Sunday, June 24, 2012

Building a Brooder's Coop

If you raise chickens and ever plan on hatching your own or letting a broody hatch for you, it is handy to have a second coop. We found this to be true after our hen, Rosemary, went broody and we needed a separate space in which for her to raise her chicks. It is also nice when you purchase new chicks and need to keep them separated for a while until they are big enough to join the rest of the flock.

My handy hubby, BJ, worked very hard in building us a brooder's coop! It is built of solid wood with a gabled, shingled roof with the rafter ends exposed. This leaves some space in between the walls and roofline for air circulation. We chose to put chicken wire in the gabled ends and we will close these up once winter temperatures set in.

Here are some photos of the coop construction in progress. (I meant to get some when the coop was just beginning to take shape with the studs, but forgot).

I'm thankful for a such a handy husband who likes to build things!

finishing the roof...

the brooder's coop already in use but unpainted

The coolest thing is that the back door swings completely open and shuts flush with the floor, so that shavings and droppings can be easily be sweeped out and replaced! We currently have a light in the top for extra warmth at night, although now I don't think we need it!

Underneath the coop we built a chicken wire enclosure and penned in the rest with netting and electric fencing. We may need a more permanent soluation to a chicken run later on but for now it works just fine. It won't be long until these pullets are allowed outside to free range on their own!

the raised coop makes it a bit more predator-proof and also provides a space underneath for shelter for
their food and water

After the coop construction was finished, we painted the coop a similar color to our house, leaving the trim white.

We decided to put a light in this coop so that the chicks can see their surroundings at night. We have it on a timer so it goes off later in the evening. It will also be handy for a little extra heat when the temperatures start getting cooler. 

The chicks and pullets are LOVING their new home! Our littlest babies, though, are getting a bit picked on by the older pullets and they are SCARED TO DEATH of us. It's strange because the older pullets run up to us immediately whenever we come out and love to fly up on our shoulders and perch on our arms. But not these new babies. They scream bloody murder when we catch them. Hopefully they will learn that we won't hurt them and become a little more friendly.

It is such a relief having a second coop and pen to use for broody hens, sick chickens, new chicks just getting acclimated, or troublesome roosters that need to be separated from the rest of the flock.

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