Monday, July 25, 2011

Repairing the chicken coop

Yesterday morning I noticed that the big rooster was getting picked on a little too much by the banty.  Since I enlarged the chicken coop I had a brilliant idea to now divide the coop in half.  I decided to put the three hens that are continually broody into the new part and put the little banty in there with them.  The other 30 plus hens and the big rooster can stay in the old part. 

I also had some repair work to do on the coop.  The new part was having some issues.  For the door I recycled my sister's front door heavy duty screen security door.  It's metal and pretty heavy.  I'm not sure if it was my son or Bug-out renters son who hung the door initially.  But the other day the door fell off when girl was in the coop.  I guided the chickens back into the coop and paracorded the door back on to the 4x4 posts.  The door had a metal strip on the left side that was to be attached to the post.  Whoever hung the door initially nailed the door up with 3 inch nails and some washers.  This obviously didn't work.  I brought out some heavy duty screws that were as wide as the holes in the strip and screwed the door back up.  It will fall off in about 100 years or so.  No, I'm sure the wood post will rot first. 

Then I took a look at the new nesting area that they built.  My idea for this nesting area was to build a three sided room that the chickens could go into and have some peace and quiet.  I wanted a solid roof on it too.  The older part of the chicken coop has an 8x12 enclosed room that is solid enough to move into if we wanted to move out of the house.  Not so with the new little room in the new part of the coop.  First grandson and son-in-law dug the holes for the posts.  Then I cemented them in.  Then grandson nailed up two walls.  The kids used the wood from the pallets that I got for free.  They had to take the boards off, pull nails, then use them.  This method worked great.  So far so good.  Then renters son nailed up the third wall and boy was his helper.  Those boards were so crooked.  I'm not at all sure how he did that!  Renters son left the side facing to the west open even though I wanted the north side left open.  Then son came around and said the hens will never use it because the opening is too big.  He boarded up half the opening.  He found a piece of plywood and nailed the whole thing up then took the sawzall and cut out a door!  What a waste of wood.  With the little room enclosed like that the inside of the room just baked.  There was no way any chicken would ever even want to walk into that room, let alone set on their eggs.  Son also took down the entire side of crooked boards and rehung them.  They looked much better. 

I had to redo the entire nesting area room back to my vision.  The helpers were not much help, although they all thought they did a great job.  I tore out the bottom half of what was the crooked wall.  I left one board down at the ground level and put about four inches of straw on the floor of the room.  I used those boards to board up the west side.  There's not a door there anymore since the north side has a four foot tall opening. 

I moved the food holder that was in the main coop into this new room.  This bin holds fifty pounds of feed.  I filled it up.  I then took a bin that was being stored in the barn and put it into the main part of the coop.  It holds 150 pounds of feed.  I filled that too.  I've now quadrupled the amount of food in the coop from 50 pounds to 200 pounds.  I could go out of town for a long time and not have to worry about the chickens running out of food. 

Next I had to close off the old coop from the new.  I went into the barn and found a 2x6 board about 8 feet long.  That was the opening between the two parts of the coop.  I nailed that to the 4x4 post at each end down at the ground.  I then found some wire with 2x4 inch squares (rather than using chicken wire) and used staple type of nails to nail it to the posts and bottom board.   

I then went into the coop and carried each of the three broody hens into the new part of the coop.  They were not happy with me.  I took the eggs out from where they were holed up (all three hens have been stuffing themselves into one nest box), made several nests in the new room and put the eggs in there.  I don't care if the hens abandon those eggs or whether they sit on them.    As long as they stay broody I'll be able to supply them with eggs to lay on. 

Lastly, I moved banty rooster in there with the three girls.  This leaves the big rooster in with the rest of the hens.  We will be able to collect the eggs every day in the big coop, mark them, and then put them under the broody hens.  Any eggs the broody hens lay we can take out since they won't be fertilized.   

It was a long, hot day but it looks great.  Now all we have to do is wait for about a month and perhaps we will get some new baby chickens. 


  1. Woodwork! I've learned that on the "farm" sometimes the only way to get anything done the way you want it is to do it yourself!! Haha! Good luck on the brooch hens, I let 2 sit on about 35 eggs and they are due today!!


  2. The last two years I've gone to my brother-in-law's to help around the vineyard. This time I worked more in the field, but did start converting a horse shed to a chicken coop. Wish I had finished.