Monday, May 17, 2010

The Coop - I Was Surprised Again

On Saturday I posted that there was only one more thing to do to finish putting the chicken coop together, but that I may still have a nasty surprise waiting for me.  The last task was to measure, cut and attach the hardware cloth.  Here's a picture mid-measuring.

It turns out that there was indeed a nasty surprise in the wings that I discovered when I pulled out the fasteners.  I have nothing that can drive these.  No drill attachment, no socket, no crescent wrench.  Nothing.

So I had to make an emergency trip to the hardware store to buy a 5/16" nut driver, something I have never needed in almost 20 years of owning and working on various homes.  And a trip to the hardware is not a quick trip for someone who lives in the woods.  Bleh!

It turned out that a short trip away from the 'stead was a good idea.  The dogs, the goats and me all got a chance to practice what it feels like when mommy drives away while the goats are out.  I didn't expect the goats to be so upset by me leaving!  The dress rehearsal helped though - this morning's departure went well.

The rest of yesterday was uneventful.  I finished the coop and put the chickens into the roost part of the coop.  Here's the dogs being verrry interested.
An hour later the chickens hadn't come out and Desmond and Maggie got tired of waiting.
Since there was nothing to see with the chickens, I went to watch the goats.
Eventually I came back and manually moved the chickens out of the roost.  They're happy!  When evening came and it began to get darker, they started to get a little upset, waiting to go back to their old coop.  I had to physically take each chicken and show her how to go up the ramp into the roost.  We're all still learning! This time, the lesson was for me, the chickens and the dogs.

After a tremendous amount of work in the past few weeks, and a big weekend of adjustment for the dogs, goats, chickens and me, I can begin to see how the new pattern is going to settle in.  It feels like those cartoons where the character morphs into another shape, but during the transition, the character is all sorts of weird sticky-outy shapes.  That's what the past few weeks have been for us here.  I'm still tense, relatively speaking, but I can see the peace on the horizon.


  1. I know that coop has given you a lot of trouble....but I must say that it's looking very good; quite fancy. I can't believe you put that all together yourself! with power tools!

  2. Coop looks great!! I can't believe the trouble it's been to put together and I'm so pleased for you that it's finally done.

    Here's to gettin' it together.

  3. Those look like mighty happy chickens! It is, as Linda T. said, quite a handsome chicken tractor. Things are falling into shape.

  4. A big congratulations to you for your perseverance (a trait my husband calls stubbornness in me). . . not only with the new chicken coop/tractor but in all you've been dealing with. Just think how things have changed for you in just a short time: dogs, cats, chickens, garden beds, goats! You now have a true start on a little homestead! Can't ya just feel it all starting to come together?? You should feel REEEALLY proud of yourself. [Also a bit stiff, sore and exhausted. ;o)]

  5. Yay - the coop doesn't look that bad, does it? It doesn't move on those wheels so I'll have to come up with something...

  6. Good job. That is a very nice coop! Congrats on all of your hard work.


  7. Good job getting that done!!
    I just move my chicken out to there coop the other day, and each night so far I have to help them back in the coop part too...I guess it will take time for them to learn.
    But I wanted to say I found a sit that has awnsered any question about chickens that I've had. it's call "Back Yard Chickens" also know as BYC.

  8. It's funny - I expected them to learn how to get into the roost when I put them in last night. But I had to do it again tonight. The upside is they'll get used to being handled, I guess.

  9. Hi Jordan :) I just found your blog a few days ago, and love it! keep up the good work, and keep plugging along. No one, not even some one who had been doing 'steading for years, knows it all. It is a continuous learning process.

  10. Come check out these awesome chicken coop plans..... best there is honestly.

  11. Hi Stephanie - welcome! Glad you could join the party!