June 21, 2013
We finally finished the chickens' coop and run. It's embarrassing how long it took to get that done, and even more embarrassing to admit how long our poor chickens lived in a cardboard box in my office!
But they're happy now, and I'm happy they're out of here. Don't get me wrong - I love my chickens, but the smell was getting a little intense! After much (much!) debate, we decided to hang our run off the back of the smaller two outbuildings that came with this house. That meant my husband had to haul out all the wood we'd been storing in there, and he figured as long as he was cutting holes in the walls, he might as well do a complete reno on the shed.
First he had to jack it up and level the building. Next he installed the "coop" part of the chicken coop inside the building and made a door to the outside. (I need to go back and get more photos, I'm realizing). We can shut this door up tight for nighttimes, then open it up again in the morning. The door opens down and acts like a ramp for the chickens to climb in and out of their coop.
The run juts off the back of the shed and is well enclosed by wire. We actually laid down two sheets of plywood underneath the run and attached the wire mesh right to it. We've put so much effort into raising these hens we didn't want them exposed to predators coming up under the fence.
So far it's worked well. We're feeding them a mix of purchased feed and just about all the compost we make on a daily basis. Chickens are even faster than worms at turning table scraps into food for your garden. When my husband cleans out the bedding in their run and coop, he adds it to our larger compost bins to age. Someday down the road it'll end up back in the ground around our garden beds.