So, it went from 7 days to 3 months. As my comfort grew, I was less chicken focused, but a lot of things have happened, been done, since they were just a week old. First, the brooder/trough became too small around 4 weeks and the GF was suggesting permanent neck injuries if I did not get their coop up soon, so off I went to a big box store for the cheapest wood and hardware. I think I have about $300 into what I call Fort Coop. Some day I may post pictures. Basically I chose the size related to plywood, one piece. It's 4X8. It has three posts on each long side set atop concrete footings. A large door about 3' square is on the left and a chicken door with ramp on the right. The floor is 2' off the ground. It's a 4' ceiling in the front that drops to 2" at the back. I built nesting boxes on the left side, so I can reach them through the big door, but the roof of the boxes lifts to get eggs ... someday. The floor has a one-piece linoleum covering nailed to it. After $300, I didn't want to pay for glue, but now the sides curl up. Oh well. I have a door to the right that enables me to remove the entire floor to clean once a year. The roof, with the 2' drop over 4' is metal from what was not used when I put up a steel[aluminum] building. It's painted to match.
The run is 12' by 29' I gave myself a couple feet off the roll of no-climb fence to do the job with one piece. It's fastened to the coop and T-Bars. I dug a 1' trench to bury the bottom of the 6' fence. At the gate, I have two floormats, those old kind made out of tires pieces. I let the grass grow through so it will discourage digging there. We sleep with the window open, so any noise gets my dogs up anyway. We also have a plastic 1" plastic mesh covering all of it to deter avian predators. There are a couple small pines I put in the coop, but they will be coming out in the fall, if they make it. The chickens are tearing out the roots looking for bugs, I guess. I'll put large rocks around the stump and maybe they will survive till then. It's too hot to transplant already.
One night there was a growling critter making noise that woke me up. I heard it in a tree after I got out there and saw the eyes, but never the head. I did see the body, which appeared a reddish color. It was climbing and circling the tree, which was evergreen, so my view was not very clear. It was always making these sounds, kind of a cross between a purr and a growl with each breath. It was about the size of a cocker spaniel, although I know it was not a cocker because it climbed the tree! I did not see the tail to know it was a racoon, but it may have been. Either that or it was some kinduva wild cat, though certainly not a domesticated kitty-gone-wild cat. It has not come back and that was about a month ago.
The chores are good to have, watching their food and water. Locking them up at night and letting them out during the day. It gets me out of bed sooner rather then later, since I'm not working at the time. I have to figure out how to move the mesh cover to make access easier, and the big door needs a little tweaking. I also have to add steps closer together on the chicken ramp. The birds look like they are skating between the steps as the come down. Most elect to jump off before they get too far. If they fly out the door, I still have a Wyandotte who thinks the fence is further then it is. i wonder how many times she will hit the gate before she figures out how to stop herself?
That's pretty much all the chicken news thats fit to print. Some day, there will be eggs, unless they all decide to be roosters. For now I'm hopeful they're all girls. :-{)>