Today we finished our 3′ x 5′ chicken coop (yay!) and were able to move our thirty two chicks out of the green house. I know a 3′ X 5′ seems a little small for thirty two chickens, but they are all under a month old right now and have plenty of space. And fifteen of them are meat birds so they won’t be living in the coop to long. We made a stockade style “cabin” chicken coop as we needed to clear some trees anyway. We were able to come up with quite a few 4 ft long pieces roughly the same diameter. So then we picked a spot and Kyle started digging!
We decided to dig down roughly a foot to bury the ends of the logs into the ground. Any critters that try to burrow under should be discouraged by hitting the logs. The chicken coop isn’t bear proof, but our biggest asset for chicken protection will be our dogs and they’ve already chased away bears. Eagles and martin are also a concern, especially as they will be free range chickens. But between the dogs and the rooster we’re hopeful that most of the birds will survive this winter.
Kyle used scrap 2 x 3’s to attach all the logs together as this made them easier to stand up in the hole so we could bury the ends.
We also used left over plywood for the roof of the coop.
Kyle used the chainsaw to create some nesting platforms, which we attached to sticks at the corners of the coop. There are only 3 of them, but every time I’ve had chickens before they all laid eggs in the same spot no matter how many nests they were given.
Right now we are using a piece of plywood that lifts out as a temporary door until we can get a better piece of material.
We threw some wind barrier up around it and some tar paper over the top (don’t worry, there are vent holes and a real roof is coming!). And ta-da! An almost free, mostly land provided chicken coop!
Now all of our chicks have been moved inside and seem to be quite happy. Tomorrow will be their first supervised “free range” experience. I’m going to run some chicken wire around the clearing the coop is in and use sticks to stake it down. The dogs have been introduced; Ronan loves to watch Chick TV and Link likes chicken feed. Because neither have tried to eat any chicks yet I’m hopeful they will be content to just watch them run around in a larger area. Fingers crossed!