Sunday, October 21, 2012

Coop Remodel 2012

Sometime ago, I was going to do an update on the girls and give you a video coop tour and take pics but I didn't. If you are a follower, you know I was interrupted by a case of bumble-foot in my best laying hen and my EE.

Here we are almost a month later and I can give you a coop update.

The big remodel was inspired by the changes I had to make to be more resistant to infections.

My girls get got to run around the property and play in the forest. I am such an overprotective "mama" now. We cleaned up our property quite a bit! Over the course of a year, about a dumpster full with the dumpster we "rented" from the waste company and the truck-loads and loads of trash we have hauled since then. But, we have not scoured every last inch of the 6 acres. Especially the wooded areas where we have stumbled across lumber, glass, metal and other rubbish.

I cannot have control over the forest but I can do something about the coop and run.

I decided to convert the coop to a sand litter system after reading The Chicken Chick's Blog post on 5 tips for a cleaner coop with less effort . Sold.

The process:
Stripped the coop of litter and disinfected the walls and floors.
Found rough spots and hammered them down or sanded and prepped for installing vinyl/linoleum flooring.
Figured the self Stick tiles were best because 1 - no dealing with awkward bulk, 2- no adhesive to mess with, 3- tiles were cheaper.
Wrong - at least I think I am because the tiles were easy to install but don't stick very well and I ended up having to use silicone caulk like grout. And - they do not stick to walls. Had to caulk and staple. Maybe I will replace wall tiles later with high gloss paint.
new removable roost

construction site tiles in progress

low, deep, big box
Got tiles installed and grout almost dry then lowered and moved the roost and the nest-boxes.  I'm trying the idea of a big deep box. So far the girls seem to like it I think. If it seems to be a problem, I can add a divider of cloth or wood later.

door re-hung and raised
Added boards to keep the sand from flowing out the door.

Re-hung the door so it swings both ways for easier access.

Hung curtains on the nest-box for privacy.

curtain detail

Notice how I hung them under the roof as to not get bruises when in the coop and they wont be tempted to use as a ledge. Just a cheap $2 cafe rod and scrap fabric and yarn.

new, more robust vent cover
 Replaced the flimsy worn vent cover with a more sturdy one and added heavy duty metal mesh to keep out viscous varmints.

Was tempted on getting one of the heavy duty fancy registers but needed slats to face down to keep the rain out of the coop.

 Had to re-do the pop door lock on the fly. When I added the threshold, the door wouldn't bolt anymore. Installed a hook and eye to the inside. I have vigorously tested and no, a raccoon could not lift it from the outside - unless a chicken let it in.

curtains and front end view
My daughter's artwork says "Loving chickens gets you more eggs".  :-)

girls love it

The run is sprouting. Enjoy life while you can you sad little plants.

baby grass in run

The only one that has had the opportunity to lay in the new box is Nutmeg.
I have had to give them a carrier out in the tractor that the others have been using during the remodel.
Well today (thursday Oct 11th) I put red in the coop after her foot bandaging.
She tried to peek into the box to see between the strips of curtian and finally got the nerve and stuck her head in for a better look (after side-eying and bucking at it for 5 minutes).
She craned her neck in and got a good look inside.made a squeaking sound and jumped in!
She proceeded to make squeeky strange vocalizations almost like purring and arranged the fake eggs and nestled down on them and sat. The whole while purring and squeeking.
I put the other girls in space out my about 5 minutes or so and Red began to growl at them and got super broody acting. Well, she gave it up after about 1/2 hour and went on about her business. Wish I caught that on tape! I guess she approves of the new box.

The Chicken Chick



  1. Wow! Your chickens live in luxury! They even get stylish curtains... :)

    1. Just do my best with the resources available. They could be livin' next door in a fully automated coop with lights but... not quite there yet ;-)

  2. Very cute post! I would love for you to come link up to my Farm Gir Blog Fest! We love chicken keepers who have curtains in their coops. Lisa/Fresh Eggs Daily

  3. Thanks for the shout-out again, Danielle! The coop's looking great! Thanks for linking up with the Clever Chicks again this week; looking forward to next week's chicken update. :)

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick


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