Moving Day for the Ladies


| 7/6/2016 12:23:00 PM


Tags: Chicken Coops, Virginia, Chicken Waterers, Dust Baths, Backyard Baers, Backyard Chickens,

Benjamin BaerI spent a ton of time looking online at various coops, probably too much time, trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to do and what was feasible for my new chicken coop. I debated different spots in our backyard, didn’t want it too close to the house, but not too far either. Cut down a few trees to make additional room; and dug up countless rocks and roots to plant the corner posts and bury the wire a foot underground. It’s not an overly impressive structure … anytime I show it to someone, I ask them not to look too closely, or they’ll see my errors and shortcuts. But the ladies have been in just over a month now, and it seems to be keeping them safe, and that’s all that matters.

walking down

Walking down to the coop ... as you can see, it's not too close to the house and I have a nice path going down to the front and back of the structure.

front

The front...

The structure is an 8x12x7-foot run, with a 4x4x4-foot coop. This gives my ladies plenty of space for each to be comfortable, and allows me some room for expansion should I decide to add to my flock (to which I ended up adding two more shortly after completion, but that’s another story). The sides are all wire mesh, while the top is chicken wire partially covered by a few 6x2 polycarbonate panels to shield from rain, snow and sunlight. Even though the wire mesh is more expensive, I wanted it on the sides to help deter snakes from crawling through. A small snake could climb right through the holes in chicken wire, while the holes on the wire mesh are much smaller (and I just eliminated a copperhead about 10 yards from the coop a few weeks ago). So far, I haven’t had any issues with predators, though they have definitely made their presence known. I found a raccoon’s footprint on the back door of the coop, and a game camera I have set out about 15 yards away recorded a black bear moseying around. A bear also got into our compost bin a few nights ago. In addition to the usual predators, our neighbor saw a bobcat in the neighborhood about a week ago and just a few days ago, it was in the news that an individual was attacked by a bobcat not even 10 miles from our house. I have seen a bobcat before in the area, but wasn’t too worried about those as a predator because they are so rare here, but three different sightings in just a few months makes me wonder maybe they aren’t as uncommon as I thought.




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