Evolution of the Chicken Master Plan!

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by Aeropennchick, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. Aeropennchick

    Aeropennchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2012
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    Reposted from coop building, since it turned out to be a story after all:

     
  2. Aeropennchick

    Aeropennchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2012
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  3. Aeropennchick

    Aeropennchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Southern PA
    Chapter Four - The Feathered Children become unruly adolescents

    As much fun in the sun as they enjoyed, the eight feathered siblings started to get bored. Their hutch just wasn't large enough for running and jumping properly, now that they were three weeks old and much larger than before! So mirrors and sticks were introduced, to no avail.

    Aero goes to check out a suspicious chirp - and sees that little pooper Zifnab feather picking on his sister Cora. Cora, a gentle soul, hides underneath the waterer, and Zifnab gets a time out. DH is recruited to adjoin the two coops - NOW.

    A cat's paw hand crowbar was used to remove the mesh from one side panel of each coop, with care not to cause splintering which may be dangerous to inquisitive chickens. A few pieces of scrap plywood were measured and cut and screwed into place between the coops to close the gap created by their hinged lids.

    A piece of scrap wood was also used so that a perch could be installed in half of the coop, and the red heat lamp was actually moved down a little bit because now it was heating a larger area. The chickens are introduced to their new and improved home - and LOVE IT. They run around zooming at each other for the next hour, and not a single feather was picked.

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    So at this point, the feathered kids are getting along and will already be used to their coop once it is moved to the Great Outdoors. And once the trailer is turned into a coop, this one can once again be used as a brooder for the NEXT batch of chicks, and it can just be partitioned in the middle until they get old enough to need both halves again...then it can be placed outside in a run alongside the older chicks so they can meet each other, and then everyone can live together happily in the trailer, and then..


    Chapter Five - ????
     
  4. tamberlin

    tamberlin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awesome! You are very creative! I wish I had as much room as you do.
    Keep it coming.
    Deb
     
  5. a123andpoof

    a123andpoof Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 17, 2011
    Such a fun story! Can't wait for more!
     
  6. Aeropennchick

    Aeropennchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! Updates will be kinda far apart, next one should be when we build the fence and put the chicks outside in a few weeks. So glad you like our story so far!!!
     
  7. Aeropennchick

    Aeropennchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chapter 5: A Chicken Pen is Built

    After a lot of discussion, it is decided that a pen shall be built for the purpose of containing the soon-to-be-free-range chickens, should they become ill or otherwise require attention. While there are not thought to be tunneling predators in the area, there are certainly foxes, hawks, and raccoons - but in lieu of a predator proof pen, a four-legged predator proofing system is being trained:

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    The pen would be built so that predator proofing would be possible to achieve, should the need arise. So, although the initial fence would be only three feet high, six foot stakes were used so the fence could be built higher and a covering placed while still allowing the less-than-six-foot tall couple comfortable access to the pen. Only chicken wire was used as the initial purpose is chicken containment and not predator proofing.

    Purchased from TSC and Lowe's:

    100 ft. roll of 4 ft high chicken wire: $59.99
    Seven 6 ft. tall metal stakes: $6.29 each
    Two galvanized metal hinges: $15.75 for both
    Metal fork latch: $6.24
    Various galvanized screws, washers, and bolts: less than $10.00
    Landscape cloth pins/anchors (75 bought, used about half so far): $10.00
    three pressurized 2x4's, eight feet long - ~$4.00 each

    Roughly 16 ft x 16 ft (stakes 8 ft apart):

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    1 foot bib, staked down with landscape pins:

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    Door attached to tree for stability and minimizing initial need for lots of pressurized wood:

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    Latch on door - chicken wire is rolled at either edge to create a tight barrier; chicken wire is also rolled at the bottom edge of the door to prevent escape. The door was lined up along a tree root so the dirt at the bottom edge will not get dug out:

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    Two trees overshadowing enclosure for a bit of shade and shelter from the wind:

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    When the chicks (now a month old) visit the pen, they have a grand old time pecking about, but still are interested in taking turns sitting on someone's lap:

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    Next week: Chapter Six: The Kids Move Out
     
  8. christineavatar

    christineavatar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2011
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    What a great tale! I would recommend some 'hiding place's' within the run. There should be someplace for them to hide in case an avian predator sits in one of the trees.
     
  9. Aeropennchick

    Aeropennchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! We are putting the coop over by the trees, and considering stringing up a tarp to give them some extra shelter over there. We are going to add some wooden boxes (in addition to nesting boxes) to create some hide-y spaces.
     
  10. Aeropennchick

    Aeropennchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2012
    Southern PA
    Chapter Six: The Teenagers Move Out

    Although our fearless couple had been greatly enjoying their new habit of watching TV with chicks/doing house work with chicks/reading books with chicks/pretty much everything you have to do, do it with a chick in your lap, they started to notice Something happening to their house. The Something wasn't noticeable unless you left and came back, but upon re-entering, you would discover that Something. It wasn't palatable, and for several days, the couple tried to make adjustments to their routine to eliminate it.

    But no matter how many times they fluffed and puffed the bedding, or swept the front room where the chickens lived to clean up the stray pine shavings, the Something remained. This Something was...."The Barn Smell".

    So the light in the brooder was turned off during the day for several days in a row in preparation of the Big Move. The chicks spent more and more time in their future run, with babysitters:

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    The coop was moved to just outside the back door for the first night, and the heat lamp was left on one final time. And then, the coop was relocated to it's new home inside the run.

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    The chickens were assisted in finding the day-time location of the refreshment section in this fine establishment:

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    When darkness fell, the chicks were ushered back into their coop and shut in for the night. It rained and rained, and the neighbors might have noticed a lone raincoated figure with a flashlight wandering out to the chicken coop at all hours, to stare at them huddled together and very much okay.

    In the morning , the feathered children had fared well and everyone was relieved. And the Barn Smell was banished from the house...until the next batch of chicks arrives [​IMG]

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    Yay for healthy chicks!!! <thanks for reading my chicken story!>
     

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