It has been a busy several days here. With school vacation last week, there were lots of projects to finish up, continue, and start.
Erica and the kids were able to get all the seeds started in a small indoor greenhouse, we tilled the garden and rolled over all the manure we spread in there, an herb garden took shape, bulbs were transplanted all around the yard, and of course the chicken coops rolled off the "assembly line."
I have found that four is the number to build at a time. Any more than four at a time and the hardware store runs out of hinges and latches. But if I get enough for four, somehow the store is all restocked the following week waiting for my next batch of coops.
So far I've finished four and moved them out to their new homes, and have four more 1/2 way finished. I will build another four, as well as a 4 x 7 foot goat barn that we have a deposit on, and hopefully finish up my own 10 x 8 shed/meat chicken house (pics on that to follow later).
Here are four coops just past the halfway point. I find that cutting each section in fours also speeds up the construction, but allows me to vary my tasks at a rapid enough pace to keep me interested in what I'm doing.
After the rough framing and the nesting boxes, I add some walls, a "pop-hole" for the hens complete with a door, and some roof trusses.
I also add two windows. I make them diamond shape just to add some character and to make them different from any other building out there.
The 4 foot by 4 foot construction allows for enough space for a small backyard flock and also allows me to move it around with my hand truck and fit it into just about any size truck. (I add the side door just before we load them up.)
Here is the coop in even the smallest of trucks. This one is about to be taken to its new owners a few towns away.
We also offer a coop "package," for which customers receive some feed, a waterer, a feeder, some nesting box hay, and 6 baby chicks. Long live the backyard chicken! We started our farm with this exact same coop that I designed while building it many years ago. We had four chickens and two rabbits. We've grown quite a bit since then!