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. http://www.diyyardandhome.com
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