The chicken coop

The chicken coop is finally done! I thought I had until the chicks were at least four weeks old to finish it, but even after giving three to my cousin this weekend, it was clear they had grown out of the brooder after just three weeks.

A previous tenant had built a coop into the corner of the barn, but it needed work. The roost bar was too narrow, there was no poop board, and the coop wasn’t secure or warm enough.

Ugly nesting boxes

A terrible roost

I scraped the floors and stapled down old linoleum I had scavenged from someone’s curb side garbage pile during spring clean up.

Lino for a easy clean up. The chicken wire wall will be replaced with a solid wall.
The nice thing about this old property having piles of crap left everywhere is that there’s weird building supplies that can be repurposed. This old counter will make a perfect poop board.

Keith installed the counter under the roosts. The chickens sleep on these roosts safely off the ground and poop on the board. Every morning I’ll use a drywall scraper and scrape the poop into the orange bin, periodically dumping the bin into our compost pile.

The walls are now solid and a chicken wire ceiling protects them from any predators who might get into the barn. 

I did a lot of the work, but Keith made the heavy stuff go quicker. He built a two window system with plastic sheeting and chicken wire – they’re on hinges and can be swung open for when the chickens go out to free range.

Handy spouses are the best.

The chickens will stay in the coop 24/7 for about four more weeks, and then I’ll let them out during the day to free range around the property. They’ll have a walking board so they can go back into the coop themselves at night, and then I’ll shut them in each night.

Update: a couple of people kindly pointed out that we actually shouldn’t use chicken wire, and that Hardware cloth would be the much safer choice. We’ve since replaced the chicken wire with Hardware cloth, and hope that keeps our flocks safe at night!

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