Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A New Coop and Other Chicken News

Well, despite my best intentions last week with a "flock block", we still had to bring in a girl from the coop. In case you've lost count, we now have FIVE ladies residing in the basement. Now, I love my chickens, but I do not want to share living quarters with them. They stink, make a mess and are noisy. Unlike children, they do not grow out of this (at least the kids cease to be stinky and can pick up after themselves!). So my darling husband began building a second, smaller coop. Fortunately we had left over building materials for this coop, although we did have to buy a few 4x4s and a pack of shingles, but no biggy. DH has been working on this in the evenings after dinner and over the past weekend. Wheels has been the biggest helper, with Teddy Bear and Princess helping when the mood strikes. Here it is:
The coop is currently in the basement. We have a garage door, so when the time comes
we can get it outside. The dimensions are roughly 4ftx4ft.

Yes, a fancy floor! We had these sticky backed tiles from a bathroom floor redo
about 8 or so years ago. We felt it would make the floor easier to clean and less likely to
rot out on us.

The door that we'll use for access and cleaning out.
This coop will be used as an infirmary and for new chicken arrivals. It will be close to the bigger coop, with access to the addition of the run. Last summer we realized that we needed a bigger run, so instead of tearing down a side of the fence, we just added on to it and cut an entrance for it in the fencing. We can block this entrance off from the main run area so that the chickens can see each other, but not harm each other. This will be important because we'll have to re-introduce the ladies inside to the rest of the flock.

We have also decided to get some more ladies this spring. We're not sure of what breed or how many, but we would like to have some eggs to sell and off-set the cost of having our own chickens. At one time last year we had 21 chickens! But with some of them being roosters and the death of one of our pullets, we are down to just 11 ladies and our roo, James. Two of our ladies are older and are only laying about every other day, even in the summer. And we have a least one girl that has a fondness for going broody. She's done it twice on us, but blessedly, came out of it rather quickly each time. We just kept taking the eggs out from under her, and after a while she snapped out of it.

Also in chicken news, I have purchased some material to make some chicken saddles. No, we will not be attempting to ride our ladies, chicken saddles are like aprons that they wear on their backs to protect them from overly amorous roosters and the resulting feather loss. Here is a wonderful blog post from Jocelyn over at Chicken Scratch if you would like to learn more about chicken saddles. (By the way, even if you don't give a hoot about chicken saddles, you have GOT to read this post, it is absolutely hilarious! Seriously, it's too funny- as in "Tears running down my face, my sides hurt, my children think I'm a maniac, I think I wet my britches!" funny!) I'm hoping to get these made soon, as nearly half of my girls are starting to show some wear from James' attentions.

And just because I've been yucking it up about the chickens, I feel the need to add a picture of our sweet (and incredibly spoiled, pain in the butt every time you head to the kitchen) kitty cat.



  1. OH, man...I'm hoping things work out with the coop. Your post had me laughing, and I"m going to read that other post that you recommended. Speaking of dirty chickens, there was a project in a back-issue of Mary Jane's Farm magazine on how to make chicken-nappies..but that's more for people who keep chickens as indoor pets.

    Your kitty is really sweet :) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of CAlifornia, Heather :)

    1. Admittedly, Heather, I seriously considered (for about 10 seconds!) making the chicken nappies when we had only the one girl in here. But 5 is definitely pushing it! Plus, I've been done with diaper duty for atleast 6 years now, and don't want to go down that path again!
      And I'll let my kitty, Merlin, know that she got commented on- after she gets up from her 20th nap of the day. Have a lovely rest of your day. Blessings, Kelly