Would you like a tour of the coop? (Note, a couple of times the wind is loud in the first video, but it gets better!)
Yesterday was the BIG DAY! Chicken Moving Day! Yay! We had wanted to get them out into the coop a couple of weeks ago, but with the crazy weather we’ve had (multiple snow days in May), coop building was delayed off and on. Plus, we needed to make sure that the temperatures were not going to be too low for them. While they are “cold hardy” breeds – 4 Australorps (black ones in the video) and 4 Plymouth Barred Rocks (white and black checks) – they were too little to be in the cold right off of the bat.
We did a hard push (sorry and thank you, Mr. Gordon) this past week to get the coop ready. Our day jobs have not stopped during this quarantine – in fact, my work has seen me at my desk for a few 9 and 10 hour days lately – so during the week we could only muster an hour or so in the evenings.
But, the coop is 90% of the way complete and the chickens could be moved in. For safety, we installed hardware cloth around the perimeter (I’ve heard this called the “apron”), chicken wire, and welded wire. The top of the run is also chicken wire and welded wire. We installed hardware cloth under the coop floor, too. We still have to install the rain gutters, some extra hinges and hasps, plus there is some hanging and painting to do. Painting will just have to wait until we know we are going to get a good stretch of dry weather. It’s been so rainy. ARGH.
Mr. Gordon and I are going back and forth about boulders (or pavers) around the perimeter on top of the hardware cloth. (The L-shaped hardware cloth is held down by 100+ garden staples and extends about 21-24 inches out from the fence.) He’s read boulders give predators a place to hide; I’ve read some people use pavers on their hardware cloth. He’s not necessarily for it. I’m still researching. Sometimes it’s challenging to learn what the right thing to do is when it’s your first time around, yes?
Random Coop-Building Photos
We’ve been so busy (chicken coop, jobs, life) and I’ve been taking pictures, but it’s been challenging to unload from the camera (or iPhone) and get them uploaded to the laptop, then to this website. Here are a few snapshots – hopefully in order!
By the way, after the photos below there is a cute short video of the girls coming out of the coop after their first night! Make sure you check it out!
One More Video
One of our Barred Rocks is named Betty (after our good friend Cindy, who has a great Betty Rubble giggle). Betty decided to make a late exit this morning. Shy or fashionably late? 😀
And how is your flock and family?
Share in a comment below!
Tracy! And Mr. Gordon! Well done, well done! The coop and run look fantastic. You’ve certainly thought of everything as far as I can tell. The girls are going to be so happy. And so are you two! Insulating the coop, especially for those cold New York winters, is such a smart idea. We had someone build our coop and I’d like to change a few things…never thought of insulating it though. Doh!
As for the hardwire cloth around the outside. I’d just leave it. The grass will grow through it and make it a pretty protected barrier. If you think you need extra protection though, burying it is a better choice than putting boulders or rocks around the outside. But a) that’s just my opinion and b) there’s nothing wrong (as far as I’m concerned) about putting rocks or pavers around the outside.
I’m looking forward to seeing how the chickens grow! And adjust to life on the ‘outside’. I left a crate in our chicken coop for the girls to use to jump onto and then onto our roosts. Well, let me backup. When we first put them out (and they needed to get outta da house!) I had a crate for them (and some heat lamps)…because of that cold, wet May we were having. Anyway, it didn’t take them long to jump on top of the crate and sleep. Some were still on the ground. Some were on the crate. Then they were all on the crate. Then I noticed some were roosting on the roost bar and some were on the crate. And THEN they were all on the crate. But what I didn’t noticed was that they were using the crate to push their way into ‘the’ best roosting spot. So out the crate went! Silly girls. Now they’re all good. They fly up onto the roost bar and settle in with way less fuss and muss.
Okay. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to read this post! And respond! Great job! And I can’t wait for more!
Hi Kristin! Thanks for coming on by! 🙂 And for your encouragement. It is much appreciated!
The “in the coop habits” are quite interesting… We are trying to understand some of the behavior we’re seeing. For example, when they go in at night – thankfully by themselves now – and I sneak into the run by the door, they are all on the floor of the coop settled in a “pile” if you will by the door. I have to nudge a couple back to close and lock the door. And when I peek in the window after, they are still grouped up and settling in on the floor (which is a cushion of pine shavings). There is a long roost that they can get to, but when I peek in the window in the morning, only a couple are on it. So, I guess they’ll figure out where they want to be – but chicken behavior… baffling at times!
The pavers or no pavers debate continues. Mr. Gordon doesn’t enjoy weed-eating and says: I don’t want to get stuck weed-eating around pavers! Meanwhile my argument is: You have to weed-eat there anyways around the perimeter!
And so it continues…
We’ve heard of digging deep and laying in hardware cloth, but with our clay soil and middle-aged bodies (harhar), we decided to skip that ungodly labor. Hopefully what we’ve done will be enough of a deterrent and protection for the girls.
The insulation also doubles as keeping the coop cooler on those hotter than hot days. We had temps in the 90s one day this week; it was perfectly fine in the coop. I think the roof also helps with deflecting heat. But yes, the cold winters are a concern, so that’s the main reason for the insulation. We do not plan to heat.
Okay, must run! So glad to see you commenting here! Thank you for making time – I know you are very busy! 🙂