Chickens

Chicken framecoop accesscoopMaude side chicken coop nesting box eggs front insideIt’s been a while since I’ve shared how our girls were doing.  We’ve been on quite the adventure together really.  Buying Gertrude, Poppy and Maude as three day old chicks was the beginning of our journey to slower living.

When we moved, we did question whether we’d have the room for them, we wondered about building a new coop, and about if we had the time.

Boy, am I glad we kept them, because the ‘simple’ life has become my passion now, more than ever.

We initially left them as free range girls.  They loved it, never venturing too far down our 50m long driveway, and always coming back to roost as night. But as our deck grew, they started pooing all over it, and letting themselves into our kitchen (more than once I came from the back of the house into the living area to find the chooks had wondered in).

Once the house was liveable and we’d taken a breath, it was time to crack on with the coop. I’d had plenty of experience building frames, following plans and understanding how timber needs to go together to be its strongest, so we were able to whip up a frame pretty quickly based on some plans we’d found online.

Access is down the side of our house and on top of the retained dirt, so we needed steps to climb up the retaining wall. We’ve also introduced three new chickens, and although we can’t tell them apart just yet, we’ve named then Florence (Flo), Dorothy (Dot) and Penelope (Penny).  As you can see, they still very divided, but we haven’t had too much fighting, just a lot of noise.

The coop turned out rather nicely, if I do say so myself. There’s 3 nesting boxes inside the little side door and a roost inside.  They’re yet to take to it for sleeping but they have started laying in there.  Any tips for getting them to nest where we want them too? Or do we just leave them?

The next step is to build a firmer pen, with a gate that can hold itself shut, and has a decent latch on it.

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16 Comments

  1. I’d love to know things like how to construct basic frames or even basic furniture out of wood. It’s one of those things that I wish they taught at school – though actually as I type that I remember my husband saying they did metal and woodwork at his high school in the early grades. I was at a private girls school during those years so we learned cooking and sewing. It was a tad traditional 🙂

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  2. Chooks make great pets for kids…they teach kids to be gentle and patient. When you purchase new chooks keep them locked up for about a week. They will go back in especially if you throw some nice food in on dusk. I had a 30 acre farm but my chooks would always go back into the coop on dusk, then I would lock the door. You should lock them up if you don’t want a cat, or fox to get them. Cats climb chicken wire so we had to cover the whole run in wire to stop them being taken even during the day!! If you leave an egg (mark it so you know it is old) in the box or get a fake one and leave it there that is where the chooks will lay. If chooks are laying in the yard then don’t let them out until they have laid. They are smart ..they will work out that you want them to lay in the box. I had about every farm animal you could name for 25 years, miss it but I am enjoying your story and I hope I can help. Cheers Deborah

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  3. Lovely photos! Chickens are such a wonderful part of any homestead, and I have used many different systems over the years to look after mine! Ive got some tips on maintaining your chicken housing through the year on my blog if you’re interested! http://bit.ly/18Ijpyv

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  4. Ahh!!! chickens!!! This makes me want to move somewhere where I can have chickies. I live in a tiny apartment 😦 One day xxx

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  5. Ah yes, our chickens were free-range too until they started pooping all over the deck and I could never let the boys out on it to play! Boo to that!

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