Friday, July 10, 2009

What's in the Bottom of the Chicken Coop?

Sung to the tune of Camptown Ladies, it goes, "What's in the bottom of the chicken coop? Doo doo! Doo doo!" It's just one of the many things that have new meaning now that we have the chickens. "Dumb cluck" is especially descriptive.
My husband Jay and I (mostly Jay) converted the bottom section of the swingset fort into our chicken coop in 3 days. It still needs some finishing touches, like a roof that doesn't leak and the roosts rearranged to keep their butts from hanging over the feeder, but the chicks have officially moved out of their crowded cage in the basement. All but the cats are happy about the arrangement as their caged entertainment is gone. The net you see around the area is electrified, powered by a solar energizer. The chickens still get closed up in the coop at night and we plan on building a run with a hawk-proof top soon for added security. So far, we've seen no sign of predators.

The inside of the coop.

First it was a swingset.....

Ladies, when your man gets inspired to start working on your project first thing in the morning, the fact that he's wearing his boxers with rubber shoes outside is kinda sexy.

Attaching the nesting boxes which have an opening from the outside. Eggs aren't expected until the hens are 5 months old in October.

Kelsey holding Shanaynay, the Silver Spangled Hamburg pullet (young hen) that turned out to be a cockeral (young rooster). Remember my first chicken post about how I didn't want a rooster? Well, the chick sexer at the hatchery who is supposed to be 98% accurate must be slipping.
10 hens ordered and one turns out to be a rooster! How can we tell? Roosters grow their combs sooner. The girls don't even have combs and wattles yet. Close-up of Shanaynay below. Being named Shanaynay (Kelsey's idea)may counteract any male tendencies this little guy may have. I've resigned myself to keeping an open mind about having a rooster, but if he becomes too obnoxious, Shanaynay may be looking for a new home (not as a roaster rooster either).

A little over 6 weeks old now, the chicks don't look so baby chickie anymore. They still peep though; no clucking or crowing yet. Beautiful Fenix is the largest of the flock.

The brown Americaunas are growing dark beards. It shows up the best on Fenix's golden red coloring. Kelsey now refers to Fenix as "Billy Mays".

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