(black feathers are from the shady tree habitants.)
November 14, 2011
Total cost ~ $75.00 including shingles & paint. I used 1x2s, we'll see how it keeps up in a year. The Girls' Playhouse & run is 4'x8'x4'. I'm hoping if the neighbor's next door are spying out their back window, they will only see the facade of the playhouse under our shady tree. I can't believe I figured out how to do the roof & shingles all by myself. Well, youtube.com had a lot to do with it :) Originally the sides were only 1' as I copied other designs at the feed stores as well as online here; but I added another 1' which is why the chicken wire is 1/2 way up the side. The first night in their new home, they slept huddled on the ground instead of the roosts; so I built a floor too. Of course, the next night they flew up to the roosts. They also walked right in & roosted at "bedtime"; so I only had to close the gate :)
Before positioning it, I raked up the landscaping rocks & then put playground sand in the run. I put straw down on the floor of the playhouse; but they love to spread it all over the pen too. The nests, although unused to this point, have Aspen wood shavings (from Lightning the hamster's cage supply). I hung the feeder and the waterer is up on rocks (although they still kicked a ton of straw in it this afternoon). Just realized I still need to jigsaw the "egg doors" on the side to. Looks like a job for "Honeyman"!
The girls now know if they see our 5 year old, that means scratch and they race up to her (much to her delight). They are 5 1/2 mo barred plymouth rocks according to the backyard breeder in Mesa. I did make sure they had rounded tail feathers & there isn't any Roo'ing but No eggs yet...
December 1, 2011
An egg! An egg!
December 27, 2011
Two egg layers! And although we have two nesting boxes, today they were both squeezed in there.
January 17, 2012
THREE egg layers!
October 9, 2012
It's been almost a year and I still can not train them to NOT poop on the patio. And their newest trick: Patio Table Since we are getting our yard ready for winter overseeding, I decided to spend a few $$ and build a run for them (~$20). It's about 3 x 10 x 4. I'm hoping to also build a "chunnel" between this one (continuing down this wall) and one that I'll build on the side of the house.
They are still averaging 5 eggs/week each. So far, we've had some minor incidents. Our leader went broody for a good few weeks but the other two haven't at all. A week or more ago, I noticed our leader "Zoey" had started molting around her neck. But she's still been laying. The worst occurance: round worms appeared late last week. I've been giving them jalepeno peppers hoping to avoid this. I treated with Wazine. I'm hoping for total elimination.
Since I wasn't sure if we would get "called out" about our new pets with the HOA, I built the open coop with the cheapest material. OSB from the 51c bin at HD & 1x2s. Maybe I'll ask for a new one from Santa this year.
Girls finally learned to use the nipple waterer...only took a few days. And yes, that's a treadle feeder to the left built from the plans on this site.