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Here are my new girls meeting my old girls.... post more soon
Looks good to me and plenty more room for an extension
I started with a coop and two sections of run....
20140415_140909 by Delana Loevbak, on Flickr
I quickly learned this was not enough space for three hens so we made a larger fenced in area and I extended the run and covered it so it is now a shelter to keep birds, food and sand box dry...
The enclosed chicken yard with a 'thatched' covered area and flower boxes!
20140520_085934 by Delana Loevbak, on Flickr
I'm not happy that it gives the girls enough room to roost and I'm a bit worried about heat in the summer....
...so I found this used Wendy house on-line today and will pick it up on Friday!!! As soon as it's predator proof the girls will have a play house!
Once they are moved in I'll try to sell my other coop.
So I've just realised that I should have posted this here! I still can't work out how to use Photoshoot and certainly not without being asked to pay for it. So I've uploaded to Flickr instead. Just click on the link and it will take you straight to the pictures, these can be enlarged or zoomed.
My flock are kept on an allotment plot. I opted for an apex 8x6' shed with four side windows. It's quite a good quality one (shiplap with solid shiplap roof and floor with lock fitted) which only cost £300. The benefits:
A good price in comparison to a lot of coops.
More space for the money.
Less nooks and crannies to keep clean.
I have seen the same size, professional coop state that it will house up to 50 birds. Though this is in a true free range situation (where they only sleep inside). I find this is the perfect size for 12 birds, especially if you need to lock them up on occasions, as there is plenty of room for them to walk around.
Very easy clean!
There isn't one really. Other than you do need some carpentry skills or a 'man that can' to make the pop hole!
I don't currently have any pictures of the inside so I shall just describe it. I bought two 6ft chestnut hedging posts as they are quite smooth and a nice size for the birds to roost on (easy to scrub and clean too). These are fitted at the rear on a diagonal (imagine half an a-frame) on two supporting end side slats. It is liftable and designed in such a way that I can rest one of the side slats against a vertical beam on the side panel of the shed to allow for cleaning. I have nest boxes too which just sit along one wall. This allows for a very quick sweep out to be conducted, a thorough pressure spray down and renewal of bedding. Because I use Aubiose (designed as horse bedding and highly absorbent) I find that I only have to clean out (dependent on weather and how much time they spend inside rather than out) every 3-4 weeks.
WINDOWS: It has four side windows. I fitted the outside two in place. For the centre two, I cut to size two pieces of rabbit wire and staple gunned them into place. I wouldn't recommend this wire though if the shed is not in an enclosure. This allows them permanent ventilation and as their roosting bars are below, they are not in any draught. What I've done before (yet to do on this one), is fit two long wooden slats, horizontally, above and below the window area. You can then just place the remaining to windows to sit inside these. This gives the benefit of being able to regulate the airflow if you want, or if you want to close this up completely, as you just slide them across to cover the wired areas.
POP HOLE: It is just a case of cutting out the hole. I have a metal pop hole on metal runners that is operated by an automatic door opener. This can be set to a timer or to react to daylight and flashes when the batteries are running low. I saw this as a necessary solution given that they are not in my back garden. This allows the birds to get up and out, as and when it suits them.
ENCLOSURE: I opted for Heras fencing and a gate. Foxes cannot chew through these. I have bird netting secured over the top. With the exception of the gate area (where concrete posts are used), the whole thing is cable-tied together and self-supporting (even in strong winds!). I opted for a no-dig at the base. I have very heavy duty wire fencing laying on the ground. This sits about a foot outside the Heras fencing and about 40-50cm inside. We do have resident foxes and they have not even tried to get in. I have put wind screening on part of it, so that my flock has some shelther, but not all, as then a high wind really would take it down!
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