This weeks materials list
- TOTAL $0.0
This week we did not spend any money. We just cleaned some things up a bit.
Around the front side of the coop I wanted some bulbs and plants. I had picked up some paper white, Narcissus and Dutch Iris bulbs I wanted to get planted before it got too cold. I also like to shop the dead and dying rack at Lowe’s and had picked up several plants that were ready to be planted.
Since I shred all the paper that comes into my house and compost it, I used the shredded paper as a base. Then I added top soil, peat and humus on the top.The rescued plants were then planted into the soil. I sprinkled the chicken droppings from cleaning the coop over the top and watered everything well and moved on to planting the bulbs.
For the bulbs I put them on top of the shredded paper before I added the soil mixture over the top. Again I added the chicken droppings over the top then added a thick layer of wood mulch over the top of everything. The mulch will keep the ground moist and over time improve the soil.
After the plants and bulbs were in the ground I worked on my pop door. I wanted to be able to open, close and lock it from outside of the coop. Today I got the open and close part of the door done. I attached a wire to the door latch I had attached. Then I ran the wire up and over the top of the coop. I put a snap on the end of the wire so that I could snap it to another wire I was going to put around a near by tree.
Next to a coop is a Mesquite tree I am using to anchor the door when it is open. I have a wire I have placed around the Mesquite tree and then fashioned a loop in the end. Right now there is just a twisted wire around the tree branch and I am going to watch it and make sure it does not end up cutting into the tree. If that ends up happening I will cut it off and put another wire up and through a hose to keep it from cutting into the tree any further.
Initially I had the wire pulling the pop door open set so the door was horizontal to the ground when it was open. In time the chooks got to roosting up there and it was putting too much weight on the door and wire. Not to mention all the chicken poo I was having to clean off. So now when I let everybody out I bring the door latch with me and add it in between the loop and snap to make the door angle downward. The chickens still get up on the door but they do not stay. The angle is enough they end up sliding off.
Since some of what we did this day was more for landscaping I did not include all the time that was spent working on it. It took only about 30 minutes of time to get the wire situated so that I could open and close the coop door from the outside. I still need to get the door where I can also lock it from the outside.. and for the time being.. we are just going in and locking every body up. For some reason these birds are refusing to roost on the roosts I put in their coop and prefer to sit on the door frame. So I have to gently lower the door to get them to move then make sure no one is stuck in the door when I start to lock it up. Every night I get chewed out by some grumpy birds because they have to move. Considering they get on their roost in the afternoon, I don’t understand why they don’t get on it at night. Seems they still like to sleep all together in a pile.
We got busy with work and another chicken pen and did not get these last few blog posts done at the time the A-Frame was built. At this point we are at the end of November and I have the chickens out in their pen. Some things still left to do are add some 2×4’s to the ramp and secure it to the side of the coop and get some PVC and make some feeders and a chicken nipple water system. I also have to enclose the coop ends so I can close the coop up when the weather gets cold and then open it back up when it warms up again. Going to put something louvered on the ends over the wire to accomplish that and am still working out the details. I also still have not attached the fence boards along the bottom like I wanted to add protection from a predator trying to get in. But with work and other projects taking a priority right now these things will probably have to wait until Spring.
When I first came up with this coop idea, I thought it would take a few weekends and be about $300. Boy was I wrong on all accounts. We had to back track some and change our plans a bit as well as spend a lot more than I want to. Though I still have some things to do to be completely done with this coop, I find I am really enjoying it. I can move about inside the run as it is taller than I am and I can reach all corners of it if needed. The coop is also easy to clean and very secure. But if I had to do all again, I would change up a few things. With my plans to have a laying flock and raise both Legbars and Isbars, I find myself in a position of needing to build yet another coop and run. I am going to modify a few things on this project and am hoping this second A-Frame will not take me as long or cost me as much as this one.
See ya when I get some time to get this finished ..
TIME: 41.15 Hours