April 9, 2010

Coop Building

The house is a mess. The laundry is piling up. The dogs have been getting fed later than usual, and I haven't planned a real meal for us all week. But, WE HAVE CHICKENS, and that is all we've been focused on lately. I've been obsessed with making sure they are alive and well cared for and Neal has been busy making them a safe, comfy coop and run.

Even though the girls won't be laying eggs for a few more months, Neal spent most of yesterday building their nesting boxes.

Then he started on the coop. It will be 4 feet by 5 feet, which should be sufficient for four birds. I've read that they need a minimum of 4 feet per bird in the coop, and at least 10 feet per bird in the run. When the run and coop are attached, they will have a 13 x 4 outdoor enclosure.

Neal decided to build the coop and run as two separate structures so that we can move the run around like a chicken tractor, if we choose to do that. When they get bigger, we hope to be able to allow them to free range in the yard with supervision, but it will be nice to move them around to different spots and know that they are protected from predators.

The girls spent most of the afternoon outside while Neal was building, and they loved it! I was at the store all day and called every hour or so to check on them. The cats are doing really well around the newcomers, but the dogs are going to take some work. In the picture above, Ginger (the Buff Orpington) discovered she could fly onto the pet carrier. When she flew down, it really got the dogs' attention!

The weather is beautiful and Neal is on schedule to have the coop finished by this weekend. Then it will be time to move the girls in permanently. I anticipate a few sleepless nights for me when they move from the bathroom out into the big, scary world of our backyard!


basicliving@backtobasicliving.com said...

Neal did a great job on those nest boxes! I can't wait to see the finished coop. He's really very talented. I love that last picture of the pups and the chickens. Our pups get VERY excited over chicken movements too. And sometimes I think the chickens fly around them just to get the pups in trouble! Those are some lucky girls - they're going to have a wonderful home and great chicken parents.

Anonymous said...

How exciting! Love the picture of the dogs watching the girls. I can't wait for the rest of this adventure!

Lilla said...

Penny, updated pictures coming soon. The ladies spent their first night in the coop last night and everyone survived...including me!

Morning Bray, it is very exciting and definitely an adventure. These chickens are keeping us and the dogs and cats quite entertained.

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

The dogs look really interested in the chickens - maybe they think you got the chickens as pets for them. I know you're going to enjoy them.

Lilla said...

SVB, what I am afraid of is that the dogs seem to be TOO interested in the chickens! It's hard to tell if they just want to play or if they want a chicken dinner! We are really enjoying them and getting attached after less than a week.