Thursday, October 10, 2013

The building of a chicken coop: site selection

Yes, I have chickens.  No, I don't have a coop or hen house.  Yet.  But . . . . . 

I bet zillions of chicken owners say this same thing.  The do a nonchalant stretch and sigh and think, "they're adorable right now.  So what if they are living in the kitchen.  Or the front room. They're tiny and cute.  And they're doing great in their brooder box."   And then, they begin to escape.  They begin to get adventurous and it becomes a necessity to move the ladies outside.   

See . .  pictures of escape day: 

Yea, they are way to little to go outside here.
But, this necessitated a baby gate system on top of the brooder box to prevent escapees from wandering freely about the house in our absence.   

Thus, site selection for the coop begins.  Yes, I read every book the library had on raising chickens and having a backyard flock.  Yes, I do think I'm a little bit of an expert in the house.  I've become the chicken whisperer.   Or maybe what I've become is "that crazy chicken lady."  Either way, site selection looks like this.  This flower bed used to be full of iris, then it went untended for quite some time and went to the au natural look.  Lots of hollyhock volunteered to grow there, and because it was at the end of the watering line, I let them.  In the corner, the kids and I built a fort a couple years ago, but it's been making MOTH batty for some time now.  After much consideration, I decided to sacrifice this flower bed and replace it with a chicken coop and hen house.  I tried pretty hard to buy a chicken coop and run on line.  Couldn't do it.  Too pricey.  Plus, not the right size and shape for my run-location.  The prefabbed ones are all to boxey or too tall.  And to get them to fit here would require moving earth.  And I don't want to move earth.  Well, not that much earth. 

So, I'm planing a hen house for the area with the shovel.  It's gonna be built almost entirely out of scraps from the treehouse project and it'll actually look like a miniature tree house.  I'm building in a few maintenance features that I like .. . . and I'll consider it a work in progress :)   The run will attach to the house and stretch the length of this tie-enclosed bed.  

Yes, indeed, I think I love it. 

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