We finally finished the general building of the new chicken coop/outbuilding. There are still some things left to do, though, like add siding, roofing, a step, maybe a window box with some flowers...
But we have moved all the meat chickens and some of the young egg layers into it. It took an extra couple of days to get the outside run portion put together. I ended up using more of the leftover cut-offs from the lumber mill to frame in the run, which gives it a kind of rustic look.
When the moving day came, we first had to load up the chickens.
We backed the little truck right up to the barn and the kids and I loaded them into cages. It took four trips in all to get every last one.
Violet and Liev especially liked being able to ride in the back of the truck as I drove it from the behind the barn to the new coop. I remember riding in pick-up beds back from baseball games, to the movies, and all over the place when I was a kid, but that sort of thing is kind of outlawed now-a-days, I suppose.
We probably could have done the whole job with more cages and fewer trips, but the kids really liked the whole driving back and forth and catching chickens aspect of it.
Here is a shot of those lumber mill cut-offs in action. They were well over 12 feet long, which allowed me to set fewer posts. To the right you can see one of the windows that we reclaimed from the transfer station (there are 4 in all in this building). I hung them so they tilt in (old-school chicken coop style). This allows the air to circulate in the top of the window and then the warm air is sucked out through the openings in the joists atop the wall. In a house one would block those openings up (with soffits) to keep out all the nasty little critters that try to get in. But here in the chicken coop it makes for a nice air flow. Standing in the coop with the windows open you can actually feel the breeze as the air circulates. Pretty amazing.
I mounted the windows with door hinges...see next photo. Also see Liev trying to convince the chickens to try out their now pop-hole and chicken yard. (I think that you can also see part of Violet through the pop-hole...she is testing out the chicken's new ramp.) Those white chickens all around on the floor are meat breeds. They grow heavy and fast. Liev is holding an egg layer the same age as the white ones...It is about 1/4 the size and weight of the white ones.
There is the new building from a distance. We'll add additional runs off the right side and the front next year, but for now the rear one offers plenty of fresh air and shade for the chickens on these hot summer days. We're planning to put on that tin/metal roofing material like you see on all the homes in Vermont and New Hampshire. We were thinking maybe white, as it would keep the building cool, but since it has such great ventilation already we might opt for red. After I build the garden shed we'll order the roofing material for both buildings at once and save on some of the cost.
Posted by Chris
@ 10:36 AM EDT