Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Moving Chickens to a New Coop

Hmmm...what do we do with the goat house now that we don't have goats?  Turn it into our hen house!  The old coop (roof caved in during the crazy snow-filled winter here) will be revamped to house the broilers - and by the way, those chickens eat and eat and grow and grow...fast.  A new coop will be created to house the turkeys.  The dog house, which once housed goats, then chickens and now cats, will be redone to house all my tools and feed.  The partially boarded area in the front will be a mini garden of sort.  I have no idea what I'll plant there.  I have to wait until the sun comes out so I can gauge how much sunlight hits there. 
The semi-carpenter husband of mine removed two boards from the old goat house, bound them together and added hinges.  Wallah, it's an access door to the eggs.  He built the nesting boxes and framed in a door.  I put hardware cloth over the frame, hinged and handled it.  I added a lock to the access door.  I also added in a roost. 
For the past three days those darned chickens have been sleeping outside the coop on the fence next to the dog house...IN THE RAIN.  Each night either my husband or myself go out there and pick up each hen and place her in the new hen house.  They don't really struggle, since it's night and that's when they hunker down.  If you don't pick them up around the wings and breast, they'll flap their wings and hard.  I got flapped in the face when my grip slipped on one.  Ouch.  At least I didn't have to chase those wily ladies around the yard to catch them. 
We've left the door ajar and they come out in the morning, only to not return the next night.  However, they are getting closer to the coop, but close isn't good enough. This was night three and I put some food and water in there, and locked the door.  That'll teach 'em.
We let our chickens free-range.  And range they do.  Into our disgruntled neighbors yard.  My husband witnessed our neighbor standing over our chickens with his hands on his hips, shaking his head.  Whoops.
I came home today to the neighbor across the street flagging me down as I was coming down the road.  My chickens had crossed the street and were galavanting in his yard.  I apologized profusely.  He is the more laid back neighbor.  He didn't really care.  He was concerned about the girls getting hit by a car.  Also, which he didn't mention, he has 3 dogs.  I can only imagine...

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