The chicks are out of the house, and out of the dog's kennel and into their outside home.
Chicken math attacked us and we ordered 25 Rainbow Layer Assortment from McMurrary plus a rare, plus 2 extra that McMurray threw in. They hatched September 28th, and they are all still alive as of November 6th. Which by my understanding is pretty unusual we should have lost 1 or 2 at least for no particular reason.
Here are some pictures building the outside chicken house.
I modified some plans for a hoop house green house for the coop. One point of learning. The plans say put 3/4" EMT electrical tubing down the center rib. DO NOT SKIP THIS. It makes a huge difference in rigidity.
Due to the sloping ground the base is raised to make a level foundation to anchor the PVC ribs. Each post is sunk in concrete and if we decided to put in a floor and wood walls the base is solid enough. The dimensions are 12ft by 16ft for a theoretical 192sqft. There will be a run of several hundred sqft when I get to it this winter/early spring but the chickens will be fine until then. We went big based on advice in this forum that you always end up wishing the coop were bigger. I figure when all is said and done we will be able to house 50 chickens comfortably.
On the uphill side we added some 1x2 welded wire to prevent the chicken from pecking into the plastic and to add another barrier to racoons and predators. The Collies are trying to help. We expect that the Collies will make most of these precautions irrelevant other than slowing down predators enough that they will have to deal with the Collies.
Above the coop is completed plastic pulled and attached with furring strips. End gables are built. 1x2 welded wire is buried about 4-5 inches down in an apron 16 inches or so out around the entire structure. Ventilation is at the top on both ends. We will see how drafty it gets, but roosts will not extend to the level of the ventilation, so I think there will be plenty of airflow with minimal draftiness on the birds.
The chicks in their new home. The open spot with plastic is where I will be putting nest boxes with a door to the outside.
We are taking a crack at deep litter on dirt. Currently, 5 3.5 cuft bails of pine shavings are in there. The chickens have decided to go digging for the greens underneath right now. I will probably have to add 3-4 more bails before it is about right.
More chick pictures follow.