About a month ago, a friend took me up on my plea for help in building some breeding pens for my chickens. We found a source of salvage wood that would cover most of the project needs and he collected and cut the wood to size … and then his father became ill. By this time, I was getting a little desperate to get the hens separated, thinking about the 10-day wait before I could begin collecting eggs, followed by three weeks in the incubator. A different sort of biological clock was ticking. When I asked Tigger for help, he managed to somehow clear two days from his already overly full schedule to help me and … voilà! The first three coops are done (the third still needs wire before I can use it) and two are inhabited!
You can see all three pens in this picture:
Here’s a detail of the nesting box (in the coop without wire), which is tilted back so the eggs are less of a temptation to any bored hens.
We tried a couple of different ideas for hinges, trying to use salvaged materials as much as possible, and I have to say that the bright blue fishing gloves that Tigger found washed up on the beach provide a welcome touch of humor.
Sadly, I was just a few hours late in getting these set up for the Icelandics. Somehow, they got out of their apartment yesterday afternoon and mixed in with the other chickens. So the ten-day countdown will apply to them, too. They do seem to prefer the new living arrangements and I doubt we’ll have any more attempts at escape.
Because I already have orders for Welsummer chicks, I also pulled my three Welsummer hens and single rooster to inhabit the other coop. Even without straw in the nesting boxes (I was in such a hurry to get the chickens in and take some pictures, that I neglected to attend to all the creature comforts!), they love it.
These coops are so nice that they make me wish I were a chicken! I will be building more, including some larger ones to house up to six hens and rooster comfortably. But at least for now, I’m a little closer to purebred eggs for these breeds.
It’s a gorgeous day. We hung the sap buckets this morning and after that, we walked over to the big enclosure and enjoyed watching the goats race around and play king-of-the-mountain. Everyone feels the promise of spring, even if it is chilly.