Tuesday, October 2, 2012
The Permanent Chicken Coop
There came a point last summer when we just could not make time to move the chickens anymore. Also, anywhere we moved them, no matter if it was only for a day, they pretty quickly decimated the spot; our sandy soil cannot even stand up to a chicken.
We noted that they got much calmer and easier to deal with when we were not moving them around all the time. We also found that they ranged pretty far and wide doing their chicken business. And let's face, it was much easier on us to leave them be. The eggs were easier to gather, they were more likely to be in a safe place when it came time to roost, and they still did the work we most wanted them to do- dispersing cow pats.
It is in what has been the cow shed. I would say the thirty layers look quite comfortable in it. Just to the left there is the brooding space, which was plenty big for the sixty meat birds for the first month of their very short lives.
Come winter, they can have this whole structure to move around in, which will be nicer for them than being confined to the coop only. The past two winters, they have stayed in the very big greenhouse. I figure they can adapt to the smaller digs.
They spend the night and morning locked in the coop to maximize the chances for the eggs all being in the nest boxes. Then they range all over the property the rest of the day.