The main items we needed to get completed before the chickens could move in were, to put up side trim, install 2 barn utility windows, and build/hang door. We worked for a week each day after Ryan got off work, and the coop is finally ready for the chickens to move in!
Here is Ryan, cutting and installing the side trim.
Next came the barn utility windows. These weren’t as easy to install as the two side windows, as we had to create the frame to keep them in place. First step was to cut the 1 x 4 x 8 cedar boards to size and line the window on the outside.
Next we inserted the window, cut the pvc window stop to size, and glued it in place.
I then took window sealant and went around the window/cedar board to create a seal to keep water out. Ryan then cut and hung the trim around the windows.
And there you have it . . . an installed barn utility window!!
Next came building the door. I wasn’t so good at getting pictures of every step, but here is what we did to build the door. We took a piece of plywood and cut it to the same size as the door opening, and did the same with the siding. We then attached those 2 pieces together, and for added support nailed four 2 x 4s on the back of the door. We nailed trim on the door itself as well as around the door.
And TA-DA, a finished Chicken Coop!!
We still need to build the outside area, and hang the gutter in the back, but those don’t need to be finished for the chickens to move in.
For the bedding we are following the deep litter method. Its 3-4 inches of pine shavings, and a layer of straw. Every week I will turn the bedding and add a new layer of straw. Over time the pine shavings absorb the nitrogen from the chicken droppings, which ferments in an odor free process to produce a compost. So, in the spring I will clean out the chicken coop, and have a nice compost material for the garden. Then I just start the process over again, making sure to leave a little bit of the original material in the coop to help the new stuff start the composting process.
This past Sunday we moved the chickens outside. Ryan and I carried them over in the brooder, and we let Aubrey put them out.
They instantly seemed excited about all the new room they had. It took them a few minutes to explore their new space, but they eventually found their water and food. They moved as a pack to each area, and explored together. I don’t think one was brave enough to explore, without the others.
I am going to leave them in the coop for a few days before I let them outside. I want them to get use to their new home, and the different sounds and smells. I’m sure they will love going outside, especially because they are extremely curious of it when I open the coop door, to check on them.
Check out my blog about fermenting their new chicken feed. Its a method I have been doing research on, and it has a ton of benefits!!