Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Chicken (S)Coop

In answer to "I Knit Therefore......" who asked how we house our chickens, here is the (s)coop. We started with one 8 X 8 shed and a 12' X 40' x 6' high (approx) yard. This was housing for our original flock of about 18 chickens. Once our gals were acclimated to their home, we began to let them out to roam the farm during the daylight hours. We very quickly learned, however, that the poor dears had no protection against hawks and foxes and our numbers sadly diminished. At that point we started keeping the gals in their own yard, and letting them roam free only when we were around to keep an eye on them. Unfortunately, one day we were aghast to find a hawk inside their yard eating one of our poor dear layers. This prompted us to cover the top of the yard with bird netting to keep the hawks at bay.

At the end of this past winter, our flock was steadily holding at 6 chickens. We started 26 more chickens from just-hatched chicks and successfully raised all of them to maturity. Since our numbers have increased we have added another 8' X 10' shed at the opposite end of the yard.

Somehow our girls have worked out amongst themselves which shed they each prefer. Both are outfitted with several wall-hung nesting boxes.

This year when our fencing company came back to build our turkey yard, we had them install a permanent wire roof over the top of the chicken yard. This structure and yard will house heirloom turkeys that we will raise starting next year.

For those of you who have followed our farm blog for some time now, you might recall the story about our little red hen named "Scalpie". She was the poor hen who lost her scalp to a hawk attack. She entered the chicken protection program and lived in the barn for a while; terrorizing the kitties; until her head healed. Here is Scalpie one+ year later. She is a true survivor. No one messes with Scalpie!


Peggy said...

love the chicken yard and house!

Queen of Dreamsz said...

Yay!! to your chicken coop..any chicken would be honored to live out their days in it!

I knit therefore... said...

Many thanks for the pictures and great advice. I have the perfect place for them but will now the top fencing as we have hawks flying around here daily.

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

Oh goodness I just read this post...and here I thought I was going to actually do some housework. Poor little Scalpy...she's definitely a survivor. Love your covered runs for the chickens and the turkeys...great idea if you have problems with hawks and other critters. Looking forward to seeing more this spring when you get your turkeys!
Maura :)


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