Construction on the portable chicken coop started last week. The project began a few weeks ago with ordering the plans and buying the materials. As is customary with this kind of thing, the initial measurements and cuts took a while as the builders settled into the groove.
The floor of the coop had lots of fiddly cutouts.
As a result of the cautious start and tricky cuts, this was the progress by late afternoon of day 1.
The construction crew at work on day 2. Progress went faster as the apprentice mastered her tools.
Another helper was never far away. Meg supervised and comfort tested.
The sides of the coop are removable for cleaning. This picture shows the finished coop with one side removed to show the interior. There is a nest box at each end, a roost in the middle and a ramp (shown in the up position) which is operated by a pulley arrangement from outside.
This is the completed coop with the sides on and ramp down. There are doors on each end to access the nest boxes on top and the run on the bottom.
The doors and sides are secured in place with carabiners and slide latches. The idea is to foil the local raccoons without foiling ourselves. We tested our security measures last night by leaving an empty but unwashed can of puppy food inside. So far so good.
Meg recruited another quality control tester to assist in the final inspection. Passed.
Today is hatch day for our six chicks. Tomorrow we'll wait for a call from the feed store to tell us they've arrived and we'll go and pick them up. We've got a brooder all set up in the basement (a cardboard box filled with pine shavings with a heat lamp suspended over top) where they'll spend the first few weeks of their lives. On nice days once they're a bit older we'll bring them out to free range in the safety of the coop's run. Once they've fully feathered out and the outside temperatures are consistently warm they'll move into the coop full time.