Welcome to the Chickmansion and the Goosegow
Hello and welcome to the Chick-Mansion, home to Jill/Jack (we can't tell yet), Maggie-Mae, Cynthiona, Georgia, Lilly and Sally (Amerecauna, Buff Orpington, and Barred Rock, respectively and two of each), as well as the Guinea-Gals, Bali, Silly, Ginny, and Esmerelda (Royal Purple, Lavender and yellow Dandotte, I think, hard to tell as they are so young and molting for the first time). The Goosegow is home to Samson and Delilah (African Buff) and they try to escape from time to time, hence the name of each building.
This project started out small and it just grew and grew. The coops are done and the people-deck is almost finished. The window surrounds within need another coat of paint before I can hang the curtains, but I have pics of them below as well. I also stumbled across some art-work while out of town on a work trip and I picked them up for decoration. You will note the place is yellow inside. I love yellow as it is a happy sun-shiny color and I was really excited to find decor to coordinate and it all makes me chuckle. My husband thinks I am nuts in this regard, but he happily goes along with my ways and just smiles and shakes his head. I always wanted some land and a big-old-garden with some chickens for eggs. The guineas and geese were an after thought but one I do not regret as they provide some comic relief.
When we bought the property it came with a shoddy out-building. The building had two types of siding going three different directions and two different types of roofing. We took it down to the bones, installed plywood walls, siding to match the house, a new roof to match the house, some windows, insulation, sheetrock, painted the interior in a pale yellow with bright yellow trim and nesting boxes, installed flooring twice because the goslings destroyed the first, and divided the coop to provide for a maintenance room, small egg-fridge and gardening tools. We took out two poorly fitting French-type doors and my husband built a wide Dutch door for ventilation. I love this because it allows me to keep the dogs out and lets some cooler air in in the evenings.
While in a natural history museum with my son, I stumbled across a chicken door knocker. I could not resist so now it hangs on the door. For laughs my husband gave the girls a faked door bell and plans to install some mailboxes to the deck rail for they and the geese later this summer. They need their fan mail ya' know.
The aviary was built utilizing 4x4 posts for vertical and horizontal support and were set about three-feet deep. The chicken aviary is 12x12x8 and the geese aviary is 12x8x8. The structure of each was overlain with chicken wire and 1x4 boards along the posts to prevent critters from rushing the coop. We get really hot weather out here so we added some screening fabric too. The chickens have a deck instead of a ramp and we added a roosting pole within the aviary to provide them and the guineas with some variety of perches. So far the chickens could not care less. Automatic watering pans are located in the shade in each aviary. Their food and additional water is located in each coop.
The chicken wire was also trenched below the ground surface 18-inches to prevent other critter from getting in. This was done along the perimeter and along the coop as-needed (basically where there is entry points into the aviary. The rest we left un-wired as we have bunnies and toads living under the coop. We are not too worried about critters getting in and attacking them as the girls put themselves to bed and are closed up at night. They have their own little door, stylized to match the main Dutch door. We also installed vents to let some heat out of the ceiling area.
Within the coop we have installed nesting boxes and roosting poles, as well as a mirror for the guineas. Heat lamps are temporarily positioned and not in use at the moment. They will be repositioned this winter. Lighting has been installed too for maintenance and winter-laying purposes.
What would we change...we would have installed windows in the henhouse portion of the coop in addition to the maintenance portion. At some point we might, but so far, the coop stays relatively cool in the summer heat and the gals like to escape within. I thought about an automatic door, but I really enjoy going down there and letting them out and visiting them each morning and putting them to bed at night. They pretty much do this themselves at sun-down, but I always go down and tuck-them-in.
I also think I would have put eave vents in for better heat release, but the Dutch door pretty much takes care of that.
We did end up changing out flooring from the black and white tile you will see below to a sheet vinyl as the geese, when housed with the chickens, destroyed it by lifting it at the corners. They and the chickens would remove a tile every few days so we eventually just took it all out. I toyed with leaving the flooring plywood and painting it, but the sticky residue from the previous tiles was going to be a chore to removed, so we just put the sheet vinyl right over the top of the plywood. We screwed it done along the perimeter for ease of replacement in a year or so, or whenever it is worn out from pecking and scratching.
I think we also may have increased the Goosegow aviary, but the geese are happy and they like to be out roaming the yard. They too put thenselves to bed at night. Eventually they will have their own pond to play in. For now, they have a baby pool and they love it!
The dogs think they are a snack, so integrating them will require a few more months.
One of the things we really like is the chicken-deck and the size of the chicken aviary, as well as the lawn we put in for the geese on their side of the coop.
At present, the geese have a plastic shed that we picked up from a home supply store and although not the original intent for their housing it is functional and they are happy with it. We may eventually build them a framed shelter, but they are destructive in terms of their waste and they are messy. The plastic shed affords me the opportunity to haul out they hay bedding and hose it out on a weekly basis.
And, for my own pleasure, a culinary herb garden is located to the south of the coop and vegetable garden to the north.
Enjoy the pics below. I am super proud of my husband and how hard he has worked to give the gals their home. He is an awesome guy and I just can't come up with the write words other than I love him and "thank you Kevin."
This is shed. THe building was re-roofed about a week prior when we had our house done. The windows were the first project, followed by the siding.
Chicken wire is going up.
View down the driveway to the coop. The entire structure has been wired and screening. They have their little deck and I have mine ;0). This garden area is almost done and is my culinary herb and memorial garden.
Alright, well more pictures tomorrow. I'm tired, and I have to get some close-ups of the chicken door, the Dutch door and the door knocker.
Please check back!
Some of the knick-knack bric-a-brac decorations I came across in Bishop. These will hang in the maintenance side of the coop. As you can see were are in the process of removing the B/W tile. Hopefully this weekend we will wrap up this side of the coop!
Well, I hope you enjoyed the picture tour of the Chickmansion and Goosegow. We love it and are enjoying our first eggs.