...on behalf of a bunch of chickens.
So we're in the new house, but the chickens
aren't here yet, and we're feeling bad that they are still living in
the barn miles away and it just doesn't feel like home yet without them.
as soon as we get ourselves settled in enough for our day to day needs,
we go hammer and tongs at building the new coop & run. We are
fortunate enough to have two sheds in the back yard, one of which will
become the new coop--on the left of the picture, the one without the
roof on the right:
Only problem is, it's in the wrong place.
It needs to be moved over towards the middle of the yard and back
about 20 yards. This is soon accomplished by pulling it loose from it's
moorings and dragging it with lots of nylon rope and the Jeep. We also
rent a trencher and dig the trench for the run posts and the buried
wire--vital in areas where predators know to dig under the coop wire to
get at your birds.
In this pic the coop used to be on the left
where the chunk of plywood is lying on the ground. The framework on the
ground is the carport pipe structure that was the old run, moved from
the old house.
thing we have here in SPADES is rocks. This area is an old glacier
field and when it left, it left all kinds of damned rocks. Dig down two
inches and your shovel will hit a rock. Or 12.
run roof going up. This was quite harrowing to raise, by the way. It
swayed and did the hula in such a way as to have you fearing for your
But go up it did, yay!
better look at the trench where the wire will be buried at least 6
inches below ground, bent outwards to foil digging predators.
run posts were seated in cement, which got a field test with 65 mph
winds the very next night. None of it ended up in the next county the
next morning, so we must have done good.
The run roof goes on, just in time for a light snow.
first course of wire goes up on the right side! We use 1/4 inch
welded-wire, also known as hardware cloth--NEVER chicken wire!
More wire on the other side, and the doorway is framed in...
we now live in an area that sees much colder temps and higher winds
than where we used to live, we're adding insulation to the walls &
ceiling of the new coop. It will also have a heat lamp for REALLY cold
courses of wire are overlapped by about 4-6 inches and secured with UV
resistant zip ties, which will seal out rodents that may try to slip
between the wire edges. Chickens and their food attracts such things.
for me, while I was cranking down on a zip tie with a huge pair of
channel-lock pliers, it broke and I smacked myself in the face with the
damned pliers. Cut the Hell out of my upper lip and I'm fairly sure
I've got two fractures in my maxilla and may lose my two upper front
teeth. Time will tell.
The doorway framing is done and the roof goes on the coop.
plywood coop roof is overlaid with tar paper, which will in turn be
sealed with Henry's and given a final covering of shingles.
Remember all those damned rocks? They go into the trenches as a digging predator deterrant. JUST TRY AND GET AT MY CHICKENS.
It's getting there...the trenches are topped off with dirt.
The door is on!
Time to go inside--this is the coop before it gets insulated.
The insulation goes up...
...and the walls are then sheathed with plywood. Except for finishing touches, the coop and run are finished, yay!
But I still feel like something is missing...hmm...
Pissy, carsick chickens!
swear when they saw me coming at them with those carriers again they
nearly wept. But at least this time it was a shorter drive. Plus they
got a small amount of revenge in me getting my arms all scratched up
from hardware cloth edges.
Temporary roosts in the form of some moving boxes, our garden bench and a ladder.
Also temporary are the nest boxes, repurposed moving boxes with new, smart-ass labels such as 'Fresh Chicken' and 'Fluffy Butt, This End Up'.
Pompadour inspects them...
...as do Fran and Pong.
next day sees the flock cruising their new digs. Sadly they are
confined to the coop & run for now as we still have some fence
repairs to do on the rest of the 1/2 acre before we can let them roam
Weedcat the splash Giant Cochin roo in the middle.
But they're here
at last, and waking up to roosters crowing and hens clucking finally
makes it feel like home. Sadly neither Phoenix our Head Roo nor Millie
our MilleFleur Belgian d'Uccle hen made it, both passing away at
Christmastime. But they are here in spirit, as one of the first things
we did after buying the house was to bury them in a special corner of the yard.
it's snowing, and the chickens are getting to enjoy their first
experience with that. After the weather clears in a few days we'll be
able to finish the roofing, add real nest boxes, roosts ladders and
roosts, and get them settled for good.
Then I can go back to unpacking and painting!