Well, it was what seemed like a marathon of building and planning last week, but we were ready with a cozy coop when we brought home the next batch of pullets on Saturday. We had a lovely drive to Augusta, MO to see our chicken supplying friends. It's always a treat to get out to their place, because they have all the outbuildings my heart could desire, with rabbits and goats, dogs, chickens, and a garden that's so much better than my own.
It's pretty hard to get a picture of the whole coop set up right now, because there's still some construction paraphenalia in the way. Pretty much what we did was block off one end of the shed by building a wall. We used the chain link panel with the door from last year's pullet enclosure to make part of the wall, and the rest is nesting boxes, chicken wire, and trellis.
We divided the space for now so the pullets and older chickens will be kept separate. I think we're going to wait till the littler ones start laying to do a complete integration. I'm hoping it will go a little easier on them than it did for Matilda and Brunhilda last year. First of all, because there are so many more of these, and also because they'll be living in pretty much the same space for the next couple of months.
Above is a good shot of my homemade feeder. I have a post about that coming up, with some step by step photos. It wasn't hard to make at all, and I got the idea from Backwoods Home Magazine, but I'm happy to show my version. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out, and I think it's working really nicely as well.
We used a hinged gate sort of set up for the dividing wall. That way we can swing it one way to get to the pullet side, and swing it the other to get to the older chicken side. We made the gate from scraps of things we had in the garage, and took apart the old coop's extension pen and re-used that chicken wire to staple to the gate.
The big chickens are on the left side with the nesting boxes. You can see Matilda there on the left of the photo. Guess what?
Well, you know...
Okay, I'll say it.