To start, this is our first year with chickens. The beginning of this summer we moved out of town to our countryside home, something we’ve been wanting for the last 10 years. So all summer long has been moving in and updating the house and barn in some order of priorities. Let's focus on the barn.
So the list was:
1) fix the corral
2) reclaim the pasture
3) paint the barn
4) restore electric to the barn
5) resolve the drainage/flooding problems
I spent 2 weeks fixing the falling down corral, another 2 weeks bringing the pasture into some sort of usable condition, and 3 weeks painting the barn. The original plan was to bring in chickens in the spring,but then.... My Brother in Law received new chickens from a nearby school that they hatched out in class at the end of the school year - 11 pullets and cockerels. Except 9 ended up being cockerels! So we were offered to take a cockerel of our choice and a pullet to come along with him. Otherwise, it was off to the chopping block and freezer.
So off we went to take a look, and we found waiting for us, Robert the Rooster - aka "Bob". (His girl Ethel is behind him to the left)
So since we have a pre-existing barn, the easiest path seemed to be converting part into a coop.
Part 1 - Planning, Where to put the coop inside? The answer was convert an existing stall into the coop.
It was decided for time crunch to bring the floor up off the ground to work around the wet ground with some heavy duty pallets after scraping out as much of the offending material as possible to keep the birds dry, until a real solution could be made to the drainage/flooding issue.
Next came the framing of the front wall, and creation of the human entrance.
Next up was the framing of the side wall, and then installation of the 1/2" hardware cloth.
At this point, I made an executive decision that involved my first "chicken math" - since we were bringing in Bob and Ethel, we might as well set up a satisfactory flock and I was looking for a cold-hearty species. I saw some pics of GLW's and my internet hunt was on! After several days of searching, I came across WhatDaFlock Farm's in Wisconsin post regarding available GLW's that were 4 to 6 weeks old. After some fretting, and gnashing of teeth by the dear wife I ordered 6 pullets. So at this point the race was really on!
Security was the next priority, so all possible entry points needed shoring up. Back to my roll of hardware cloth to remedy my open eave issue!
Now the pullets are arriving, so water and feed are set up as well as wood shaving litter on the floor!
Next step, getting ready for integration. After a week of the GLW's settling in and getting comfy in their new home, it was time to bring in Bob and Ethel. So our extra large dog crate is set up for them to start the integration process.
This space reserved for remaining edits.....stay tuned. There is more to this story.