Chicken Coop Progress
The chickens are getting big, even for their new, enlarged brooder, so Kirk has been working on getting their real coop ready to go:
That may seem gigantic for just four birds, but most of what you see is the framework for their outdoor run. The coop itself is on the right — the mini-house raised two feet off the ground. The rest of it (to the left) that reaches the ground will be their screened-in yard.
Kirk is standing where the nesting boxes will be. We have them open onto the brick path so we can easily get our eggs without getting our feet muddy. Tiegan is climbing up where the (human) access door will be. That's where we'll reach in to sweep the bedding out into a wheelbarrow when it needs changing.
Kirk picked up some cheap peel-and-stick vinyl tiles for the floor. They are nice and smooth, which should make it easy to keep the floor clean (or even to hose off, if it should ever come to that). Kinda fancy for a henhouse, but the plain ones actually cost more.
Kirk finished cutting out the roof rafters before calling it quits for the day. They will go all the way across the run, so it is sheltered from rain and (eventually, inevitably) snow. After those are in place it'll need walls, doors, windows, and screening around the run. And probably lots of other stuff, but you'd have to ask Kirk.
We are hoping to get this done by the end of Memorial Day weekend — we'd love to get the birds out of our house and into their own space, and they should be ready by then. The weather is getting warmer, and the chicks (pullets now, I guess) have almost all their feathers, except for some sports on their backs under their wings. Actually, Dolley and Sally even have most of those, too. See for yourself:
Sally enjoying the sunshine outside.
Dolley taking a break from eating bugs.
I almost forgot our funny chicken tale of the day. They were all out in the yard today, enjoying the grass and sunshine when suddenly they froze in terror. Necks stretched high and eyes wide in alarm, they were scared stiff in the face of an approaching … chipmunk. The chipmunk seemed equally perplexed, but took a few hops toward the chickens.
You have never seen them take off so fast! They ran/flew/hopped all the way down the yard to hide under the slide. I think the sight of them all frozen in place was actually funnier than their scramble for cover. Ah, silly birds.