Tuesday, May 10, 2011

All Cooped Up

Chicken Coop
The "new" coop and the roof of the "dog house coop" on the left and that's Boris in the background. And yes, he came from Ukraine.

One day at work I was looking over a pile of discarded lumber and trying to think of ways to get rid of it. The 2x4's and plywood were the remains of a skate park renovation. The wood was all twisted, warped, and full of broken off screws and nails. I had considered running it all through a chipper and turning it into mulch, but all the bits of metal left in the wood made me a little hesitant of that idea. It wasn't until a friend showed me a chicken coop he had built and all the eggs that his chickens produced that I decided to turn all that scrap wood into something useful.

My friend gave me the plans he had used and the promise of one of his young hens to get started. After several weeks of nights spent out in our shop making all those twisted pieces of wood fit together, it was finally finished. (The roofing material by the way was also second hand. It was generously given by a friend at church.) The same day I took delivery of our first hen, Edna stumbled onto a mother hen with seven chicks running loose in a parking lot in town. Animal control rounded them up and said that if no one claimed them, we could have them. The following Monday I brought mama hen and her seven chicks home. They have adapted well to life in the coop although I've had to move our young hen, who Edna named Cotton, into a smaller coop due to differences in opinion with mama hen. The second coop is a converted dog house which started life as a fruit bin that fell off of a truck passing our house when I was a little kid. This didn't start off as a lesson in recycling, but it seems to have ended up that way. We're just putting what we learned in Ukraine into practice, don't waste anything.

Chicken Coop
Mama hen and her chicks