Guest Post: Dan (part 10)

Almost done!

First I need to relay a conversation I had with my next door neighbor. It seems he planted about 18 flowers in his front garden and he was complaining that a rabbit ate them all save one that was kind of hidden behind a bush. He was really upset about it and was telling his wife that at least the rabbit left him one flower. It was 10 minutes later he went outside and low and behold the rabbit was back eating the last flower. He said he yelled at the rabbit, stamped his foot and then finally threw an empty peach basket at it. He said the rabbit didn’t run off till the basket hit the ground but by then all that was left was about 2 inches of the stalk sticking out of the ground. He couldn’t believe the rabbit didn’t get scared and run off when he was just hollering at it. Well I explain it was my fault since I talk to all the rabbits I see in the yard and they are used to the human voice. He looked at me and told me that the next time I talk to my rabbits to them to leave his flowers alone. He was quite serious too.

I’ve been busy the past two weeks. The coop is done and all that is left is a few things to do outside. As far as the whole coop thing, all that is left to do is hang their feeders and fence in inside the compost bins.

Since the temperature inside the shed gets 20 degrees hotter than the outside, we had to install an attic fan. We purchased one on Ebay that has a thermostat control and it’s set to turn the fan on when the inside temp reaches 90 degrees and will not turn off till the inside temp falls to 80 degrees. We still need to purchase automatic shutters for it.

The door to inside the coop is a recycled door. It was used for shelving inside the shed and it came from a dumpster when they where building houses across the street from us.

The nesting boxes are 13 X 13 and though it appears the top is sloped it is not. The nesting boxes are cubed and I added a board across the top to create the slope so they don’t roost on top. This way, if we add to our flock in the future and need more nesting boxes I can stack another set on top of what is there. The boxes are 19 inches from the floor.

Since we will need light when we clean the shed and such I added a porch light (recycled of course).

We constructed a set of 3 roosting poles. We placed 2 x 4s on their side and rounded the edges. The chickens we are getting already roost on the same type set up. In fact, I called the neighbor down the street who has chickens and he has the same set up. The roosts are tiered at 24 inches, 36 inches and 48 inches and the top roost is 19 inches from the wall.

I know, we are only getting 6 hens and 1 rooster and we have way too many roosts and nesting boxes but why not build for a bigger flock now, then have to go back and do things over again in the future?


Dan Shaw, future chicken farmer and entrepreneur. 

For related articles see:

Dan:Part 9

Dan: Part 8

Dan: Part 7

Dan: Part 6

Dan: Part 5

Dan:Part 4

Dan:Part 3

Dan:Part 2

Dan:Part  1

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6 Responses to Guest Post: Dan (part 10)

  1. Julie Helms says:

    Dan, it looks fantastic– It is SO luxurious! This is a chicken condo, not a coop! Your nesting box design is just like ours with the tilted board, and it works well. One possible suggestion is in your roosting area, if you ever find a tree limb the right width, tack it to one of the 2x4s. A varied width is supposed to be healthy for their feet. Please send pics of the residents as soon as they move in!

  2. Trish says:

    That door looks just like my house doors! Nice catch! My neighbor put a long, wall length clean out hatch on the outside wall under the roosts so he could hoe out from the outside into a wheelbarrow. Nice addition worth considering if you have some height from the ground.

  3. Laura says:

    It surely does look like a great home for your chickens to be. So, what were you thinking for wallpaper?

    When do you get the residents?

    I second what Julie said about the tree branch (1st choice) or even a strong dowel that would provide an alternate shape for the bird tootsies to hold on to for their comfort (let the pressure find differing spots on the foot) and help prevent bumblefoot.

    (Anyone who talks to bunnies cannot be all bad!)

  4. glorylennon says:

    Oh, I talk to the rabbits in my yard, too…but I don’t having anything nice to say to them!

  5. Wow, the chickens from my childhood did not have this much luxury! Having said that, we raised rabbits too when I was a child and not only did I talk to them, I gave them names. We did let them run around in the garden for exercise and then put them back into their barn/stable/coop? Since our garden was small and fenced and in a residential area, we never had wild rabbits get in and eat out stuff though.

  6. Dan says:

    Thank you all for your comments. I can understand Glory’s dislike for the rabbits. LOL.
    I feel as if I’m in a quandary. Round roosts or flat. Looking around the internet I’ve seen both. I’ve read that chickens have a natural locking mechanism in their feet and legs and lock up the legs when the roost so they don’t fall out. I’ve also read that they don’t have any natural tendency to lock their legs and prefer a flat surface so they can sit on their lower legs and feet to keep them warm. Soooooooooo, I’m gonna mount a round post on 1/2 of each roost and see what they like best. If I find they prefer the round roost pole then I’ll do the other half of the roosts. I’ve I find them splitting the difference then I’ll keep it half and half. Julie told me what could go wrong with the feet from sitting on a flat roost and I can’t remember what foot ailment they can develop because of it.

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