Coop de Clucks Chalet is a small 4x6 "A" frame coop for my three girls! It took a while for me to convince DH that having fresh eggs for his breakfast was the best.
As a little girl, my Granny had chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits, dogs, cats, birds, etc. My Dad had one to three cows most of my growing up life for meat. And we had a very nasty Shetland Pony named Teddy Bear. He was no teddy bear.
Growing up around all these animals, milking, gathering eggs, feeding, watering and even supplying a lot of love made me want some chickens of my own. My Granny had a little Banty Hen named Mama Chi Chi. Chi Chi sat in Granny's lap every afternoon sometimes even laying an egg in Granny's lap. My cousin & I thought this was grand!
I live in the smack dab middle of suburbia in Central California although I am proudly a native Florida girl. A neighborhood with 1/3 acre lots and neighbors very close. But I finally talked DH into my 3 hens! We went to the feed store and bought 2 RIR's and 1 BR. Mildred, Mabel & Pearl spent their first 7 1/2 weeks in my guest bathroom tub with a heat lamp. I put in a tarp, some paper towels and some shavings that got heavier as the girls grew. I eventually added a 2x4 for perching and fed them wheat grass, chick starter, worms, peas, lettuce, grapes, etc. I got the girls ready to go in there coop gradually by putting them outside in their playpen for longer periods of time each day.
DH & I spent four very hot weekends building Coop de Clucks Chalet. 105-109 degrees right in the middle of summer. Since I researched extensively, I knew what I wanted and found the A frame in a book. We had basic instructions and then the rest was me telling my engineer DH how I wanted it and away we went with building. We had a few squabbles but mostly a lot of laughs and high fives for our ingenuity. We hammered, painted and configured and Voila! a coop was born as well as an extra play pen.
Mildred, Mabel & Pearl were placed in their coop at 7 1/2 weeks old and became happy occupants. It only took three nights of showing the girls where to go to bed and now they march up their pop ramp door single file every night at a time that suddenly tells them day is done. They chitter and peep until they get settled and I close their pop door.
I love having my girls! They are now 10 1/2 weeks old and we get the biggest laughs from them. I put them in their play pen most days if I am at home which I move around on the grass. I feed them worms, crickets, greens, veggies, fruits and feed. I'm trying very hard to make their lives as happy as three hens can be by keeping their coop clean and their bodies healthy. They get vinegar in their water and the run has pine shavings, PDZ & DE in it. The coop also has a mixture of these in the poop boards with the majority being PDZ. The nest boxes are ready when the girls mature enough to lay eggs and I see that they putter around in that side of the coop scratching and exploring so I'm hoping when the time comes they'll be comfortable with their Homer D***t nest buckets. I've even put a none hanging tree limb perch in their coop run and their playpen to keep them busy.
The latest is I gave them a corn on the cob a couple of days ago and after chittering nervously they finally figured out this was good food. They next morning you would have thought it was a dried corn cob with all traces of corn GONE! A hanging cabbage head is next! This should be interesting.
With all that said, here a few photos of Coop de Clucks Chalet and my girls, Mildred, Mable & Pearl!
The beginnings of the coop & run.
In order left to right, Pearl, Mildred & Mabel in their bath tub brooder.
My finished coop, The Coop de Clucks Chalet
The play pen. The girls are only in their play pen during daylight hours. It is chicken wire on a 2x4 wood frame and PEX used for the hoops. The chicken wire is zip tied on but last week I ever so gently started suggesting that I would like to reinforce the chicken wire with a hardier hardware cloth at which point a "discussion" ensued over not being able to roll up the side for entry and moving stuff inside of it. Hmmm...this will come up again, I'm sure because I have more to say about it. My girls safety is of utmost importance to me. I generally keep an eye our and ear peeled but I still worry.
Here are my beautiful girls at about 10 weeks. And I can still tell Mildred and Pearl apart even though they are both RIR's.
All my coop building photos are in my photo gallery!