We had built a shed in 2009 (actually, other people mostly built it, as part of a compressed earth block building workshop); the shed had a deep portale off the back (east) side where we planned to put the enclosed/covered part of the chicken coop.
|Shed construction, 2009.|
|The laying boxes were easily constructed with recycled bits and pieces from building our house.|
|The coop door. The chicken wire skirt (under all those rocks) |
extends about a foot out from the coop all around to protect from
|Looking into the henhouse. The lower door accesses the food and |
water; the upper door allows access to the nesting boxes.
|The Chube between the chicken coop and vegetable garden.|
|Crabapples as enticement on the Chube.|
For frivolousness and airflow in the henhouse, Aaron cut out a chicken-shaped ventilation hole with a jigsaw.
|The 6-week-old hens checking out their home.|
Before getting a new batch of chickens, we reinforced the coop so that there was also stronger fencing around the whole bottom section. We also made sure there wasn't just chicken wire tacked on to framing; we doubled up the framing to make a sandwich: wood, chicken wire, wood.
|The cheese test for coop security.|
|A young hen from the second batch of chickens.|
Avian Aqua Miser nipple on a 2-gallon bucket. It is a GREAT system. I cannot think of a better way to do it.
|The Avian Aqua Miser nipple on a 2-gallon bucket.|
Those are our systems for keeping the chickens safe, and feeding and watering them. For litter, we do the "deep litter method" because it best suits our busy life, but we do feel somewhat guilty about it. We may not have enough humidity where we live for the straw to adequately degrade in place. However, we find that it doesn't really smell and it's convenient for composting the straw every 6 months.
|The compost heap with freshly added straw from the coop.|
|An old batch of well-composted chicken poop straw.|