Hen Party Pad

A word about getting a chicken coop…overwhelming!  Have you taken a look at what is out there for chickens to call home?!  The hardest part of getting/buying/building a coop was trying to find the perfect home that fit your chickens needs.  Yes, there are coops to fit all kinds of budgets, from downright fancy to thrown-together slabs of whatever materials are on hand.  I oohed and aah-ed over all sorts of frilly “homes” that came complete with fancy shutters on the windows that looked like little cottages that I would have been thrilled to call my house.  But budget allowed only what we could put together ourselves from mostly supplies we had on hand.  Thank goodness my husband was on board with the whole chicken idea (or at least doubtfully tagging along on my coat-tails).

The first plan of action was to actually come up with a plan or a blueprint of sorts.  After weeks of checking out different chicken coops on various websites, searching through chicken books and magazines, and many scribbled pieces of paper with design ideas, I finally came up with a drawing comprised of several coops I admired.  Of course, it was tweaked many times during the construction as we realized problems along the way.  My husband and I are definitely not carpenters, but it is amazing what a coat of white paint will do to the most humble of constructions.  I feel satisfied that our first attempt at our chicks home was met with approval from our girls.  I do for-see larger digs in the future as our girls need more room.  Here are some pics of our coop making journey…

The framework and floor.

My son and I taking a breather during construction.

Danny pretending he is a chicken in the coop.

The finished coop!

A different angle of the finished coop.

Sadie and Betsy checking out their new digs.

It took us several weeks to finish around my husband’s work schedule, but it is finally finished.  We planted the chicken wire down into the ground a foot deep all the way around the bottom of the coop to keep out predators.  I haven’t seen any raccoons in our neighborhood, but I did spy a couple of fox on my way home late one night.  I will let the girls free range in our backyard while I am at home keeping an eye on them, but they will be confined to the run when we are away.

Luckily, my neighbors all think our chicks are great.  (Or maybe they think the additional free eggs will be great?!) Regardless, I made sure all our neighbors were on board with the chicken idea before we even decided to get our girls.  Better safe than sorry.  Watching our girls while they are busy clucking and hunting for bugs is better than any TV program I could watch.  They are the funniest creatures to observe and they each have their own little quirks and habits.

Frannie and Sadie each caught their first bugs yesterday.  I had to laugh out loud at the funny expressions on their faces.  Sadie actually caught a fly and I think she surprised herself since she had spent most of the morning chasing one around.  She swallowed it down without even realizing she had it in her beak and did a double take.  Frannie found a small (unidentifiable) black bug walking along the edge of the coop, snatched it up, and then made a mad dash around the coop in case any of the other girls decided to come after her prize.  What a riot to see!

Cluck cluck y’all!

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