My backyard chicken coop

My Backyard Chicken Coop

by admin on May 18, 2010

Other than building the nesting boxes, my backyard chicken coop is now complete. I finally made the time to enclose the chicken run last week and it was really a bit late to complete it. The chickens were getting rather bored in their coop.

I made the run out of both scrap and new 2x4s using treated 2x4s along the ground. In order to make it more predator-proof I used 1/2 inch hardware cloth instead of the traditional (and much weaker) chicken wire. I dug down as far as I could (which was difficult with all of the tree roots) to run the hardware cloth underground as a preventative measure against animals that might try digging their way into the run.

On the same side of the run as the door to the coop, I added an access door that allows me to clean the run, close and open the coop door, and give treats to the chickens.

I am working on a separate post that details the features of the coop. It was a lot of fun to build and not too difficult either.

I have already noticed that the chickens are eating/spilling less feed. I use a hanging feeder and waterer and because they couldn’t run around outside, the chickens were forever running into the feeder and spilling quite a bit.

Now that they can eat bugs and worms we find for them out in their run they are also eating less. This will help them stay much healthier as well.

To cut down on mud and odor (from the droppings) when it rains I bought a bunch of play sand when it was on sale a couple weeks ago at Menards. The run will have about a three inch layer of sand in it that will dry quickly after a rain and allow me to use a garden rake to clean up the chicken poo. Think of it like a giant litter box :).

The run extends under the coop so the chickens will have a small sheltered area to hang out in. These past few rainy days, the chickens have loved being outside until just before dark.

Only about 3 more months to go before we should start seeing some egg production! On a bit of a down note, we have at least one rooster who is rather aggressive and will have to be “taken care of.” By “taken care of” I mean that he will need what I like to call, a little “frontier justice.” I didn’t want any roosters anyway, and especially not one that is so aggressive.

Looks like I’ll be judge, jury, and executioner this week when the kids aren’t around.

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