Thursday, July 16, 2009

Vacation Winding Down

We are coming to the end of our vacation and I thought I'd share some pictures of the coop and the chicks at 1 week old. It's mazing how fast these little girls are growing. One of them has discovered the she can fly up to the upper lip of the brooder, which makes changing shavings, feeding, and playing a little exciting. The last thing we want is to lose a chick because a cat or dog decided she was a tasty morsel when she touched the floor.

Here are the girls checking our their new chicken tractor. It is 4' x 8' x 30". I used 2" x 2" lumber for the frame, attached the 1/2" hardware mesh, and reinforced the top and bottom with 1" x 3" strips. There are two wheels at the back so we can move it around the yard every couple of days. We decided on an enclosed tractor instead of a fenced yard due to the many predators we have here, including hawks and weasels. The girls seem to really love the space and will run from one end to the other 'flying' as hard as they can. They also love to chase the occasional bug that makes the mistake of getting to close.

We've managed to name three of the girls so far. There is Rosy, the smallest ginger, who is very bossy and loves to throw feed everywhere. There is Wag and Tag, the two whites. Wag is named so because she will pick up something like a leaf and wag her head at the others to make them chase her. Tag because, more often than not, is the one chasing Wag with her leaf and it rhymes with Wag. The Barred Rock who has figured out the flying thing hasn't been named yet, we just call her escapee. The others will be named as they grow I'm sure.

Here is the most complete picture I have of the coop so far. We've actually gotten a lot more done but have failed to take any new pictures. As you can see we are using OSB on the outside, 2 inches of insulation, and then finishing plywood on the inside. The outside is also wrapped in wind and water proof paper just to make it that much warmer.

What I don't have a picture of is the siding, OSB cut and painted to look like wood panelling, the white tin roof, and of course the white paint on the inside and out. We have the doors installed, also insulated and painted white inside and out, but the windows and trim have been stalled until the weekend. The underside of the coop will be solid on two sides and screened on the other two sides. There is also going to be a door that will allow us to attach the tractor to the underside area to extend the size of their run. A finally we plan to install a couple of wheels so we can move it around a couple times a year.

So there you have it. Three weeks worth of work. Doesn't look like it should have taken us this long, does it. I know it feels like we should have finished it after a week, but rain and lazy days really slowed us down.

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