Monday, June 25, 2012

Moving Into the Coop

Last night our chickens spent their first night outside. We saw chickens younger than ours outside at River Cottage Farm last week, so we thought it would be okay to move the girls outside. Before they moved into their new home we had to do some modifications to the coop. We wanted to make the coop mobile so that we can move it around in the yard every couple of days or so.
 So we added 4 wheels...
 and some string so that we could pull it.
 Bryan attached the ladder using hinges,
 and tied a string to the other end so that it can be raised and lowered from outside of the coop.
We laid the cheapest linoleum that we could find on the inside of the coop, so that we could wipe it clean every time we change the pine shavings, which will cover the entire floor. We also reinforced the floor with 2X4's.
 Our coop arrived with screws as handles so we replaced all of them with real handles and spray painted some of the wood that was not painted white.
During the cooler months, our coop will have two removable plywood doors on each end. 
But during the warm months we thought it would be a little cooler for our girls if we replaced the wooden doors with lattice. Right now the girls can fit through the lattice (even though I am not sure they could figure out how because it is a tight squeeze), but at the rate they're growing, they won't in a few days. They are just staying in the run area with the ladder raised until they grow a little bit bigger, plus they don't need the nest boxes just yet.
 Our lattice and doors (during the fall, winter, and early spring) are secured with a latch, 
so the doors can't fall off.
 We still have to cut a small hinged door in the plywood board so that we can access the nest boxes without taking the entire door off of the coop, but that can wait until closer to the fall season. We are also probably going to change the roosting pole, since it's just an old shutter. You can see parts of the roosting pole in these next two pictures.
When I went to check on the girls this morning they all 
seemed happy and content in the their new home...
and we hope to keep it that way.

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