Welcome to Finca Los Arboles, Guanacaste, Costa RicaWe've been doodbling with raising chickens for about 5-years and have finally got the method to a point where they are sucessfully reaching maturity. At first we just let all the chickens run free on the finca, sleeping in trees, foraging during the day and the mortality rate was very high. There are lots of preditors here, boa constrictors, hawks, skunks, raccoons and one of our dogs that we had to give to a distant neighbor.
Our first habitat for the chickens was a camper shell raised off the ground and fenced in for their nightly escape.
About a year ago, we started a larger coop made out of Cob with the help or serveral volunteers that spent anywhere from 2-4 weeks with us working on various projects, PV and Wind Turbine installation, gardening, trail maintenance, etc. No, not "corn on the ___" but adobe mixed with sand, straw, and horse manure. Working this mixture wet, we started building from the ground up by stacking loaves formed by hand into the layers to create a monolithic wall wider at the base and becoming narrower at the top. Inside the wall is a lattice of small branches tied together, crossing about every 6 to 8 inches to add stability, and worked the Cob around this form. The door is made of sticks, and the finished wall was given a coating of lime, to provide water proofing. The roof is tin. Total cost...less than $50!!!!!
The chickens are safe at night and seem very happy with their natural surroundings! Visit www.MySpace/FincaLosArboles for more information