The New Coop

We finally decided on a coop. Delivered stealthy…in 2 huge boxes with pictures of the coop and chickens to boot! I think the UPS guy is onto us. Now don’t shun us because we bought a pre fab coop. I really wanted to build something totally cute, like the kind I find on the web. But there are a few things to consider: 1) My husband’s job is very physical. Although he’s an amazing carpenter/builder I just didn’t want to ask him to make me a coop from scratch. 2) I have neither the time or patience to search through all of the plans available to find just the right coop. 3) Breaking out the saw, saw horses, lumber and nail gun tends to attract the neighbor’s attention. We’re trying to avoid that!

We bought an eco concepts coop and run, from ebay but it’s sold in other places too. It’s made of a plastic/wood polymer. It shouldn’t rot and is resistant to termites. Very important here! I also liked that it’s low to the ground, no higher than our fence. My husband trumped that idea though, he’s building a platform for it to set on so the birds can go under the coop as well as in the run. So much for stealth….The reviews on this coop aren’t great but from what I’ve seen anything in our price range didn’t get great reviews. They’re all pre fab, mostly thin wood, not the sturdiest. No problem for us, anything that goes wrong the hubby can take care of. He’s just that good!

We took some of it out of the box and I must say, we were impressed. It’s much sturdier than the reviews led us to believe. It’s a neutral color (light beige?) and can be painted or stained. The run is fairly small but we’ll add on to that. It states it can hold up to 4 hens…we shall see. We’ll set it up this weekend as well as the brooder. Pics to follow!

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Why go underground?

I do get weird looks from my friends when I tell them I want chickens. Most of them have never considered it cause, well…eggs come from the store right? Weirder yet, were the looks we got from city council after trying to get the current codes changed to allow for backyard hens. Not gonna happen. I can however, have a pot bellied pig (up to 2) or a ball python, which can grow over 9 ft. long and eat a child. So my family decided to go underground with our hens. Right now our backyard is divided, 1 part common area, 1 part garden. The garden has trees that border our property line which serve as a nice natural barrier. Hedges form a fence from the rest of the yard so no one can actually see the garden area. Perfect, that’s 2 sides already covered. We just need to do something about the back fence line. This week we’ll make a home depot run and get a few more plants to start on the fence line. By the end of the summer we should have decent cover. Not a big issue right away as that particular neighbor is rarely seen or heard.

We want hens for the same reason most people do: fresh eggs, they’re fun to watch and easy to care for. Easier than caged, inside birds! We petitioned the city, went to city hall several times to speak, got the press involved, made websites and sent out flyers. In the end this city is far to elite for hens. At least for legal hens. Over the next few months I’ll chronicle our move to the underground. I’ll post pictures of the growing chicks, the brooder and of course the coop. And if I get caught, I’ll chronicle that too. I’m not big on the city mirco managing our property and since they don’t want to listen to voices of reason I’ll just take care of this on my own. Setting up the brooder this weekend. Pictures to follow!