Monday, July 28, 2014

Coop Part 2: Home Again

   Okay, so where were we... Oh, right. Spring.
   So this was when a lot of the inside stuff started getting done.

   These pictures are the start of our chicken wire dividing wall. One side for chickens, one side for storage. 

Those box like things are the start of the nesting boxes.

   The windows and then the chicken wire followed. There are two windows on one side of the coop and one on the other.

A door was added to the back of the coop.

   My parents then bought a stain and painted the coop. My Mom also put shingles on the top in the front and put batons on the sides. 

The chicken door followed.

The nesting boxes were finished around this time.

This is the back. It is on the human side. This way, we can access the boxes without having to go on the chicken side. 

This is what it looks like with the door open.

This is from the chicken side.

The roosts were the last thing to be built. 

They are kind of high, so we made a ramp.

   We have started putting the chicks out there during the day. However, if you want to hear more about that, you will just how to wait...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Coop Part 1: A Place to Call Home

   My parents started building the new coop in October of last year. They just finished it. Ya, I know. Home projects in my house don't get finished very quickly.
   Everyone in my family has an opinion about the coop. My Mom wanted it to be pretty, I wanted it to be big, and my Dad has many many small opinions that he later retracts after he realizes Mom or I had the right idea. So building one coop that we all agreed on turned out to be challenging. There are many pieces of paper with coop design scribbles all over them floating around our house. We finally decided on a eight by ten modified shed.
   When I say my parents built the coop, I mean it. I cut some wire and held a few things while someone else nailed them, but not much else. I am very lucky they would do all this basically for me (and eight chickens).
   The leveling was the first thing to do. The area we chose for the coop was basically a big slope, so we needed to fill it with sand to extent it.

My dogs love to "help".

   Next the platform.

As I said, so helpful. 

   The walls were next. They were built in the garage then brought to the platform.

The beginning of the roof went up after that.  

   My parents rented a scaffolding to put the roofing up.

   Mom made the most beautiful double doors! Any trim here is just tacked up to see how it looked.

   Then winter hit and we had to wait until Spring to begin work again.
   We painted the doors a beautiful blue (my favorite color).

   And that is were I have to cut myself off. I could ramble on about the coop forever. Come back next week to hear more!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Reviews: Chicken Books

   Well, I have a lot of chicken care books. I really can't help myself from getting them. When I walk into a bookstore, I always go right to the pet section and see if they have any chicken books. Some of the books are great, some not so much. This post is to tell you what I think of the books so you can avoid some of the mistakes I made by getting some of them.

Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens 
By: Gail Damerow

   This is the absolute best book I have. It has basically all information you need. It has information on breeds, chicken behavior, everyday management, health, chicks, and slaughtering (not that I need that). 
   It also has tons of helpful diagrams. 

   One thing it is a little lacking in is disease information. However, even with this problem, this book is too good to pass up.

The Illustrated Guide to Chickens: How to Choose Them, How to Keep Them  
By: Celia Lewis

   This is a beautiful little illustrated book mostly about breeds. The first thirty-five pages are about care and chicken information. However, I do not think there is enough information for this to be purpose of the book.
   There are one hundred and forty pages of breed profiles. These are in depth and nicely illustrated. Each one has breed history, what the breed is for, the comb type, colors, status (common, rare, etc.), number of eggs and color of eggs. Each one also has a drawing of the hen of the breed, the rooster of the breed, a chick, and that chicken's egg.

Keeping Pet Chickens
By: Johannes Paul and William Windham

   This is just a little sixty page book I got at a yard sale for a dollar. This has just the basic information. However, on the right side of every page there is a "Handy Hints" column. These are actually very helpful and interesting. 

The Chicken Whisperer's Guide to Keeping Chickens
 By: Andy G. Schneider and Dr. Brigid McCrea, Ph.D.

   This book is OK. It has lots of good pictures. It is also mostly person opinions of the authors. I like this, but some people may not.

   I have often turned to these books for information. If I had to choose one, it would definitely be Storey's Guide. I do like having more than one book though, so that I can compare information.