1. urbanchicksta

    urbanchicksta Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 18, 2010
    Seattle
    So basically I have still have a lot to do. The coop was finished in May and my pullets have so far been happy in them. Now they are just starting to lay and they are patiently waiting for my brother the contractor to make the proper revisions. I'm so thankful that he did the work but working with family came with trying to make it fun and letting go of my micromanaging and seemingly ocd requests. I really wished I would have taken the time to plan the details and stick to them instead of making decisions on the fly and bending for the ease of the contractor but oh well....it's all learning and I had no idea that building a chicken coop would entail so many variables....I mean they are just chickens right?.... ha

    So I don't think I ever posted a "reveal" as I wanted to finish the landscaping and make it "all purdy like" but it's all been a work in progress.

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    Things I bent on turned out to be really important...such as the roost. It's too close to the wall and the girls do use it but I they have since grown into big ladies and try to squeeze their behinds onto the skinny side all the while complaining "W-T-F". They have been very patient.

    The nesting box is on the floor and I would have liked it to be elevated a little and wider. Also I didn't know that the darkest place in the coop is under the window. All this chicken feng shui stuff was beyond me at the time when I just needed to get the girls out of their rubbermaid brooder. Now I have 2 that are laying and there have been issues with them not laying in the nest box. I know they could be a little happier if the roost was more comfortable and the nest box darker.

    I was planning on building a detachable chicken run/tractor but have instead been free ranging them in our backyard for a few hours a day and then herding them back in. It seems to work out for now but it is alot of work and it's amazing how much trouble only 3 chickens can get into. It's made me realize that it's pretty much impossible for commercial chickens to be completely free range.

    I clean the sand box out everyday but they have pulled out the 1/2 inch drainage rock with it so now I have to deal with that too. I'm going through a lot of sand since I just rake it out and dump it. Im thinking there must be a better way but for now the coop is odor free and the they seem content. The door placement was a sticking point as my brother forgot where I wanted it and I again buckled. I dont have access to the ramp which means it doesn't get cleaned.

    So hopefully my brother will come soon and do some remodeling. Any suggestions are welcome as I want to have my list ready. All in all, it's been a great introduction into chicken ownership. I love cooking dinner and watching them frolic in our backyard. Hearing my 3 year old thank his chicken for the egg she gave is worth all the work that goes into those crazy birds.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  2. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,852
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    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    You can use a scoop like this to get the poop out of the sand but leave the sand behind:

    http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/group/13167/product.web

    I duct taped mine to a long wooden pole so I wouldn't have to bend down. I go around the run with the scoop, sift out the poo, dump it in this pan:

    http://www.petco.com/product/104243/PETCO-Scoop-and-Rake-with-Wood-Handles.aspx

    and when I'm finished, dump the contents of the pan into the composter.

    I also recommend a droppings board or tray under the roost. I use a boot tray. It's very easy to pull out the tray and dump the night's offerings straight into the composter, hose down the tray, and return it.

    Fixing the roost should be easy. All you need to do is get longer shelf supports and get your screwdriver. That's a 15 minute job.
     

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