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"We do not earn or merit anything by taking refuge in God. Hiding in something makes no contribution to the hiding place. All it does is show that we regard ourselves as helpless and the hiding place as a place of rescue." John Piper

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cooped Up?

A faithful reader, Jann, asked if I would put up a post showing the chicken coop we will be using to house our chickens. Jann plans to keep backyard chickens soon herself. The coop our son, Jeff, and son-in-law, Curtis, built will be home to the chickens at night. During the day they will be in the area we have used for a vegetable garden for the past five or six years. It became overrun with field bindweed last fall and since we will not spray toxic herbicides to kill it, there is really no other way to get rid of it but to let livestock feast on it, roots, seeds, greens and all.

Here are some photos of our chicken coop, Jann:

This is about 3' by 4' and 5.5' tall. The roof is hinged so it can be lifted up when needed. We will paint the coop barn red with white trim. We will probably have to make another one, seeing that we will have eight chickens to house.

Here you can see the nesting boxes from the outside of the coop.

This is looking down inside the nesting boxes. There is still a little work that needs to be done to finish these.

The nesting boxes with lid that raises and hooks to stay open so eggs can be gathered. Also, notice the drawer pull at the bottom of the coop and the cinder blocks that the coop sits on.

The drawer pull is attached to a drawer that can be opened to clean out the floor of the coop. We will be using pine shavings of the floor. Yeah! Lots of good chicken manure to fertilize the vegetable plants. It will be added to the compost bin to decompose.

As you look at the top photo of the chicken coop, you can see what looks like pine boards - five of them. But that is not exactly what they are. Look at the following photos to see how they started out:

These pine boxes were originally made to be packing and shipping containers. You can see the metal on the corners. We obtained these boxes from friends at church last year. We traded strawberry plants for the boxes. (Thanks Shaana and Mark! Hope your strawberries are doing great!)

The metal corners are hinges so that the box can lay flat when not in use as you can see above.

The metal hinges also have a "leg" on them as you can see here so that the boxes can nest one on top of the other. You can see this in the first photo of the chicken coop. The legs also secure the chicken coop onto the cinder blocks.

We have used these boxes for many purposes as the photos below show:

Here are two boxes stacked together to make a brooder for the chicks. They are now in this brooder in our barn-shed. Robert and I made a strudy top for the brooder so nothing can go in or out. For the floor, we laid down heavy clear plastic which is covered with pine shavings.

A view from the top of the brooder. The red glow is from the heat lamp that keeps the chicks warm.

Of course we use the boxes for our vegetable plants. If we had enough dirt, we could stack these two or three tall to save our backs from bending. This area was our lawn until several months ago.

More planter boxes.

Strawberry plants in one of the boxes, and soon-to-be strawberries with cream. Yum!

Lettuce and peppers in another box.

Last, but not least, the compost bin. This was stacked three boxes high, but we took one off to make the brooder. It will be replaced when the chicks head outdoors to the weed patch.

There you have it, Jann! A lot more info than you really needed. If you have any other questions, just drop another comment. I love to hear from you!



Sharon K said...

I just finished checking out your coop! Wow, that looks great! That design was well thought through and you got to use some materials you already had. The pics are great, and I'm glad you thought about taking them while 'under construction' to show how it went together. I'm anxious to watch the 'rest of the story' unfold! Thanks so much for this post. I really enjoyed it!


Anonymous said...

Your own little farm, right in the middle of V-Town! It makes me long for the country!

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