Having chickens has really challenged my "handy-man" skills. Of which I have very little. Not to mention arthritis in my right hand and a lack of power tools, well, you see where this is going.
So when it came time to get chickens, building a coop was simply out of the question. Thankfully, there are PLENTY of kits and pre-built coops to choose from. But sometimes, they require a little modification to make them work just right.
I would give anything to go back and do this all over again because I'd buy the same coop I first bought, only the next size bigger. These Amish built coops are REALLY well built. And for the money, they are a great value. But you put in one Jersey Giant and two HUGE Buff Orpingtons and suddenly, there's no more room at the inn.
|My Amish built coop. Big enough for 3-5 hens but I wish I had gone bigger. I could have built out a separation pen inside.|
Out of desperation, I bought a temporary coop for the Bunkies which solved my issues at the time. But the one problem I continued to have was not having a place to separate babies or a bullied hen. So I recently bought one of these Handcrafted Coop kits and put it together. And I like it for my environment. It's also on the small size and I wouldn't trust it in the snow or a really cold environment. There's no room inside to put food or water. But as a nursery for a mama and babies, it's perfect!
But Honey wouldn't go in it. If I opened up the big side door used for clean out, she'd hop right up inside. So I knew she didn't hate it. I finally came to the conclusion that the ramp was too steep and the foot bars not big enough for her.
So off to the local lumber yard. And thank goodness we still have one of those old fashioned places that will offer advice AND cut the lumber for you. When I told the guy what I wanted to do, he asked what kind of chickens I had. And when I told him Buff Orpingtons, the guy in line behind me piped up that he too had BO's. Small world.
|Honey Bear coming down her new ramp. It's much wider and more stable and she has no trouble with this one.|
I do think it takes them three times to learn something new so I plan on going out there again tonight and tomorrow to encourage her up her new ramp.
Here's a side shot of the old ramp on the bottom and the new ramp on top. You can see how the angle is much more gentle for her to get up and how much bigger those foot bars are.
|Side view showing the old ramp and the new one on top. I can't pull it shut like this but since it's inside my predator proof run, it's not necessary to close them in.|
Her wing and tails feathers are coming in nicely but her head and breast are still covered with down. Giving her that awkward teenager look. Which I happen to think is adorable.
|A full tummy makes just about anyone sleepy.|
Oh well, I suppose there are worse things. I still have my Buff Orpingtons who love to cuddle in my lap.