Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chicken Housing Bliss and Happy Splinters

I have splinters in my fingers, soreness in my shoulders, pain in my butt muscles gluteas maximus fanny, and satisfaction in my heart.

I believe i've mentioned our chicken management issues lately.  In addition to the numbers i've mentioned, i should also tell you that my younger chickens have not figured out where to go to sleep, and i have spent nearly every evening for the past couple of months moving between 12 and 33 chicks from some unsafe, unsheltered place where they insist on sleeping, to some place safe.  This is an evening ritual which quickly grows old.

Also it has a solution.

Once a chicken recognizes a certain place as home, he or she will go back to that place to sleep.  Happily, one can teach a chicken where home is by locking it into "home" for about a week.  After that, she will go home at dusk unless something happens to sort of reset her "home" button.

I want all the chickens to see the coop as home, but i don't want to lock the adult chickens, who have a well established home understanding, into "home" for a week, with 33 youngsters.  That seems cruel to everyone involved.

Thus, i have been pondering.

Since we plan to have a new batch of chicks about every ten weeks for the foreseeable future, it seems wise to come up with some better a plan.

Thus i have pondered further.

Then it came to me.  Praise God that He cares about how i house my chickens!

To make this post more interesting, i have drawn you a picture.

This is an overhead rendition of the layout of our coop.  I needed to find a way to make a roomy enclosure (so not just a cage) in which to house chicks 24/7 for a solid week - but still not cramp the style of those pushy grown-up chickens.

Then the fantastic realization struck me!  The very best thing to do without compromising the space allotted for the adults, was to use the area under the roosting bars!

Eureka!

The area under the roosts is completely wasted space, and when the chickens do use it, they generally get pooped on by other chickens.  And that's never good.

So this morning, i got up and got to work.

I put a "poop board" under the roosts to act as a roof for the babies, and then, inspired by my curtains (lovely curtains), i made four separate panels of framed chicken wire that can all be moved around independently just by lifting.  SO nice!  They're not attached to anything, and that makes clean up and rearrangement much simpler.

Now, i am not a carpenter.  I may be many things, but carpenter is really not one of them.  I am however, resourceful, somewhat stubborn, and determined.  The following pictures reflect all of these things - and the fact that i used almost entirely previously well-used materials.

The good news:  it's all completely functional.  And that was the point.  Chickens aren't particularly picky about appearances.


And they're in it!


There are now 57 chickens in my little coop (most of them tiny), and tomorrow, i won't have to put them back!  That's a successful day.

Many good things come from what a man says. And the work of his hands rewards him.
~ Proverbs 12:14 ~

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. 
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
~  Philipians 4:6 ~

2 comments:

  1. Yay for you being resourceful & wise! Here's to baby chicks sleeping at "home" :) As for appearances - looks great to me!

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  2. What a Mighty God we serve! Don't you love it when He shows us He cares about us by helping us out with our "little things that God would never be interested in" ;-)

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