Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Chicken Coop Progress, Week 14

the coop and run at the end of week 13

The week before last I didn't quite finish the run, but I was able to accomplish that goal last week. I worked on it Monday and Tuesday and was able to let the chickens out for the first time Tuesday afternoon.

I finished building the doors for the run and attached them as well as all the other miscellaneous hardware (latches, hooks, handles, etc).

the back gate. it doesn't really have a purpose in the current setup, but next year it will be used.

the front gate.  hmmm, looks like I still need to trim the 2x4s holding the roof fencing up- oops.

I also pieced together the fencing for the last section of the roof on the west side of the coop. After that was done I used small pieces of wire to connect the roof fencing panels to each other.

The last step was to cut a small door for the chickens to access the run.  I got inspiration from this site for the door and how I attached the chicken ladder we got from the neighbors.

trying to decide what to do....

add some peer pressure...

and some of them finally ventured outside

The chickens weren't sure what to do, so I had to gently push them outside. Once they got outside, they had a blast. They haven't quite figured out how to use the ladder though. They tend to fly out of the coop when I open the door, and then wait for me to pick them up and put them back in the coop in the evening. Though at least some of them can fly back up into the coop. At this point I think it's a matter of trying to teach old dogs (er, chickens) new tricks. The next batch of chickens will have everything in place from the beginning and shouldn't have the same trouble.

Processing day is this Saturday, so I'm gathering all my equipment and making sure we're ready to go. We've got our plucker, killing cone, rubber apron, and plastic freezer bags and labels. A 30 quart pot should arrive Friday and will be used for scalding the chickens before plucking and to shrink the plastic bags around the chickens. I'd like a stainless steel sink and counter top, but I haven't had time to stalk the Habitat Store and craigslist for one, so we'll have to use our plastic folding tables instead this year.

I still need to finish the trim on the coop, but I'm not working on it this week. It's been raining on an almost daily basis, I'm kinda burned out, and Sunshine officially started 5th grade this week now that she's done with all her day camps. We should be settled into our school schedule a bit by next week, and if things dry out, I'll get the rest of the trim painted (the part that's really holding me back from getting the trim finished), and it shouldn't take too long after that to get the rest of the trim up.

even though it doesn't look as nice as it eventually will, the chickens are enjoying it :)

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