My husband is continuing to make progress on the new coop for the pullets. We are hoping to move them in there tonight, now that it is secure and warm, though not finished. We will fully finish it after they are living in there. At this point we just need to get them out of the brooder as they are out of space in there. And they aren’t big enough to go outside or lay eggs anyway. So the attached pen, the nest boxes, and some other details will not be completed until later this spring.
This coop has been a huge blessing because thus far we have spent no money on it whatsoever. It is 8×8 inside. The roof is sloped and is about 5 feet high on the low side and 8 feet high on the high side. We have attached it to the barn and for security from predators the only access to it is from inside the barn. It has electricity to it from the barn electric, so it has a full spectrum light on a timer (there are not windows yet) for their daylight and it also has a heat lamp on a thermostat since they are still young and can’t handle the cold yet.
So how did we build this coop for free? Well, my husband heard from a friend that they had built their goat shed framing using free pallets from the lumber yard. So my husband started collecting pallets and that made the entire framing. Then his aunt was cleaning out her garage and had a bunch of miscellaneous sheet goods that she wanted to be rid of, so he used that for the outside of the walls (it will eventually be painted to match the barn). Awhile back we came into a large amount of this tin-foil like insulation (I don’t know what it is called but we’ve used it to insulate the small coop, the barn, and now the big coop). Then a friend, who is a cabinet-maker, asked him if he wanted a huge load of leftover wood from his cabinet making. He used that to make board and batten walls for the interior of the coop and to make the roosts. We had the light and the necessary electrical supplies to run the electricity and we had the tar paper left over from roofing the barn to put on the roof.
We may or may not end up spending money on finishing the coop. We still need shingles, paint, framing supplies for the pen, and chicken wire for the pen. It is amazing how the things we need tend to show up for us when we need them (thank you Lord). It will be fun to see how much we do end up spending in the end for this coop. Since the whole goal of getting all these chicks was so we could sell eggs and make some money, the less we spend on the coop the quicker we can move into profit once they start laying.
So here is the progress so far in pictures:
We put in shavings and the heat lamp a few days ago and have been monitoring the temperature trying to get it just right for them to move in. Last night we got down to 5F outside and it was 70F in the coop under the lamp, so it is ready for them! I am so excited because the chick dust in our mud room is crazy. I vaccuume in there every couple of days trying to stay on top of it. And by the time I do get to it every couple of days it is already THICK again. Yuck! I hate chick dust. It will probably take me 2-3 hours to fully clean that room after they move. It will be nice to have the room back to normal and no more sheets of chick dust everywhere! We are hoping to build a section of the barn into a brooding area before our next hatch so I don’t have to brood them in the house again.
I’ll post some more pictures and such after we get them moved.