Tuesday, May 31, 2011

All-you-can-eat buffet.

I was able to collect a bag of Cicadas today for the chickens. Sarah enjoys throwing the Cicadas to the chickens and that adds up to some fun times in the coop.

Here's some more info on the current Cicada hatch.

This first video is the bag of Cicadas.

And here's Sarah feeding the chickens.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A few of the chickens have discovered the roosts.

When I went to close the pop door this evening, I discovered Mr. Cogburn on the top roost with one of the Brown Leghorn ladies. Another Brown Leghorn and a Golden Comet also checked out the perches. Most of the them still huddled in the corner though.


Mr. Cogburn along with another Brown Leghorn and a Golden Comet.

Another Brown Leghorn checks out the lower roost.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Hallelujah and praise the Lord, the chickens are in the coop.

The chicks tried out their new run yesterday, but blogger was down for maintenance, so I couldn't update. This evening after work, I got the coop entry door installed, so Isaac helped me take the chicks out to their run again. Rain was in the forecast, so I added a tarp to the top of the run to shed some of the water and to provide shade when it warms up again. As dusk approached, Kelly and I moved the girls and guy inside the coop so they could get used to it before bedtime. The door is on, but I don't have hardware cloth over the windows, so hopefully nothing attempts to climb in a window before I make them more predator-proof.

5/12/11-The chicks try out the run for the first time since attaching it to the coop.

A celery leaf and tomato salad for the chicks.

5/13/11-I put the tarp on the run before moving the chicks out there today. As soon as I got ready to start on the entry door, it started raining.

While I was working on the entry door, a Brown Leghorn was the first to come in to check out the new digs. This was before I place the step outside the door to help them up. The funny thing is, of the three breeds we have, the Leghorns are supposed to be the most skittish, but that didn't stop her from investigating.

The Brown Leghorn checks out the inside as another one looks on.

The next one to check out the inside was a Barred Plymouth Rock.

The door is installed. I liked doing that about as much as I like making rafters.

Kelly visiting with the chicks after the rain stopped.

After locking them all inside, they wanted nothing but to go back out. They all piled up by the pop door.

I had to force them back into the feed/waterer area so I knew for sure they would find them.

Chickapoo has become quite handsome.

Three of the Golden Comets.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

About ready to move the girls in.

After finishing some smaller items on Sunday, like adding the screen door to the inside wall and installing an opening system on the pop door, I worked on the run yesterday and today. I got the run attached to the coop this evening and might actually get the chickens in there this week. There's still a lot to do though. I need to install the entry door before moving the chickens in, otherwise it won't be very predator proof. The rest of the trim and painting will need to be completed. I need to add more hardware cloth around the base of the run to keep digging predators out. And eventually I will add a roof to the run. And the hens will need nest boxes too.

Another view of the roosts.

My pulley system for opening the pop door. I used a plastic cutting board for the door.

The end of the rope used to open the pop door.

A view from the roosts of the homemade feeder I made for about half the cost of a factory-made feeder.

The screen door inside the coop. Yes, it's a mess right now, but it's under construction.

I dug holes and back filled them with gravel and used leftover pieces of the 4X6 timbers to place the corners of the chainlink panels on.

Getting the run positioned. Hardware cloth has been added to the bottom two feet of the run to prevent predators like racoons from reaching through the fence and grabbing a bite to eat. I will also attach hardware cloth to the bottom of the fence and let it lay flat on the ground to prevent digging.

I added the trim to the corner tonight and attached the run.

I wanted to give the girls as much run space as possible, so I bought 12-foot panels on sale, but the coop is only 10-feet wide. So, to keep the run square and not lose any square footage, I fashioned an improvised attachment system for the back corner. A piece of trim will cover the edge of the hardware cloth on the corner of the coop.

I sandwiched the other edge of the hardware cloth between two pressure-treated 1X4s and attached the chainlink panel to the 1X4s.

A full view of the run.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Roosts are in.

They're not the most beautiful things in the world, but I got the roosts in with a poop board underneath. I installed them after covering more of the wall with plywood to the side and back of the roosts. I also worked on the pop door opening, making the bottom more watertight and adding the trim to the outside.

Not sure if there's enough room for them, but it'll have to do.

The trim around the pop door. Once I get the trim on the two corners on this side, I can work on attaching the run. Then I need a door on the pen area entrance and an entrance door to the coop and I can move them in while I finish the rest of the trimming, painting, etc.

The girls got to enjoy the outside again today after the rain stopped this morning and the sun came out.

Just as I snapped this photo, a Barred Plymouth Rock attempted to fly up on the waterer. I have a plastic pitcher on top though, to keep them off the waterer so they don't constantly crap in their water.

Oh yeah, as you can see, Sarah broke her right arm. She did that last Sunday when she and Isaac were playing around the playhouse. She managed to fall off the slide.

Chickapoo with his head sticking out of the fence, with another chicken sitting on him.