New coop for the Silkies

The chickens really come out of the woodwork whenever there’s woodworking.  They always have.  All up in the middle of the jobsite, every time.  They don’t turn out with such interest for, say, shoveling gravel.

I finally finished the coop I imagined.  I started it a few weeks ago, it seems, and I don’t know why I always think Enh, this’ll take a couple of hours.  It takes ages!  It takes, like, 6 hours.  And there’s still more to tune up.  You think it’s a box, but no, there’s a hinged lid to work out, the ramp, floor mesh; there’s indoor partitions and perches and latches and hardware cloth all over.  It takes time.  So it did not get done, not even close, on the day I thought I was going to “just build a coop after supper”.  But it’s done now.

Here come the Silkies now to have a look

And I had lots of company doing it.  They have no grasp, I’m sure, of the risk of falling boards/screws/tools.  They just sit.  Don’t mind the noise either.  Dozing through hammering.  I have to step over them to work. They just have to have the front row seats when the wood and tools come out.Yeah.  I could live here. Traction control needs improvement though.

I designed this one differently, with a few features thought up from observation: roof sheds water away from, not into their run (duh); ramp folds into the wall, not the bottom of the coop; there’s a wall to turn the corner around when they come inside so it’s darker in sleep area; coop lower to the ground, smaller, and nest boxes still at opening side; Typar, less drafty;  perches precisely the same height so there’s no competition over who’s the more elevated rooster; egg laying stalls with tall walls to keep out the light, and the birds can go around the corner and not be seen from the doorway.  More privacy, in other words. I think they’ll like it.  I thought a lot about it.Easier to see floor plan with the hay in.

I’m intending wheels on the light end, to be able to tractor it around.   Handles on the coop end, likely, although now it’s the right height for grabbing the edge.

Well, late at night I pulled all the approved Silkies out of the crowded big coop (they decided they lived there, not me), and popped them into their new digs.  Exciting!

It’s still crowded; the whole Silkie flock in a smaller coop.  I originally planned to make two coops the same, and separate the flock into the sets of hens and roosters I want to have mating.  But then the reality of how long it takes to build one set in, and I revised my expectations.  Because other things are pressing more than manipulating chicken sexual access.  For now, the “good Silkies” – all the hens, and the few roos that get along and respect the Colonel – are going in, and the roosters that disturb the shit and harass are out.  Not wanted on the voyage.  Just to give everyone more peace.

The rowdy roosters happen to be improving.  They have discovered dirt bathing, close on the heels of food clucking.  They may redeem themselves yet.  But for the foreseeable future, no girls for them!


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