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Chickenhenge

January 17, 2012

Over the weekend, Chickenhenge appeared in our north pasture.  Who placed it there remains a mystery.

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Ok, so really it’s not a mystery.  We did it.  And by we, I mean Ron and me.

This is where our ladies currently live:

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This worked very well in the city for three chickens.  In their old home, Red and Goldie were able to free range in their back yard.  However, here, we can’t let them roam any of our yards without protection.  The predators and our dogs would endanger their lives if they were allowed to free range.  Also, since I am expanding my flock this spring to at least 9 birds, I needed a much larger home for them to roam. 

This week I spent time researching and drawing, and came up with a plan, loosely based on this coop.  I had several factors that were important to me: easy access to eggs, the ability to stand up in the run and coop, plenty of room for 8 or more chickens, security, and ventilation.  Ron and I also agreed that it needed to look nice, since it can easily be seen from the road and the house. 

Because we live in a pretty mild climate, the coop doesn’t need to be completely enclosed.  However, I feel that the chickens will be safer if I’m able to close the coop up for the night.  Since we have such high humidity here, I also need to make sure I allow for plenty of ventilation.  I’ve read over and over that, when you think you have enough ventilation, add more.

So, after the plans were drawn, pictures studied, and lumber purchased, we began erecting Chickenhenge.

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The first section is 8’ high x 16’ long.  We built the section laying flat, then stood it up and braced it.

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And then we took a break. 

IMG_0300IMG_0303IMG_0305 We built the second side, then stood it up and braced it.  We had to work pretty quickly to stabilize them at this point, so we added posts at the bottom, then added the posts at the top. 

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Lou was a very big help throughout the process.  She kept us focused and on-task. 

IMG_0314IMG_0315IMG_0318 As the sun set on our first day of work, Chickenhenge stood strongly against the setting sun.  There was talk of turning this into a deck for us.  But the chickens need it more than we do.  They will have a beautiful view!

This is just the pen.  We will be adding a 6’ section at the North End for the raised coop.  Next weekend we’ll begin work on the roof.  Since I’m terrified of being on a ladder, that should be a really fun day.  Disappointed smile

Can’t you just see how excited the chickens are for their new home?IMG_0299IMG_0309

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