Welcome to the B-Bar-23 Ranch!
We are located in the heart of Amish Country in Ohio. We have a total of 21 chickens, 9 bantams and 12 assorted full size.
We got our first set of chicks in January of this year, 2012. We started out partitioning off a section of our small barn for them and it worked quite well. Fall has set in and we realized we have no storage space, so we bought them their own coop!
We went shopping here and there, not sure whether to buy or build, looking at different designs and plans. We were out one day last weekend and came across a young amishman building storage sheds, barns and coops. We found this coop, built of solid oak boards, with a flashed roof that is done in natural slate! All of the other coops we looked at purchasing or even building were made of plywood and pine. We were sold! It has been delivered, and we are now in the process of relocating the girls and boys to their new home. So far, it has been 3 nights of hand carrying each one to the new coop, but we are working on a new strategy for tomorrow night to get them over there on their own. The new coop is about 100 yards away from where they used to reside.
Here are some pics, we will add more as we go along. I am excited to landscape around it and fence it a bit to make it look like a little home. My husband is in the process of building a fenced in run area for them also. I, of course, am in charge of decorating, he is in charge of building structure.
We were so excited the first night, we were taking pics in the dark!
We dusted thoroughly with diatomaceous earth. This is the typical roost that it came with, but we wanted to customize it a bit. Hubby took the old roost out of the old coop and modified it to fit in this one....See below.
It originally had gorgeous primitive leather hinges, but the door was sagging a bit so we asked the Amish man if he could swap the hinges and then use some leather weather stripping around the door gap. The unit was a display, and sitting by the campfire that he was using while he worked. It is pre-weathered for us and smells like fresh oak and burning wood.
The top of the nesting boxes does not open from the outside, so we will probably be changing that soon.
First night in the new coop.
This is the old roost that we transferred over. We put some wire in it so they could rest against it and not fall through. Has anyone ever tried this? We originally put the wire in to keep broodys out of the litter area. Now I do not believe that will be an issue with the door under and behind the roost. Do the chickens prefer to have an open roost?
This design gave them a second level so to speak, so we gained a ton more room doing it this way. The roost is also hinged, so it lifts up for ease of cleaning the floor.
I used burlap coverings for the wire mesh windows to keep the coop well ventilated. Two glass windows were provided with the coop, but my research has told me it is better to keep them cool and ventilated as they produce more heat and moisture than you might imagine. The dowels along the eaves area going across are for the bantams that like to be up high.
I used some leftover wallpaper border above the nesting boxes.
The wire you see is for the solar spotlights we are using for supplemental light as the days grow shorter.
These are the plans I drew for an addition that would serve as a feeding area, house extra feed, or broody room if needed. I haven't shown this to the "builder" yet, lol.
Update! This weekend we worked our hides off and finished the main part of the run. It will be expanded when we do the addition, but the days are getting colder and shorter, so that may wait till next spring.
Everyone seems happy in the new coop!
This is the Bantam area in our old barn. We call the mama Angel, and she brooded four chicks 6 weeks ago. She has been such a wonderful and devoted mother!