Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chicken Run

Well, here it is...the long awaited post showing off our chicken coop and run.  (Ok, its really only long awaited by my family, but here it is anyways).  I made the coop entirely of recycled material and didn't pay for anything except the chicken wire for the run.  Even the nails and screws were ones we had left over from other projects.  So while this chicken run won't be used for its aesthetic reasons in any Urban Homesteading magazine, it serves its purpose and was made on the cheap.  I think I only spent $80 for the chicken wire and I have half a role left over that can (& will) be used for other gardening projects.  

The kids have outgrown their old playhouse so it became our new coop. 

 The area behind the playhouse and shed was a mess of junk so we had to clean it out first to make the chicken run.

I used leftover "ends" from our deck to make the floor (and yes, it was this crooked by the time I was done nailing it all down. I learned a lot more skills by the end of this project, but the beginning was pretty rough). 

This is the old door from the shed.  I tore apart all window frames and reused them to cover the windowless windows in the playhouse.

Playhouse on the platform now

My sister Kelly suggested using our old tack box from our 4-H years as the nesting box.  Great idea!
The wagon is to hold it in place while I screw it in.  Hey, you have to improvise when you are doing all this by yourself.

Interior view-of course I had to remove the soccer netting

Gotta keep the predators out!
One day, we'll be able to get our eggs without having to climb into the coop

AJ waking weeds 

The honeysuckle vine is everywhere in the field behind our house and overtaking our back yard.  It is such a nuisance!

This is half of a bi-fold door that I decided to use as the new door for the coop (had to be cut down to size and painted). The other half of the door is used in our house, but this half has just been sitting in a closet for the past 4 years.

One of the girls took this so I could be in at least 1 shot.

This is my modified window.  None of the sides of the playhouse are even because of all the decorative do-dads, so I had to be creative in making the windows.

Chloe helping out by cleaning the finished window.

AJ helping to nail the fence up-notice his hard concentration.

 The girls helping to move rocks

One side of the run completed!

All the neighborhood kids got involved in helping with this project.
(You know me, no one stands around and watches; I put them to work)

The run is behind the shed so my husband doesn't have to look at it.  It is a good use for the otherwise useless space, but I wish I could see my chicks running around more. 

The finished product (minus some painting that still needs to be done)

The people gate (located between the coop and shed)

The chicks checking out their new home

This photo is for my sister Kelly: see the 2x4 here...its from your old bed frame.  Worked great!

The neighbor kids love to dig up worms to feed the chicks.  Such a good sensory enriching activity and notice this chick leaping in the air to get it.

The chicks enjoying some leftover beans from supper.  Matt said to me, "are you just going to slop the chicks after every meal?"  To which I responded, "Yes! The more leftovers they eat, the less food I have to buy for them."  That's the whole idea: waste less, get more compost!  Its amazing that it took us dumb humans so long to figure out that God set up nature the way He did because its the best way to do things.

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