A Few Things I Recently Learned…

My helpers  

(I was sitting in this chair just before I got up to take this photo of my helpers.)

Six months ago, when Ed built the chicken coop for “my girls”,  it seemed like there would be plenty of room for them.  All of that changed, as those chickens continued growing bigger and BIGGER!  *Lesson learned–chickens grow large in a hurry, and happy chickens require lots of space to scratch and roam!

Our chickens have more than the “recommended” space in their pen (at least 2 square feet per bird), but my girls seemed to become more crowded by the day.  Besides, I’d like enough room to be able add to my flock at a future date.  (If six hens are fun, wouldn’t twelve be twice as nice?)  I cautiously suggested to Ed that I’d like for him to enlarge the pen.

Three weeks ago, Ed began enlarging our chicken coop!  We more than doubled our exsisting space.  While Ed and I were working on our newest project, I began taking mental notes of a few things I learned along the way, which I will share with you now.

*These days, it takes three weeks to accomplish the same amount of work that we used to get done in two weeks.  We’re either becoming slower, or becoming  perfectionists!  Guess which is closer to the truth. 🙂

*It’s much easier to paint the outside of a chicken coop before the chicken wire is put on!  Actually, I learned this while building the original coop,  but after we added on, I was left with a few old wire-covered areas to paint. After numerous attempts to get a paintbrush to reach in between the wire-covered wood spaces, I got the idea to mix some paint with water, then spray it on with a spray bottle.  It worked like a charm!

*Speaking of chicken wire–it’s not an easy thing to work with!  Poultry wire has to be pulled, stretched, and stapled in two different directions–all while trying to avoid being pierced by its sharp edges!  Poor Ed got pierced more than once during the process, but he did a good job!

*It is very difficult to drill a screw into treated lumber!   One of my jobs was to hold the boards in place while Ed drilled in the screws.  We completely wore out our old drill!  Fortunately, I’d bought Ed a brand new one for Father’s Day!

My second job was to  paint the wooden structure of the chicken coop–and paint I did–with the help of six very curious hens surrounding me at all times!  Which leads me to the next thing that I learned…

*Painting in a coop, while surrounded by six curious hens is like painting with small children!  Most, if not all,  of “my girls” managed to get paint on themselves…

See the gray paint on her comb?

Those chickens pecked, poked, and prodded every square inch of me and my tools during the painting process!  Fortunately, the stripes down the sides of my Capri pants were well-attached, as were the buttons on my shirt!  Unfortunately, the label on the paint can didn’t fare as well…Did you know that chickens will eat paper?

The last thing I learned is *All hens don’t lay their eggs quietly.  Let me tell you, there were some strange sounds coming from inside that hen-house at certain times!  Have you ever heard a chicken growl or moan?  It’s not something I’ll soon forget, and from now on, I’ll feel really guilty when I pick up those eggs…sort of like I’m stealing a baby from the maternity ward 🙂

After a mere three weeks, Ed and I finished our latest home project.  Here’s the finished result.  It’s spacious, and the color of it matches our house!  There are two entrances, with a small door located in the middle, so we can divide the pen  if we decide to add new baby chicks in the future.

“The girls” seem to approve, and are enjoying their new space!

Their egg count, so far?  As of yesterday–405 eggs!

Published in: on November 6, 2012 at 8:46 am  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Its very attractive. Thanks for the advice. Honey Bear finished the chicken tractor and we’ll get our babies in the early part of the new year. I will take a photo and post it soon. You have probably postd the name of your brood but I’ve missed it if you did. Could you tell me what they are?
    Mama Bear

  2. What a beautiful home you created for your girls. You sound like me when you say If six hens are fun, wouldn’t twelve be twice as nice? 😉

  3. That advice was extremely helpful! Thank you!
    Chickens + Paint = A MASSIVE MESS! (especially for the chickens)

  4. Wow! Worth repeating: You and Ed are a great team. And 405 eggs!

  5. this chicken lover is so glad to see you’ve given your girls some leg room.

  6. That chicken condo is beautiful. If the girls ever get yet another new house, can I send my two indoor cats down for summer camp in this one?

  7. Yep, I knew they ate paper, along with various other bits of nasty things. Let’s just say don’t let them loose with pig or cow feces “laying” around anywhere. Yuck!

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