Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Arrival of the Chicken Coop!

We are eagerly awaiting our first chickens ever!

We have a time line of picking up the year old hens before the end of May...
The clock is ticking!

So far, we have ordered a load of gravel.
The gravel is being used all over our property...so I wouldn't have
said we ordered it specifically for the coop.

It just happened to come in handy for creating a nice flat
pad for the coop.  After all of that excess water this year,
we made sure not to put the pad anywhere 
where we noticed water building up.
The gravel will provide nice drainage in case we miscalculated...

A few weekends ago, we rounded up some strong arms to load up the coop.
And by coop I mean a friend's old shed.
The shed walls had seen better days...but I'll discuss that further in phase 2...

Strapped to a borrowed flatbed trailer...it drove north on hwy 38...

This past Mother's day weekend, we borrowed some more strong arms...

With a little determination...it slid off the trailer and we shimmied it into place.
Note the spiffy gravel bed?
We also placed a nifty railway tie on the low side
to prevent gravel from running away...
Also to make a nice straight edge when weed whipping.

The view from our master bedroom deck...
(Close but not too close...we'll be needing to 
access the exterior outlet in the winter for light and possibly heat)

The trees right behind the coop provide excellent shade during the afternoon.
We will be buying boards to replace the rotted walls,
as well as making a second doorway into the run.
(Luckily we also have a door, re-purposed from our basement reno)
We also forgot we had a small window stashed in our mudroom.
That will be installed on the east side of the coop to provide 
necessary light and air circulation.
Another item donated to the cause:
Cream coloured oil based paint!
Another friend of ours gave us a can...score!
That will help us to keep the exterior from deteriorating too quickly.

So far this endeavor has cost us the load of gravel...which we were going to get anyway...
(Keep an eye out for the bold lines...I'm keeping track of how little I can spend!!!)

The roof is in excellent condition (on the inside)
so we'll probably re shingle the roof next year.

In the bare spot, you can also see we decimated our grape vines.
Last year we noticed they were attacked by mold.
Too much vines and too little air circulation was probably the cause.

Hopefully we'll place them somewhere else in the yard.
Dead center of the yard was never my favorite.
There's a cement block on the right hand side of this picture...
the puffy green behind it is our green onions.
I have transplanted some to a new location, but in retrospect, it wasn't sunny enough.
After the onions are done and go to seed...I'll probably try to transplant more to 
another (more sunny) locale.

Have you ever kept chickens or other small livestock?
Let's form a community...
Perhaps I'll need to start another blog!


  1. We used to have chickens when my 7 children were growing up - we couldn't buy a roasting chicken big enough so we grew our own. We also had Rhode Island Reds layer hens (like my Gramma). In the winter, we'd keep a red head lamp for warmth/light. We used an old outhouse that we moved from a farm and 'renovated' the first year, then built them an insulated coop/shed. Those egg yolks were SO yellow!!
    Alas, my neighbour objected after a few years, even though we were in a rural, agricultural area, so we sold them.......

    1. Thats so sad about the neighbour...i'll bet you have very fond memories of raising your own hens!