Our journey began this March with the arrival of our Buff Orpingtons. We set up a brooder made from a large storage bin. We cut the top and zip tied hardware cloth to it. I also made the light stand our of PVC pipes. The set up worked beautifully for the first fragile weeks. The temperature was easy to control and it was super easy to clean.
As you can see, our dog was very interested in the chicks- She would really really REALLY like to use them as a squeak toy. The security of the hardware cloth was a must with her. (Our other dog could care less)
Around 5 weeks we moved the girls into a large dog crate. We put cardboard around the lower half to keep the shavings contained. A few sticks for the roosts and the girls were very happy with the new digs.
We decided to purchase some coop plans from clean coops.com. I really liked to simple design and ability to alter it to our design with out having to do all the planning ( My husband really liked that part)
We placed the coop where a large swingset was so the ground prep was minimal
The original design had the pop door under the window. Since we want the run on the side, we changed the location of the door. The window also faces east so we can maximize the sunlight the girls get in the morning, especially on those cold northeast winters.
The roost is placed on brackets and can be removed completely for easy cleaning. We also lined the floor and lower wall as well as the poop board with glassboard. This was the girls first night in the coop and they settled right in. We decided to keep them contained in the coop for the next 2 weeks while we finished the run so they would know that this was their new home.
Our dog Piper loves the girls (notice the little dog is NOT in the picture-she is banned from the coop)
Here is the (almost) finished coop! I also relocated my garden and fence which works perfectly- not only is it pretty, but it also keeps out the dogs and allows the girls to help with garden pests
Here some pics of inside the run. We went with sand in the coop and run which has been awesome. So easy to keep clean. We also placed stumps from a tree that fell this winter, we stablized them with rebar. The girls have no problem hopping on them to get into and out of the coop and it really allows for more usable floor space in the run.
(If you look closely you can see a temporary fence I placed in the run to separate the under-coop floor from the rest of the run. The newest addition to the family was getting picked on a bit so she has the ability to sneak through the side for some peace and food/water.
The swing is a hit with our newest girl snow.