I had to do something about the babies that were not received well by the other ladies. I now understand why the couple I bought them from divided their chickens into size and type categories. There’s just no getting around the pecking order and its affects, so keeping the babies safe is top priority. We started by cornering off a portion of the run but that made them stir-crazy, so we sectioned off a larger portion of the run:
Then we expanded the run area for the divas so that part of it was semi free range (sorta) and we can tell they are super happy about it:
This turned out better than we expected because it makes the babes feel like they’re a part of the action while giving the rest of the ladies more room to spread out. The only problem is that silly-little-a-frame-coop-thingy the babies have to stay it. It isn’t safe or weather proof. So, the hubby has agreed to build a mini safe house for them.
He agreed because it will practically be free since we already have the materials here. He took the shed down not too long ago (what an eyesore that thing was) and now we have more than enough to build the mini cooper. The only thing we had to buy for this project was the insulation and a couple of latches. Cool!
A standard box-frame with a slanted roof and raised to save the ol’ back while cleaning.
An easy way to add insulation to a small structure like this is to build it backwards. Build the inside walls first and then add the insulation onto the outside.
Cut the insulation to size and add the siding on top of it and your good to go.
Once the sides went up, the roof went on which left a gap for venting. There will be a large door across the front that will open for easy cleaning, but it will also serve as a way to cover up the venting. And a smaller chicken door will be cut into the large door. Nothing but a perch will go inside since this will not be used for layers. Just the bitties – and eventually mommies and their chicks.
Because mini cooper is so tall, the ramp is extra long. We know it’ll be necessary to change it for birds smaller than our current babes. But this works for our needs at the moment.
Of course I had to paint mc… and eventually I will paint a coat of lime on the inside. Now, how to beautify it? Well, once I can unpack everything, I suppose I can get out my Cricut and create stencils for painting flowers on it and what not. I think I’ll hit up my old magazines for some ideas.
A board across the front allows the (large) door to be removable; slipping in and out without the need for hinges. A small landing for the ramp was attached to the bottom. A large piece of plywood sits on top for now… so that we can see if it will shield the babies from rain in winter. If not, we’ll come up with something else. I added sand to the floor of the coop and will make a small scooper for the brilliant method I learned about and put into action. It’s working out to be the idea of the century. Hmm… where do you get a mini pooper scooper for the cooper anyway?