Posts Tagged ‘Chicken coop’

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Hatching out a Plan

March 8, 2014

I want to fix up the chicken coop. So, I thought I would give you a tour and tell you the improvements I envision and why. Maybe you can lend some suggestions. If you like, I’ll even share your photos or sketches here, whether it’s an existing chicken coop or one you dream about.

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Vision:  Dress up the facade.

Reason:  Not necessary, I know, but I just can’t help dreaming about an attractive hen-house.

Vision:  A small running pen to the right of the coop.

Reason:  When I buy chicks, I keep them inside the coop until they are old enough to go into the existing running pen during the daytime. In the mornings I have to:  1) lock the older hens out of the running pen, 2) shoo the chicks out of the coop into the running pen, 3) secure the hatch between the two quarters so they can’t go back into the coop, 4) open the coop door so the adult chickens have access to the nesting boxes, 5) rotate the different feeders and water jugs, 6) repeat these steps in reverse before sunset.

A second running pen is also a plus for when I need to keep a chicken separate from the flock because it is ill and being attacked by other hens.

Vision:  Enclose the running pen with small-gauged galvanized wire.

Reason:  Keep birds from entering through the existing chicken wire and eating the chicken feed.

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Vision:  Okay, this is where I get a little crazy. I would like the interior coop walls and ceiling painted or covered in a smooth veneer wood or some type of smooth finish. There would also be a need for a hatch door and steps to the running pen I wish to add to the right of the coop.

Reason:  Smooth walls make for easier cleaning.

Vision:  Add a small closet between the coop and the new running pen for shovel, broom, rake, shaving bag, and a few other necessities.

Reason:  Sometimes, the hens get into the shaving bag, knock over tools, and of course there’s occasional poop that drops on something I need to handle.

This rounds up my hatching out a plan–a future project. Suggestions are welcome.

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Why Everyone Should Own Chickens

March 19, 2012

Since I wrote about the horrific fate of my layers in January, things are looking better in the hen-house. Recently, the six surviving hens started producing again. I wasn’t expecting much from them, in the way of eggs because production usually decreases at two and three years old. But these gals are giving me three to five eggs a day.

To think, I thought about giving the hens away. But there are just too many GOOD reasons to own hens. Dan and Mindy of Soulsby Farm seem to agree. They came up with the list below.

Ten Reasons why you should Own Chickens

By Soulsby Farm – A Very Small Farm

  1. Fresh Eggs daily – Much better than store-bought eggs. The egg white alone is about 33% more and it’s less expensive.
  2. Chickens have great personalities – Our favorite pastime is to sit in the back garden with a couple of cold beers and watch the chickens (they look like miniature robots).
  3. Help out with the compost pile – Chicken poo is too hot (high in nitrogen to place directly around growing plants) but it works wonders on your compost pile.
  4. They are very low maintenance – Easier than a cat or dog to maintain. Just stay on top of their food and water , clean the cage once in a while and collect eggs.
  5. You are One step closer to sustainable living – it feels good to have chickens, like you’re a real farmer
  6. Household leftovers are food for chickens – These birds eat just about anything. When I peel cucumbers or carrots or chop of mushroom stems, I save it for the chickens (along with fruit rinds and skins) everything but potatoes and garlic. Unless you want your eggs to taste like garlic.
  7. Save a chicken from factory life – Have you ever seen the crap-holes commercial chickens live in? Enough said.
  8. Pest prevention – These hens cruise around and eat up a slew of bugs like slugs, snails, leatherjackets and more.
  9. When they get old and stop laying you can eat them – I haven’t done this yet and I’m not sure I can.
  10. Be the best neighbor on the block – I thought my neighbors would complain about the chickens but in fact, it was just   the      opposite. They bring them veggie scraps and their grandchildren rush over to see the chickens upon every visit and…..wait for it…. They all get free eggs.

To read the complete article, click on the link above. While you are there, check out Dan and Mindy’s site.

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