Updated: Jun 15, 2020
My chickens haven’t even hatched yet and I already understand everyone‘s jokes about chicken math. I already have plans in the back of my mind to run to tractor supply and grab a few extra little chickies to add to the ones that hatch out of my incubator. We’ve been pretty busy on this new addition to our homestead and almost everything is set up and ready.
Kallo has been building a coop. We looked at a lot of prefabricated coops and they were either much too small for what we wanted to do or they cost multiple thousands of dollars and reviews were less than glowing for all that money. Since Kallo is a quick hand at AutoCAD, he was able to design a coop with proper dimensions quite easily. We used our stimulus money to buy the supplies needed, which included a lot of lumber and hardware cloth and had it delivered since it would have taken a lot of trips in our truck to get everything we needed.
The walls and roof were fabricated in sections in the garage/workshop and walked out to the coop’s location to be easily connected together. Once he had the main structure put together I ordered fertile hatching eggs from another homestead in Michigan and started them in the incubator. Since they take 21 days to hatch and then spend weeks in a brooder that still gives us plenty of time to continue construction. It also means we have a deadline to make sure we don’t slack off! It’s always easier to finish a task when you’ve got a goal attached.
Our coop’s finished interior dimensions are 7W x 7L x 5H, with plenty of windows that can be opened or closed depending on the weather and ventilation needs. The run is an additional 14L x 7W with a 2-foot gap under the coop itself for more space as well as somewhere to go to get out of the rain or sun.
I had leftover exterior paint that we brought from our last home, almost 5 gallons of it, so that became the base color. The trim will be a light purple shade eventually, but I’m waiting for the predicted thunderstorms this week to pass before applying it.
Kallo is finishing the hardware cloth around the run (turns out I didn’t order quite enough the first time). We chose a 1/2x1/2 inch hardware cloth and, in addition to being all the way around, we buried it 3 feet out on all sides as a security measure against digging predators. Hardware cloth also lines every window that can be opened for ventilation. We have a high number of predators out here so we are trying our best to make this coop a Fort Knox.
Once the main structure is secured, we will be finishing the interior with a roll of linoleum/vinyl flooring for easy cleanout, and using whitewash on the interior walls as it’s said to help against mites as well as being antifungal and helping keep the smell down.
When it’s finished I’ll post a more comprehensive tour of the features. For now, though, that’s where we are in our chicken quest. The eggs in the incubator are going into lockdown tomorrow morning and soon we will be hearing the cute little peeps from the egg occupants.