The Shed Arrives from Lancaster, Pennsylvania!
After drawing a design, figuring lumber, getting prices and realizing there was not a lot of time before the chicks got too big for the fish tank, we decided to buy pre-built 10X12' shed from the Amish. With delivery it costs $2300. Gabe then retro-fit a vestibule about 3 feet in from the front for storage. 1/2 the wall is wire, the other half plywood. He built a feed box that fills from the vestibule side and holds more than 100 lbs. of food and gravity feeds into the coop area on the other side of the wall. Above that he built 4 rolling nest boxes on each side of the door. 6 individual compartments for our 15 ladies. They like to sleep above the boxes even though we've installed roost poles. Even collected some nice drift wood from the shores of the Hudson River for inside the coop and in the run. We're doing the DLM. We put down a roll of laminate over the plywood floor, then added a layer of dirt. Next came the pine shavings. As the poop piles up I add more shavings. I used a little DE when the coop started to smell and it stopped immediately. It's been more than a month and we've gotten some warm weather and it doesn't smell at all. I do throw some scratch in the shavings when I'm getting them back in the coop at night after an hour or so of supervised free ranging in the back yard. They like to scratch and I like they are raking the shavings and poop. I do spend about 3 minutes a day raking the shavings and poop off their night shelving and general raking. I bought a 2 gallon shop vac to clean the next boxes, which we lined with indoor/outdoor carpeting. The eggs should roll right down into a cushiony section behind the nest boxes on the outside vestibule area for easy collecting and hopefully clean, unbroken condition.
A nice large run, hanging pails for water with 4 chicken nipples. Gabe cut a door in the coop to the run and put in a sliding guillotine type door on a pully system so you can open from the front of the coop. 100 lbs. of feed is stored in the wooden box on the supply side of the coop, gravity feeds into the coop under the nest boxes to keep the food clean. 3 rolling nest boxes on each side of the door which are lined with indoor/outdoor carpet. I can vacuum or pull out and shake. The linoleum pieces that fit on top of the nestboxes are sprinkled with pine shavings for easy sweeping onto the floor every morning. The 3 inch lip against the chicken wire keep the shavings from falling on the non- coop section that holds the supplies. Blue pail contains about a week's worth of pine shavings. Two white pvc pipes contain crushed oyster shells and grit.
Recently added a roof to half the run so they won't get frostbitten toes when it snows.
Note the string for hanging apples and cabbages for the girls to peck.
Indoor and outdoor roosting poles are driftwood picked up at nearby Hudson Riverfront.
I have a couple of favorite feathered friends. One Barred Rock named Braveheart likes to jump onto my lap and be petted. She jumped on my back and onto my shoulder once and while I was looking up at a falling leaf, she pecked me in my eye. I had a deep hole in my cornea that took about 2 weeks to heal. After hourly antibiotic drops and ointment and about 8 doctor visits and probably more than $1000, I have healed but we never visit the chickens without our glasses. Chickens will peck, that's what they do. I don't think it was mean, just bad luck. I really don't think people realize how easily they can get an eye injury around chickens. Protect yourselves and your children and enjoy!