Some hens need a home, so the first construction project at the
house? A chicken coop. It’s just big enough for five or six chickens and their furnishings and for us to go in to tend to them. They need one or two roosts to sleep on, nest boxes to lay their eggs in and a feeder and waterer. Bins to store their food, and that’s pretty much it.
And it’s mobile. A problem with an outdoor pen attached to your coop is that the chickens peck the grass right down and soon they’re scratching and pecking in just dirt. They like dirt. There’s still stuff to peck at and they like having dust baths. But when rain turns it to mud, they end up a mess. That’s if they’ll go out in it at all, they’re not fond of mud.
So, with wheels and a tongue for towing, this coop and run can be moved around to different patches of grass. I’ve never had one like that before, never even thought about a mobile chicken coop if truth be told.
Googling chicken coop design and my brother’s fertile mind produced our one-of-a-kind chicken RV. He salvaged wood and a rod for an axle from behind the garage. He had wheels that our father had given him, saying “you don’t know when you might need a set of wheels.” True enough, years later, they turned out to be perfect for a hen house. Then he and a carpenter friend began construction. It’s a well-built hen house.
The chickens won’t be limited to just this attached 8-foot run. The pen can open into a larger fenced area or just the great outdoors. But this small run, enclosed with sturdy hardware cloth, provides both indoor and outdoor space where you can be sure they’re safe. And, in case you have an emergency that requires traveling with your chickens, well, with this you can do it with ease.
The hens plan to move in next week. Their new home will be ready for them by them. I looked at coop equipment today. Some feeder designs and ready-made nest boxes that I hadn’t seen before. I haven’t bought anything yet. I need to talk to chicken people about what works best and see the final interior layout to see what best fits.
Although I hadn’t planned to get chickens so soon, these are Phoenix hens. And, well, I did say I liked them. It’s exciting. I’m looking forward to the girls seeing their new quarters.