Tuesday, July 19, 2011


We transfered the chicks from the brooder to the coop over the weekend. Aaron put up the fence for their free range area but they are limited to the run area for now so they don't "fly the coop". The fence has yet to be stained but we thought we should let the wood weather a bit before staining it so the stain really sets in.
We also added some more ventilation to the coop since it only had one small vent in the front. We added 4 more vents in the back of the coop to allow better airflow and we can cover as many as we need to come winter. Then, yesterday a thunderstorm came through the area and the new venting we added didn't have enough of an overhang and the storm just happened to be blowing in the perfect direction to get in the coop. I ran out and covered the vents with a tarp during the storm so not much water blew in but we will also be extending the overhand a bit to keep this from happening again. We also noticed a small leak at the hinge of one of the nest boxes. Aaron went out last night to get some weather stripping and will install it to stop the leak.
We have also decided that we will be adding to our existing coop to make it larger as well as elevate it off the ground. Basically we will be adding another larger, taller house off the back of the existing coop and raising it off the ground making one large coop! With this said, we don't want to do too much to this existing coop since we plan on taking the back off and expanding it.
Here is a rough drawing to give an idea:

(click to enlarge)

The Chickens seemed to be getting a bit cramped in the brooder and were happy to be outside with more space. We placed them in the coop and they all ran into the run straight away. Come night fall Aaron had to shoe them into the coop but in the am they had been on the roosts. Their second night they were placed on the roost and in the am they were on the other roost... so they definitely were moving around and roosting. In our reading we found that many people suggest to place them in the coop and keep them in there for a few days so they know to go back there at night. For us, the summer heat has been wicked so we didn't want to keep them in the coop during the heat of the day so we didn't follow that method. Since we only have 4 birds it was easy to scoot them into the coop at nightfall. The third night, come nightfall they all made their way into the coop. They didn't roost but instead they huddled in the corner behind their waterer.

Cute Story... yesterday in the morning it was raining (before the T-Storm rolled in) and they didn't come out of the coop until it stopped. They kept poking their heads out and step back in when they felt the rain. Once the rain stopped they finally came out only for it to start sprinkling again and they all raced back in the coop and continued poking out to look.
During the T-storm they all hid in the covered part of the run and huddled together.... such social cuddly birds!

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