It’s done!!!!! For the most part. I need to build their big girl feeder and waterer, but I should be able to get that done by the end of the weekend. For now they just have a bowl of food and a bowl of water outside of the coop that they can peck at. But I have 50 lbs of feed coming tomorrow, and I just installed a rain barrel tonight for their water. I hope to finish and give the drill a rest by Sunday.
The chicks are nice and safe, and seem to be adapting to coming to and leaving the coop. Here are some more photos. Shannon will take glamour shots with her camera when I can mow the lawn.
Our tiny neighbor holding Chicken Little. The neighborhood kids love coming to play with the chicks. The chicks like it less than the children do.
Added some paint, trimmed out the coop door. It looks real blue-y here. It’s more gray.
Before I added shavings. If you look closely you can see that I have a 5W LED DC bulb that’s turned on; it’s currently off, but I went ahead and hooked it up to a timer so I can have it come on when the days get shorter. We don’t have any power out there so it runs off of the same battery that the door does. Shouldn’t draw too much and will hopefully keep these little money pits pushing out eggs in the cold months. You can also see the motor and the track for the coop door. The nest boxes are on the left. I have them boarded up because I don’t want them thinking that they can sleep in there.
Added the nest box in this photo. Chickens have not moved in.
Chickens have moved in by this point. I left them inside the coop for about 3 days before they could come outside. Gave me time to finish up odds and ends. It’s also supposed to teach them that the coop is home and that they should go back there to sleep. Had to round them up on Monday and Tuesday, but today they went in to go to sleep around 7:45.
I also redid the door to the run in this photo. The one in the prior picture was awful. It just felt flimsy when it closed. Our framing was also about half an inch off on the bottom, so there was a sizable gap in the door – I didn’t measure the bottom and the top. I assumed that they were the same size. Redid the entire thing and made it wider at the bottom. Much happier with this door. Feels sturdy, looks good. Had not finished hardware cloth at this point.
Roof is finished, ramp is in, landscaping has begun.
Landscaping is done and hardware cloth is finished.
Hanging pots (L to R): 1) Swiss chard, 2) lettuce, 3) spicy basil, cilantro, 4) red cabbage, different kind of lettuce.
Left bed: Butterfly bush
Right front: Tomatoes (two kinds. some normal tomato and a ‘hillbilly’ tomato)
Right side (still need to level it off in the back): Poblano peppers, yellow beans, jalapeño peppers, green beans, habanero peppers, yellow beans, chives, green beans, butternut squash.
Plan is for the beans to grow up the run and give the chickens a bit of shade by the time that summer sets in. We’re also going to toss some sunflower seeds in the bed to add some additional shade. We won’t eat all of the lettuce, so they’ll get most of that. The peppers are mine though.
Another angle, kind of gives an idea of how large the entire chicken complex is.
Shannon collecting nails and screws while the chicks peck around.
All in all, I’m very pleased with the coop. It looks great, it keeps the chickens dry, should be low maintenance when I’m done, and I think it’s pretty much predator proof unless a black bear wanders into Charlottesville. The doors don’t work as well as I’d like, so I might redo those. But the nest box opens well, it’s mostly level, and at the end of the day, it’s just a giant bird cage. Still have 1-3 hours worth of work left before I can finally stop. Expect posts on the electrical and the food/water situation this weekend. I may even get around to estimating how much I spent on this entire project. I kind of don’t want to know though, so we’ll have to see about that one.
- Figure out drainage for rain barrel overflow. Need to keep it away from the foundation of the coop, so I’d like it to go 15-20 ft into the middle of the road. But I don’t want a hose just laying on the ground. I have no idea about that – might ask Bryce.
- Build feeder.
- Get rid of PVC waterer, create bucket waterer. Connect bucket to rain barrel.