SugarHouse Mama

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Here a Chick, There a Chick, My Six Chicks are now Seven

Technically, hens shouldn't be able to reproduce, but the six chicks have expanded.  {I guess life does mimic art - or entertaining movies at the very least.}

After a traumatic wiener-dog attack, my cousin's chicks perished in battle.  There was one lone survivor, and Jeremy just didn't feel like building a coop for a single chicken.

So we brought her home.  Our Six Chicks picked on her a little at first, but we gave her space to escape and she grew quickly.  Now that she's the same size, the pecking and chasing have stopped.

Robert has been feeling neglected on the blog. He works so hard to build everything on my list - the list keep growing - and I haven't displayed his handiwork for a while.

So here's a tribute to the work he did on the coop.

He's so handy {and that makes me so lucky}.  I drew a cartoonish sketch of what I wanted the coop to look like, and he worked his magic.  We had neighbors asking if he was building a play house for Adjoa - that's how awesome it looks. 

Robert added some nice features - a window that slides open so the coop gets additional ventilation, poop drawers that pull out for easy cleaning, a faux mailbox where I can dump feed directly into the coop {this is especially nice for winter, or rainy days, or when we go out of town}, and an automatic waterer that is hooked up to the sprinkler system.  He's still working out some kinks on the indoor waterer.  We're hoping the insulation in the coop walls will keep the water from freezing in the winter with that indoor waterer.

Here's the base. I wanted it open under the coop so the girls can get out of the sun and rain.  Robert cut grooves in the redwood so the chicken wire could be inserted.  It made the wire a lot more stable, and there aren't any sharp edges that could hurt the girls.  It's super strong and looks fabulous!

Robert made the base, house, and roof in 3 different sections.  They can be taken apart so the whole coop can be moved.  It also makes it possible to do any adjustments, repairs, or deep cleaning without too much trouble.  The roof is SUPER heavy, though, so it still takes a few good men to take it off.
Good thing he enjoys all the projects I give him!

Adjoa was super eager to help with the coop.  She loved painting - and climbing in and out of the coop, declaring "Look!  I'm a chicken!" and flapping her "wings" while strutting around the coop.

Here's the coop in it's spot near the garden.  I had just started painting it.  You can see the base, door, and egg boxes.  I painted the inside of the coop white so it would be nice and bright in the winter, but the nesting boxes are gray because the girls like cozy, dark places for laying eggs.  Or so I heard.  Robert made the ground slope slightly and added a drain pipe that runs along the fence.  That should keep the run nice and dry for our girls.

Here's the inside.  You can see the black indoor waterer.  There is a large tube between the walls, and a door on the outside so people can access it, fill it, and maintain it without having to climb in the coop.  The walls are insulated, so we are hoping it will keep the water from freezing in the winter.  On the right is the interior food tray.  There is a faux mailbox on the exterior where I can dump in food and a shoot that holds food between the walls.  the flooring is chicken wire, so poop will fall into the drawers below.  Makes for super easy cleaning.
This is where the drawers slide in and out.  There is a cover that flips down to allow access.  The cover will prevent drafts in the winter and keep mischief out.

The girls are learning how to use the ramp.  This was the first day they could leave the coop voluntarily.  It took a few minutes and some logistically scattered scratch, but they got it.  I painted the ramp white, which looks nice, but I think was a mistake.  It's covered in poop now and doesn't look so nice.  I think I'll repaint it gray next year when it's time to freshen up the coop.

This is Ariel, one of Adjoa's chickens.  As you can see, we have been enjoying gardening so much, we decided to expand our garden space.  It's going to be about 3 times bigger!

Funny faces.  It's darn near impossible to take a picture of a dog, a child, and a chicken and have them all cooperate!  Eden is doing one of my favorite faces - some strange lip thing that makes her look like she's more human than dog, Adjoa's eyes are closed, and Ariel looks like she's about to bail.  Oh, and yes, those are 3 foot tall weeds in the background!

This is "the white chicken."  That's what Adjoa calls her.  I call her Dirty Gerty {Britt gave me the idea for the name} because she always looks filthy. Adjoa loves holding the girls - especially "the white one" and Ariel.

So that's the chicken update.  We're loving our girls, and can't wait for some eggs!  We should be getting some at the end of the month, or beginning of September.  Fingers crossed, of course! 



TO CUTE !!! I want chickens now.
Adjoa is so cute. So are the chicks :)

Lois said...

Will Robert build me a coop? Trace isn't so handy. the girls have grown!

Anonymous said...

Nice work Bob,