Fine-Tuning the Coop and Run

We spent the bulk of our outdoor work time yesterday tweaking the chicken coop and run in anticipation of the big hen adoption day, just seven days away.

Coop open nesting USE

The nest boxes and gangplank are now completed and on the coop.

We screwed the lid hinges onto the nesting box and filled it. We first used bubble wrap for a bit of cushioning in the bottom of the box. That was followed by wood shavings from Gene’s workshop. Both are repurposed materials which will be replaced as needed once they are soiled. The wrap will be washed out, dried and possible reused and the shavings will be tossed into our compost pile.

Nest boxes inside closer USE

Wood shavings in the nest box from the inside of the coop, sand as litter in the foreground.

Nest box side view USE

The hinges are now on the nest boxes and the boxes are filled.

We attached the gang-plank and poured the purchased organic chicken feed into the new plastic garbage can with a secure lid. I would have preferred a metal garbage can but I could not find one the right size locally, so this one was a compromise. All the chicken feed will be stored in our pole barn so I think we will be okay critter wise as our sunflower seeds and dog food have been secured in a plastic bin without any issues.

Natures Grown Feed bag USE

I am testing out Natures Grown Organics quality feed from our feed store.

Feed in new bin  USE

Two, fifty pound bags of organic chicken feed fill the bin about half way up.

I also took off the husks off of the gleaned field corn and stored the cobs in the same bin. We continue to gather and store the plentiful White Oak acorns from our property.

Acorns in bowl

Acorns collected from our property will be additional winter protein for the chickens.

I gathered some windfall apples yesterday from a nearby business and sorted those on my garden bench. They will become occasional treats and help acclimate the hens to their new home. We found a large cardboard box for the ride home and taped it and added holes in the side for air.

Winterized USE

The roof, ridge cap and open gables are now finished. The ridge cap and open gables (in the summer time) allows air in and out of the coop for ventilation.

I removed the white plastic twig bucket and horse manure compost buckets from inside the pen, picked up fallen sticks and generally tidied up the coop area. The next work day we will 1) hang the new smaller feeder and waterer in the coop, 2) fix up the shade and security corner (more details about that later) and 3) add the covers for the doors and widows. Then we are done!

We are on the serious chicken count down now!

Small House Homestead Chicken Keeper, Donna



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