Coop Reveal and Move In Day

It’s been a whirlwind of a Memorial Weekend but on Saturday the new chicken coop was ready for occupancy.

At the time of my last blog post (you can refresh your memory HERE) there was a gaping hole in the ceiling.  While I was at work the next day, CountryBoy installed the wire fencing over the hole and on top of the open stall wall…

We did this to allow more light into the coop and to help with ventilation.  He had also started installing a floor…

move in day 1
Hi LizzieBelle – the photo bomber!

That was a complete surprise to me but using rafters (from a loft that was never finished) from the other side of the barn and some salvaged wood he decided that by adding a floor it would help keep the coop drier, make it easier to clean, and keep critters from digging and getting into the coop which could be devastating for the chickens and for me as well.  The floor ended up taking quite a bit of time but it was definitely worth the effort in the long run.

Friday morning we finished the floor in time to get cleaned up and head to the Farmer’s Market.

I had to work for a few hours on Saturday so CountryBoy finished up the nest boxes, added the roosts and cut a door in the back of the barn that leads directly into the paddock.  Here’s a before and after…

The photos are not at the same angle but you get the picture of where the door is.

After I got home we started the process of moving the gate.  I was on guard duty while CountryBoy moved the hinges.  Chickens can be so nosy!

Before we could move the gate, though, we had to relocate the girls that were in the old nest boxes to the new nest boxes.  Here’s a girl that needed to be relocated…

move in day 3

She’s actually in the corner of the old coop where she thought was a perfectly fine place to lay an egg on the ground.  tsk, tsk.  She looks like she’s in time out!

You should have heard all the squawking and fussing going on during the relocation process!  To say that chickens aren’t real thrilled with change would be an understatement.  Here are a few of the girls in the new nest boxes after relocation…

We did have to recapture a few escapees but we finally managed to get the gate moved to the back of the barn and set in place.

It didn’t take the girls long to find their water and food which helped settle them down a little…

They spent the rest of the day checking out their new digs…

When nightfall approached we wanted to be nearby to assist/encourage/calm the girls down as they tried to figure out where they were to go for the night.  We turned the light on in the coop to encourage them but, again, mayhem because of change.

While we waited for them to go in the coop and settle down we burned a pile of scrap wood that had been piled up in the paddock for almost three years…

move in day 14

Of course, more had been added to the pile during coop construction but when CountryBoy asked me why I was taking a picture of it and I told him it was because I was ecstatic that the scrap wood pile eyesore would be finally gone.  He laughed and said that he had a lot more scrap wood and he’d be making another pile soon.  Sure enough, that pile is back today, dadgummit.

As we sat in the paddock and watched the fire the chickens were squawking and fussing and carrying on as they tried to figure out their new sleeping arrangement and determine who would sleep where…

move in day 15

They eventually settled down (somewhat) so when the fire died down we turned their light off and called it a night.

It took a little longer to get the new coop finished but, thankfully, we did not have any more mishaps with any of the girls roosting in the rafters.  Whew!

After church yesterday we went to a nearby campground to hang out with some friends (adopted family actually).  CountryBoy did some fishing while I read (and listened to the friendly fish-bantering of biggest fish, smallest fish, no fish, etc., ha!), we played our favorite card game, Nertz (an extremely fast-paced game of Solitaire) with the teenagers and then we pigged out.  Unfortunately, we had to eat and run as it was already after 9:00 and getting dark.  Thankfully, all the girls were in the coop by the time we got home to close and lock their door.

I found out this morning that I did not have to go in to work today so we decided to tackle the center of the barn.  There were lots of things that needed to be relocated such as the previously mentioned scrap wood from the coop project that is now piled up in the paddock waiting to be burned, sigh, as well as four tires that have been there since we moved in, the feed cans, the chickens’ grow out cage, the old PVC feeders, an old door, etc.

Once all that was relocated we used the tractor with the blade attachment to level out the center aisle.  (There were craters throughout where the chickens took a dust bath.)  We had to open the gate so I stood guard again while CountryBoy graded the ground.  After we raked and got it the way we wanted it we threw some hay down to hopefully help keep the mud down to a minimum.  (It gets awful wet in there after a good rain.)

Here’s how it looks now…

SOOOO much nicer!

As we were working in the barn today we noticed that the girls seemed to be more settled and content with the new arrangement.  There was not the usual fussing and general noise-making like they used to do.  I also think FuzzyFoot is happy because now he can easily keep track of his girls.

move in day 21

I finally managed to get a decent shot of CottonTop…

move in day 11

The poor girl can’t see anything or anyone coming from behind her!  She’s actually the one that started the whole ‘roosting in the rafters’ saga.  We would consistently carry her into the coop each night until she figured out that if she went higher up the rafters we couldn’t reach her.  Several of the other young girls decided they wanted to do the same and that’s how we ended up with 13 of them roosting in the rafters every night.  sigh.

Well, not anymore!  We are really pleased with the new setup and I think the girls are liking it more and more each day.  Total monies spent on the new coop?  Zero!  We are liking that even more!



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