One of this years projects was to replace the chicken coop which was starting to show it’s age.
The original coop – to the right – was a Domestic Fowl Trust coop – a half pint – that our first chickens (Black Rocks) Hinge and Bracket came in 10 years ago almost to the day. – It’s done really well – really serves the needs of the chickens and is so well designed is easy to maintain – 10 years its lasted – and we think the main coop part of the whole is still usable – so we will be cutting and rebuilding accordingly. A spare coop is always useful. I would recommend the Domestic Fowl Trust coops and chickens to anyone wanting to start on chickens – they are a little more expensive than others – but after a few months keeping chickens you, and the chickens, really appreciate the good design – and that’s worth money in itself.
We have a lot of affection for Hinge and Bracket – they really kick started this whole self sufficiency thing and saw us through planting veg in tubs, to allotments, to the smallholding we are at now – they came with us and enjoyed happy times here but sadly are no longer with us.:(
However, we wanted to up our flock with 4 hens – to 8 hens and one cockerall – we figure that we would then get on average a half dozen eggs a day – which sold off will cover chicken upkeep costs plus probably the fuel costs fo the machines each year – not to be sniffed at!!
Unfortunately the Domestic Fowl Trust didn’t comfortably really cater for this number so we looked around. After long searches looking at what were poor, cheap ‘ornamental’ coops which were just made of such thin wood and bad design we found the Perthshire Poultry Company. We ordered a 9 Bird Coop and it arrived last Wednesday.
Although it came ready treated, we covered it again with Cuprinol (apparently animal friendly!) and set it in place today in the Chicken pen. The plan is to let the Chooks roost in their old coop tonight, and then when they are safely locked up, physically switch them to the new coop. Tomorrow the old coop will then be moved out of the pen to the larger penned area outside the inner pen and used for the 4 new hens in their assimulation process with the existing gang. When the old and the new are all one comfortable family – we will then take the old coop away and pimp it up leaving all the chickens to live in the new coop.
We keep the coop in this inner pen – this pen is effectively an 8m x 5m netted fruit cage, which we have wrapped 1m high chicken wire ground upwards, and 1m chicken wire outwards on the earth. It’s as fox proof as we can make it :). Although they essentially free range around the farm, it is useful to be able to ‘lock them down’ every night and when we need to – knowing they have enough of a run to still be happy for a while (as an outer pen we also have an electric fence 3-4 metres out).
All hail Nelson and his new Palace!!!