Originally Posted by golfer
I built this chicken coop in the lean to of the barn.
First pic is of the barn.
Next the lean to.
Then cement floor, walls (all insulated), windows, automatic door, etc.
Painted, gutter installed.
Very nice. What part of WI? My younger daughter is a Junior at Beloit College, though she is currently near Osaka Japan for her semester abroad.
If you haven't done so, you'll want to seal that OSB.
Originally Posted by jckennell
And the occupants...I have a leghorn, black copper maran, easter egger, golden buff, barred rock, and a cream legbar. And yes that is a bird dog. Just not a very good bird dog. A very good family member, we just don't use her for hunting. Other than hunting, she is trained very well, but we still keep an eye on her.
Wise to watch the dog but given those pictures, I can't imagine her ever chasing the chickens. Hope you get a "Picture Of the Week for the second one. TOO CUTE!!!!
Originally Posted by clucklady
Here's an update on my coop.
Here's how it started:
Those are two very large slide-out drawers at the bottom. I haven't decided what to do with those yet.
While we were getting started on the build, the unit blew over. I live in high wind area, so I decided to leave it that way, and we built the coop around a sideways armoire. Here is the build partway through. The armoire is now sideways and up on legs leaving about 18 inches underneath for run space. We put a thin temporary roof on top. And yes, that is my bedroom window there. I worried that might be a problem. So far it's been fine because there is so much ventilation, but if it becomes a problem, we can move the whole unit somewhere else in the yard.
Because El Nino is coming, I've covered the whole unit with a tarp until I can finish the roof properly.
The human access is this set of shutters I found along with the armoire at the resale store fo $20. I'm not tall, so it works fine for me. You can get a good idea of the sideways armore here.
Here's the inside. I haven't put up perches yet and the girls actually just spend all their time in the run area, but I'm sure we'll all figure it out. The big square holes on the left are where the drawers were. I'll be disassembling the drawers and making cabinets where those holes are. Eventually. That's one of my juvenile easter-eggers there looking things over. I got a couple of used drawers at the resale store and those are the nesting boxes. My girls are 25 weeks and nobody has laid an egg yet, so I don't know if those will work out, but we'll see. Food and water is also temporarily there in the box, too. Eventually I'll figure out a real solution, but for now, it works.
So, where are the girls? When I get home from work, I open the shutters and they all charge out of the coop like they've been shot from a cannon. I have no problem with them free-ranging all the time, but when they start laying, I want to be sure I know where those eggs are, not hidden around the yard, so right now, they only get one hour a day for free-ranging. Here they are
furiously digging holes in the dirt to roll around in.
While I have your attention, can you provide any suggestion on whether this EE is a boy or girl? He/she is about 9 weeks, and while the comb seems to be orange, not red, and there is no redness on the shoulders - only around the neck - I'm apprehensive. His/her feet are the same size as the other one and I'm pretty sure that one is a girl. Any guesses?
The drawers look like they will be fine as nest boxes. If the girls get fussy about having private rooms, you might need to put a tall (like a foot tall) divider between the drawers. But I wouldn't do anything until they tell you they want more privacy by messing with each other when they are in them. They may not care.
When you do put the perches up (and the armoire is much more conducive for that being on its side, thank you Santa Ana winds for the "suggestion"! ) you will need to put a sloped "roof" over the nest drawers so they can't poop in them. Chickens poop, they poop wherever they are and they poop at night!
With the coop run right at the bedroom window, you have the ULTIMATE chicken TV!
I wasn't real sure how the armoire would work as a coop since the birds wouldn't have room to fly up to a roost or back down and a bunch of switchback ramps would take up all the room. But my pea brain never considered anything but "standing in its usual vertical format". In that form, I do like the one being used as a giant nest box "case".
As you have it, I think it works well, especially considering you live were it never gets cold. YOU might think it is cold but I was born in Pomona, grew up in Downey and now live in Vermont. Cold doesn't really happen in the Inland Empire unless you are up in the mountains. In So. Cal, COLD is 50F and you put on your heaviest jacket. 50F is also when the chickens in their permanent down coats say "Ah, FINALLY starting to get comfortable". I suspect your birds will spend most of their time year round in the run or free ranging once they have connected the coop and drawers as "I lay my eggs HERE". You can keep their food and water in the run unless there is a time they need to be confined IN the coop (if that is the case, I would put in a window or two). They don't eat or drink after they go to roost.
Just keep the wind from blowing on them when they are up roosting. You may already have that given the coop is against the house, depending on the orientation relative to the wind. The shutters (great find!) already allow a lot of ventilation but won't let the wind blow straight through. You can probably leave the "top" door of the coop tied up to the ceiling most of the time.
Hard to tell on the EE, would need a non moving closeup on the head/comb. I know, easier said than done! There is a thread specifically for this question:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/463817/easter-egger-sexing-tips-and-tricks-pictures-included where we all wring our hands over whether the new EE is a boy or a girl. And we keep wringing our hands until they lay or crow
@Latestarter - EE tails are typically that shape. The feathers forward of the tail are very rounded and though the neck feathers appear to be pointed, it is only because of the penciling. The overall pattern is uniform. I say it is a pullet. If she is 9 weeks now, expect the pattern and coloring to continue to change. The one I have that at that age was dark headed, orange around the neck and barring down the wings and body is now nearly 19 weeks (yea! eggs finally sooner than later!) and has lost the barring almost completely, replaced with each feather being penciled light in the center, surrounded by dark then medium orange on the outside. And she has gotten some orange on the front of her black head. But her beard is still BLACK as can be.
Originally Posted by beginnergirl
I put up two different roosts. One a 2 x 4 with the wide side up (this was the higher roost). My girls only started using it at the beginning of October. They still prefer the lower roost which is about 2.5" but is beveled so it is sort of round. I was going to remove the 2 x 4 but it was attached in a way I couldn't. So my EE, BR and SLW prefer a narrower roost.
That is really curious since all my chickens want to be on the highest thing in the coop. I suspect if I put a 1/2" pole higher than their 4' roosts now, they would all be trying to get on it even if it is too small to grip comfortably.
How old are the chickens? If they are only a few weeks, maybe they aren't ready for a higher roost?