Monday, July 23, 2012

The Chickens Have a Home!

It’s FINALLY done.   Yahoo!  The chickens have been in their new humble abode for about 2 months and seem to be thriving.  We are down to 4 chickens from our original 7.  Three ended up being roosters (2 of our Silkie’s and our Barred Rock) which is a bummer, we had grown so attached them (will post more about that later).   The jury is still out on one of 1 of the Silkie’s and our Easter Egger is looking a little roosterish too, I’m hoping I’m wrong. 

For awhile it seemed like the project that wouldn’t end.  By far, my least favorite part of this project was the hardware cloth, yuck.  It is piece of mind though knowing they are safe and sound which is totally worth it, just a complete pain to install.  Knock on wood, there hasn’t been anything trying to get in so far.  We buried the cloth about 10’ down.

We used the plans from The Garden Coop for our run and purchased the Omlet Eglu Cube for the coop.  I really can’t say enough about The Garden Coop plans and the structure itself.  It looks awesome, it really does.  It was great having a supplies list and measurements.   We extended the length of the run to 12’ since we had room.  I thought maybe my husband and I could do it ourselves, but luckily my brother-in-law offered his help which made the process a whole heck of a lot easier as he is quite handy.  Not having any major construction experience I think we could probably have built it on our own, but it would have taken a whole lot longer.  John, the owner from The Garden Coop, was very helpful whenever we had any questions and e-mailed me back very quickly.  Can’t recommend The Garden Coop enough, really!!

In addition, I really like the Eglu Cube, cleaning it is super easy and they seem to like it.   It really is a lot bigger than it looks.  I did some modifications which I’ll post about later until they start laying.  I didn’t want them sleeping in the nest area which I guess is common, so I took the separator out until we are closer to when they give us some golden eggs.  That’s our running joke as the cost of this chicken experiment was not a cheap one, so we just know golden eggs are coming our way soon J

We have had record heat this summer here and quite honestly the Cube stays pretty cool.  To look at it you would think it would be an oven but amazingly, the temperature is much cooler inside then on the outside.

Here’s a picture diary of building our run – enjoy!

This is the before space.  This was a perennial garden that I moved in the spring.
The boys hard at work.
Framing all done.
Structure was moved to its final home.
Burnt grass from the roofing panels on a 90 degree day.  Within an hour grass was fried.
Coming together - SLOWLY...
Made roof panels per suggestion from Northwest Edible blog
Awesome stairs!
Attached panel from Eglu Cube I wasn't using to be able to attach Eglu's water Glug. 
Installed some shade fabric on top of roofing panels, seems to really help shade the girls.
Framed opening to Cube.
Secured the stairs to frame.
The Golden Egg door =)
All done!