CONVERTED CATTLE FEEDER COOP
I spotted this thing in the parking lot at the feed store and kept thinking what a cool coop it would make. That was my dilemna, trying to find something that would be cool enough for the girls, yet sturdy enough to stand up to the occasional hurricane and the stand of aging pines in my back yard that are half dead from the previous hurricanes and drop their deadly death branches every time the wind picks up.
It is meant to be pulled around the fields, that's why it is on skids, but I imagine it could be set on wheels quite easily if someone had a more portable setup in mind.
The ole disabled lady finally finished between the back from he** and the daily torrential thunder storms and the 110 heat index. The cattle feeder is the main unit you see...the two sides, the metal roof on the base with skids. The most time consuming part was dealing with all the hardware cloth and putting in the linoleum floor. I had a hard time figuring out the roost scenario due to the fact it is so narrow; that's why there is the diagonal hop up roost.
It is 6' x 3' X 6' and my friends rolled it into the back yard on 3 pieces of PVC. The windows were put in as an afterthought, I thought the lattice and the venting at the top would be enough ventilation, and it probably was, but I was hot!
I have just the three hens, one of which produced her first egg just as I put up the last piece of window trim.
They made so much noise I thought they were all dead!! Come to find out days later, it was a double yoker...poor girl!!!!!
They were still in the old set up then...A Chick-n-Hutch with the top left open completely inside the hopefully predatorproof run, and they would roost on the head rail.....they were too big to leave it closed and if I did, they would just roost on top of it anyway. During that time, I conducted the experiments that ultimately let them choose for themselves what they wanted for their roosts.
I have no carpentry background either, but I did have access to a nice selection of tools to borrow and the internet.....let's google "how to make a plunge cut......."
I had to change the roost set up when one of my hens had a recurrent problem with a pendulous crop. The wider roost actually helped support it and resolve it quicker. Go figure. The whole thing just swings up an out of the way.
It is also working out real well for the deep litter method. I barely do anything but give it a stir, and throw some Stall-Dri in once in a while. So far, so good! And it's a pretty good height for my back so I am not crippled if I do have to mess with it.
This is what I did for the cooler months in Florida. The clear SunTuf panels are just bolted on to cut the drafts and the windows are closed. It also has worked well when we get the tail ends of the hurricanes with the blowy rains. Easily removed and stored as well, but doesn't cut down on the light. As you can see, I'm still getting my three eggs and two golf balls a day! Everyone time I try to take the golf balls out I get pecked, so I decided to compromise. I get to keep the brown ones!!!
Of course, it's inevitable, I went to the feedstore and on an impulse buy, picked up 4 day old chicks, so now have to expand somewhere. So first off, is the nestbox. I went out.
Shesh! what am I going to do with myself now?????