is an old repurposed dog house.  The girls have a little ramp from the bottom into the coop.

The inside space is about 4x3x3.5 with a nice little loft.  More than enough room for just three chickens, now sadly only two right now.  You can see Apocalypse in the background out exploring.  When we're home we let the girls have the whole back yard since they don't try to escape.  I'm doing my monthly coop cleaning.  All that good compost.

Here we have a good look on the inside with fresh bedding.  The girls really like to lay up in the loft so I make sure to have lots of bedding up there so they can make a nice little nest.

I had made a nice nesting box for them but they didn't like it and never used it so I just took it out.

 I have since added a Thermocube plug to the heat lamp and a timer to the full spectrum light.  We had a very long cold snap where temperature we dipping into the negative teens so the heat lamp was on pretty much all the time and the girls didn't mind, however it's warmed up into the 20's and now the coop is way to hot for them, it's very well insulated..  As a matter of fact the last few nights Apocalypse has chosen to roost outside and sleep.
Here you can see the Thermocube and the light with timer.  I still think at our current temperatures the coops too hot with just the laying light. I've toyed with putting in a full spectrum fluorescent bulb in the light and let the Thermocube and heat lamp do their thing.

And of course this is what makes it all worth it.

1 comment:

  1. Using the thermocube is a good idea, Mark. And I like the size of the run...it gives them some room to move around, but without being too big. Looks great!