We started with free range hens, but due to severe hawk predation, we needed a more secure location for them! In January I ordered baby chicks from McMurray, and my husband had noooooooo idea what we were getting into! The day they were to be delivered to our Post Office, we noticed the first red flag to chicken rearing. They went to the wrong Post Office! We ended up driving 120 miles round trip at 9 p.m. on a Saturday night to collect our chickies from the distribution location. One DOA, two freebies, we were in good shape!
And construction begins on the the run! We decided to build the run first because at this point we had NO idea what we would do for the house portion of their enclosure. But due to hawks, a run with a mesh top was critical. We don't have any other predators to speak of and over the years have only lost chickens to hawks, so that was the #1 concern.
The run is 24'x27' and 6' tall. It is about 60% grass, and 40% concrete with about 40% of the run covered in a steel sided roof, and 60% open with mesh on top to protect against hawks.
We had the run complete but still NO idea what to do for their indoor house! During the days, they were in the run, and at night it took two people to hustle them across the barn aisle into a horse stall that was covered in netting. They had roosts in the horse stall and that's where they slept at night. But it was neither secure, nor convenient.
Finally it hit us........we can use the old Milk House as a chicken house, because their run is butted right up against it! It already has a sliding steel door they can access to go in and out. The room is heated int he winter, and we could install a window air conditioner for the brutal summer days. The room is insulated and has windows. It is very secure with three steel doors. Perfect!
So I set to work moving all my horse feed, tack, and supplies out.
My husband build a "roost rack" for the birds, and installed it inside the Milk House.
Then the 95 degree hit! We got busy and installed the window AC unit.
More photos to come as I can get them uploaded!