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Chicks home to roost!

October 10, 2009
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Early Oct 033

When I was a girl, I would look boggle-eyed at my mother when she would frequently express her desire to have chickens. Our library had ample books with such titles as “Keeping Backyard Chickens” and “Small Livestock Living.” However, zoning codes prevented her from ever realizing her dream.

So imagine our thoughts when F. & I moved out to the country and discovered our neighbors kept hens. They confided their neighbor had complained about their rooster, and they had to give him away. The hens remained though. Our neighbors praised their appetites for ticks, and we dreamed about backyard fresh eggs.

We decided to wait until we were settled into our home before pursuing our hens. F. even wanted to wait until Spring to get them. But a couple weeks ago, our neighbors mentioned they simply had too many, and would we like some hens of our own?

F. and I went to work, designing and building a coop for our very own birds. First, we put together the house.

Early Oct 024

We put inside the house two roosting rods for the birds to perch and sleep on and also two nesting boxes for the hens to lay the eggs in. 

Then, we painted the house red and the supports white. Next we built a frame to wire-in the coop to protect our birds, and added on the door for access to their waterer & feeder.

Early Oct 045We covered the roof of the coop with “flashing,” a thin metal, to protect the wood from continued exposure to rain. We hinged on the back door so it would open for us to collect the eggs and to clean. We also added hardware handles for the doors and also locks, to ensure that minimal drafts would get into the coop from the back door.

Early Oct 047When we were out getting the final hardwares for the coop, our neighbors sneaked into our yard and left us our hens. Our sweet neighbor also left an egg in one of the eggboxes… a delightful surprise, indeed!

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