6 Weeks In…

This is a small coop for just 4 hens. The coop itself is no bigger than a doghouse. It has 2 roosts inside and an egg box. While they’re still pullets there’s plenty of room to roam. Today we did a cleaning, added soil because they do scratch the dirt away from the corners. When we finished we threw in a piece of sod for good measure, they love it! We use pine shavings under the coop for odor control and it gives them something to scratch in. Powdered it all w/ DE before I let them back in.

The hedge view is approaching the coop from the yard. We use our natural landscaping to conceal it. You can’t see or hear the girls until you get to the entrance to the garden. Even then, it’s just quiet chirping. The bottom line is the only way anyone would know we actually have chickens is if they saw them. You can’t smell them, you can’t hear them. If you were to walk directly up to the coop to ┬ásee them, well you’d hear them chirp. They smell like pine chips. While we cleaned the coop today what we heard were wild birds and neighborhood dogs. Please take the “they smell and they’re noisey” rant and forget it. It’s a non issue w/ 4 hens.

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!