Sunday, May 2, 2010

Fowl: Making a Home for the Ladies

No, this is not a letter for the penthouse forum, the ladies I speak of are from the galiforme species. As discussed in my last post on chickens we had decided to construct the coop based on plans recommended by the blog Toronto Chickens. Toronto Chickens is a fantastic blog that works to promote the legalization of backyard chickens in Toronto as well as provide people interested in raising chickens with useful information.

Two types of coops are recommended by Toronto Chickens. One is the Eglu, which is a ready made coop that comes in a wide range of colours. Though these coops may be a great design they are expensive. The prices range from 500 to 1300 dollars, and the one sized to our needs is in the 1300 dollar range. The much cheaper, and better suited option, was to purchase plans from a company called Ready Coop.

The price tag to buy the plans and all the materials for the coop was 270$. Not only was the coop affordable, but the way the plans outlined the steps of construction made its assembly very easy. I took advantage of my Dad's wood shop to do all the cuts, and then transported all the pieces to the farm for construction. The transportation of wood nearly broke my bike trailer and garnered me some strange looks. Both of which are bound to happen when you strap three 4x8 sheets of plywood to the back of a bike and fly down Christie hill. Once I arrived home, having all the pieces already cut to size made constructing the coop almost like putting together Ikea furniture. The process of building the coop also gave me a much more satisfying feeling than I think having a ready made coop, such as the Eglu, arriving in the mail could have.

The coop provides an area large enough for 6 hens to roost, and has two laying boxes for the hens to share. There is a short case of chicken stairs so that the hens can traverse down to their run. This is where the feed and water are kept and there is 16 square feet of room for them to stretch their legs and peck at the soil. A door in the coop allows the hens access to the rest of the yard so that they can hunt for little grubs and slugs and have a dirt bath. The coop seems really secure from predators, especially with the addition of a chicken wire skirt we attached to prevent raccoons from digging under the coop walls. It would take a particularly clever raccoon to break into the coop and do any damage to the chickens, and if one is capable, it probably deserves its dinner.

The completed coop looks great, and Jacob's suggestion to paint it a barn red makes it even more bad-ass. The place is starting to look more like a legit urban farm everyday.

No comments:

Post a Comment