My BLUE ORPINGTONS at six month old
Tristand and Isolde roosting with the two black hens, Aida and Leontyne
Victoria and her chick.
Victoria with her chick inside their south coop
MY TWO COOPS
If not for so many people on this forum, this two-section coop would never have been made.
The only idea that's mine is making an 8x8x8 coop in two 4x8 sections each comprised of six modules that can be taken apart easily and reassembled as one 8x8 coop if I ever want to move them/it. Also, using a tunnel to connect the coops to the run is my idea. Everything else you see came from talented members of BYC. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
The sand in the run is almost a foot deep. You cannot see the depth because there's another bottom board that doesn't show. The run has all 1/2-inch hardware cloth. Outside the run there's 14 inches of hardward cloth going straight down and three feet of farm 2x4 fencing going outward. All the buried wire that surrounds the run is covered with a truck load of topsoil. Grass seed has been added, but I'll have to get a landscaper to do the back section again because so many plants and shrubs were destroyed during the construction.
The run's outside perimeter has a truckload of dirt covering wire buried on the ground, and the run has another load of sand. Any interested predator will have to dig. When he starts digging, after going down four inches he will run into a 2x4 fence wire. If he wants to get under that, he'll have to turn around and go back thee feet before he can start digging under the wire. IF he figures out how to do THAT, once he gets up to the wall he will run into a buried 2x6 board, then below the board there's are eight inches of 1/2-inch hardware cloth buried in a trench, i.e., he'll have to go 14 inches straight down . If he does do that, once he starts up those 14 inches inside the run, after digging through dirt, he'll reach the level that has one foot of SAND that covers the entire floor of the run; the sand will run down into dirt hole he dug through, and it, hopefully, will fill his hole entrapping/killing him before he can reach the surface of the sand. The run is not connected directly to the two coops. The chickens have to go through a two-foot tunnel to reach the pop doors in order to enter the coops. Before a predator can lift the pop door from inside the tunnel, he'll first have to go back OUTSIDE the run to unlatch the pop door so that it can be raised or lowered, then dig his way into the run again so he can lift the pop door to enter the coops. Any predator that can do all that deserves a meal of chicken and is welcome to it. BTW, all doors and gates have locks. All the locks use the same key. We keep a key right by the doors and gates for our own convenience. If a predator can figure out how to put the key into the lock, open/remove the lock, and then undo another latch above, once again, that predator deserves a chicken and is welcome to it.
South coop for the silkies
Some terrific posts' URL's from BYC that I never want to lose:
2. HATCHERIES LIST https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=2331501#p2331501
3. Cookie Tin Water Heater https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=107951
4. Chicks developing DAYS 1-18 in an incubator https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=261876&p=1