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The Outhouse Coop

May 14th, 2013

We had this little outhouse in the new triangle garden area. Since we decided to get Dailon his own flock of laying hens, we needed a coop for them. We also wanted to use the chickens to work up the soil in that area.
Triangle Garden 3
Dailon got to work turning the outhouse into a little coop. He gutted the building, rebuilt the back wall with salvaged lumber and built exterior nesting boxes with outside access.
new outhouse coop 2
new outhouse coop 5
new outhouse coop 1
The inside was whitewashed to freshen it up and roosts were made from trees and a new coop was born, for only a few dollars. ┬áIt’s not posh and polished like many coops you see, but for the money we spent it’s a bargain – and it certainly has it’s own charm and history!
new outhouse coop 4
outhouse coop 2
outhouse coop 1
At the moment, we’ve putting our main flock of chickens in the fenced in area to keep them out of the edible gardens until my new fence arrives. They’re doing a great job of working up the soil already. No doubt, Dailon’s flock of Golden Comets will be happy hens in this new rustic coop.

Have you repurposed anything in the garden recently?

The Tour: The Chicken Coop

November 17th, 2012

No doubt you’ve seen glimpses of the chicken coop here and there but not in it’s entirety. From what I understand, this coop used to be the shed. It was then converted to a coop. A wooden structure in it’s natural form, it nestles quite easily into it’s surroundings and looks right at home.

It’s quite rustic and charming, buttoned up well against predators to keep the chickens safe and sound. Thankfully, there is an attached run, which is very nice because we can leave the chickens for a while without worry (though we do have the neighbor come check on them when we do).

There’s storage on one side, it came pre-filled with a variety of feeders, waterers and other interesting things, some of which we are not quite sure what they are for, no doubt we’ll figure it out.

The interior is good enough for the chickens, though we might reconfigure a bit to make cleaning a little easier. The ladies seem to like it well enough as is.

We need to build a few new nesting boxes for them, these are showing their wear. The chickens don’t seem to mind, though with the waning daylight hours and molting they’re not laying much at the moment.

In the spring, I plan on whitewashing the walls and scrubbing up the windows to brighten it up. If I have time, I may try to tackle the windows yet this fall. I’m sure the chickens would appreciate the extra sunlight!

Someday we might end up building a newer larger coop, but this one is quite functional until we do. It will most likely be used as a breeding coop if we go that direction. It’s certainly nice to have such a structure already in place. Now we can focus on other infrastructure like planting lots of fruit trees and other forage for the chickens. Next year we plan on getting a whole flock of new chickens as well.

Do you have any recommendation for a variety of chicken for us to get next spring?

Other Stops on the Tour:
The Driveway
The Tour: Chicken Coop

Small Changes

October 16th, 2012

Way back before I even had chickens, I started reading about them. Of particular interest to me, was the deep litter system. Sadly, I cannot implement this type of system in the coop, it has a wooden floor which prevents it. I can however implement a deep litter system in the run.

I’m in the process of doing this. When we arrived the run was one giant mud puddle. As I’ve been working in the garden, all the weeds have been going into the run, along with other dry material. The results are quite remarkable and the chickens are loving it.

The chickens were also happy to roam freely about the garden yesterday afternoon. I’ve been keeping them in their run to keep them out of the potager since I planted seeds. I finally collected enough little bits of fencing from other areas to put around the edible garden. Now my little seedlings will be protected. Eventually, a permanent fence around the potager would be nice.

Another thing I want to work on is growing more food for the chickens. For the same reason I like to grow the food we eat, I just like to know exactly what’s going into it. I won’t be able to do much until next spring, but I did start some flats of wheat grass for them. I plan on doing this throughout the winter to give them something green to eat.

Hopefully in a few years we’ll have a new coop with a dirt floor, a fence around the potager and we’ll be growing more food for the chickens. Until then, I’ll work with what I have and implement small changes here and there when I can.

Are you implementing any small changes in your garden with hopes of bigger changes down the line?

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.