While Butch already built the basic coop structure back in the fall, there was still a bit to do to get the “Coop de Villa” completely move-in ready for our 9 little chicks. He had to insulate (and protect the insulation from curious pecking), add screen under the eaves, construct a chicken run that was tall enough to for human entry for egg collecting (while also making it predator and escape-proof) and make sure the chicks had proper shade, roosting and access to food/water. In short, he did an AMAZING job!
We left enough room at the other end of the run to construct a second, “interim” coop for any chicks we add in the future – that way the larger, more established chickens won’t attack them while they’re small and vulnerable (“recess” time will be separate as well, until everyone’s the same size). We’re not sure yet if we’ll be allowing any “free-ranging,” mostly because of some neighbors’ dogs on the street that are allowed to roam free. There’s also the possibility of the chickens spending time in the garden (aka Fort Knox) because it is so protected…Gotta keep those goblins out!
So, this past weekend was graduation time for the chicks!! They were moved out of their brooding box in our spare room and into the coop. I’ve been amazed at how fast they’ve grown, and out-grown the box…but now that they’re in the coop, they look small once again:
What a beautiful collection of chickens we have! It will be so fun to watch them grow and explore their coop and run. And on a final note, I just had to share this sequence of photos showcasing our other animals’ behavior while the coop was being completed….There seems to be a kitty-conspiracy going on, meanwhile, Fred just wants his belly rubbed: