Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Coop; aka The Chick Inn

You all know that we adopted six baby chicks last month.  We have been raising them for the past five weeks and have also been working on planning & building their coop.  Last week my awesome handy husband, Aaron, put the finishing touches on their new home, now dubbed "The Chick Inn".  I named the coop after a drive-in restaurant in my hometown of Ypsilanti, Michigan - they're the home of the Paul Bunyan burger.  :0)  Anyway, without further ado, here is the coop:

Isn't it cute?!  We converted an old lean-to that was built off of the shed.  (You can see the before picture in my previous post.)  My dad gave us the old window panes which are hinged at the top so the chicks can have ventilation and fresh air on hot summer days.  Aaron built the door using 2 by 4s and we recycled an old picket fence for the bottom of it.

Under the front window is a trap door that we call the "egg drop shop".  When you open it up, you have access to the chick's nesting boxes on the inside.  Here is the view from inside the coop:

(We put golf balls in each of the nests as a clue to tell the biddies where their future eggs will go.  It's an old trick we read about online.)

Aaron made them a roosting bar for inside the coop.  It is a 1 1/2 inch by 1 1/2 inch square dowel (cut from a 2 by 4) and then he trimmed the corners to 90 degrees and sanded all the edges.  Chickens in the wild will roost off the ground, usually in lower tree branches, in order to stay safe from predators.  As soon as we put them up on their roost, they settled right in - some even went to sleep!  :0)

 Here is a close up of the end of the roosting bar.

 Next up, we have to build the biddies an outside pen.  They are in the coop during the day time, but we are still bringing them in at night to sleep under the heat lamp.  The past two nights they have not slept directly under the lamp, so I think they are now old enough to sleep in the coop.  I am crazy, but before I let them sleep in the coop at night, I want to get a second-hand baby monitor so that I can keep an "ear" on them.  They are very quiet at night, but will start screaming if a predator comes in their coop.  I think it's pretty safe, but - like I said - I'm crazy and don't want to lose any of them.  :0) 

Well, that is all for now.  We have added some chicken coop art to the Chick Inn and I will post new pictures of that soon.  Stay tuned!

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