Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Moss, Begone! Chicken Coop, Hello.

The chicken coop is almost ready!

A couple weeks ago, we built our nesting boxes and connected the coop to a covered run. That still left a lot to do, though.

First, there's just a heck of a lot of cleaning that needs to happen. Brett dug out the bedding in the outdoor run, and I cleaned the moss off the roof.

Lilyputian forest.

Nifty tip: a hoe is exactly the right side to scrape between the rides of a tin roof.

No more moss! Just lots of dirt.

 Next week, we'll hose it all down. I'll also spray the roof with vinegar to prevent the moss from growing back.

Next, we built a place for our chickens to roost. They need a bar a couple inches wide (they sleep flat-footed, not holding on) where two or three chickens can fit next to each other for warmth and support. Chickens pick high-up spots to sleep, so we wanted roosts near the ceiling. However, because they can also hurt their feet if they jump down from too high, they need an easy way to hop up. That means multiple rungs. The perches need to be at least 15" apart in height, and staggered so that the rows of chickens aren't directly underneath each other. Basically, the design is like a ladder leaning against the wall.

The floor under the roost also gets dirtier than other parts of the coop, so we added a removable tray for easier cleaning.

Everything's built now, so we just need to finish cleaning and refresh the paint. Since it will be weeks before the chicks are ready to move into the coop, I think we're ready to order our birdies!

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