My husband (with my intermittent assistance) repurposed a huge and overbuilt dog house for a chicken coop.
Look. How. CUTE. We had originally thought repurposing a coop would be waaaay easier than building one from scratch (get it, SCRATCH, like CHICKEN SCRATCH? Nevermind.)
Oh, how naive we were. It took us 2 solid weeks, working 8 hour days, to turn this thing into Coop D’Ville (cheesy? punny? silly? duh?). It took us 2 days just to suspend it a few feet in the air with a farm jack and cinder blocks. That might have taken a bit less time if the entire daggum thing wouldn’t have fallen over (you know I cried and cursed all things chicken, except chicken tenders). It was a day in vain and we had to start from the beginning – ugh.
Finally, Coop D’Ville is gloriously finished, and it even looks good! It has several roosting bars; 4 nesting boxes; a ramp to a run (enclosed area where they can naturally forage); food and water; and did I mention how GOOD the thing looks??
We found chickens via Facebook, picked them up in a dog cage, and brought them to their new home. The guy who sold us our girls (we’ve been calling him The Chicken Man ((he’s everywhere! he’s everywhere!!))) urged us to keep the chickens enclosed in their area for about a week so they would understand that the structure is their home. I laughed and thought, “Duh, it’s a chicken coop; where else would want to be?”
Here’s what I’ve learned about chickens so far:
- They are skittish, but highly motivated by food.
- They poop A. LOT.
- They eat constantly (which explains #2, hahahahahaha, get it, #2).
- They will not do anything you want them to do unless you make them do it.
- They are not intelligent. Beyond natural instincts (food, water, shelter, reproduction), there is very little evidence of anything going on up there.
Instead of sleeping on their (luxurious) roosting bar, they slept on the floor; in their nesting boxes; and on a tiny, uncomfortable little perch in the ceiling. The ceiling. We left the ramp open so they could explore their run – nope. Not interested. Didn’t even check it out. Doesn’t exist to them.
So, this morning I climbed up in their coop, admired the impressive amount of chicken poop, and caught them one by one to slide them down the ramp into their run. As soon as they hit earth, they started pecking and foraging. Like, “Oh, here’s that earth stuff.” Except that thought would probably be too advanced for them.
But… I love them. Gotta appreciate the simplicity. Stay tuned for their names. Yes, I am naming my chickens.