Sunday, April 8, 2012

The babies have their own address

After trying everything I could think of to get the big girls to accept the babies into the hen house at night, I caved and ordered a second hen house.  I'm kind of embarrassed about that.  In hindsight, I should have ordered a bigger house way back when I started this adventure.  But oh well.

I ordered one of the new Snap Lock chicken coops that is made of plastic panels that you simply snap together.  It's made in America which I like.  And it does go together quite easily.  I had a hard time ordering it because it was the same price as my beautiful Amish made coop with the cute little red roof.  But there was a big price difference in the cost of shipping.  Not to mention, my Amish coop being made of solid wood, weighs about 300lbs.  The Snap Lock coop weighs just about 40lbs.

I'm not sure I'd trust it up against big critters.  It does come with some very nice D-rings to attach to each of the latches to make it more secure.  But it seems like something could chew its way through one of these panels.  Maybe not in one night.  But over time.  Fortunately, I have plenty of room in my run to just plunk it down on some cinder blocks (and one old flower pot flipped upside down) so I know it's secure.

Snap Lock Chicken Coop
Come with a roosting bar and there are slots inside the house where it fits.  They sent the roughest piece of wood I've ever seen.  Took me a while with sandpaper to get it safe for babies feet. 
And it has three separate nest boxes.  Difficult to see from this angle.  But I've got them all filled up with pine shavings and fake eggs.  Unfortunately, Ginger got in there and kicked out a bunch of shavings.  Naughty Ginger.
And a photo of my Amish built coop.  Made in America too.  Solid wood construction, this thing can endure the elements AND keep your chickens safe from things that want to eat them in the night.

And I will say, it is easy to put together.  I did it almost all by myself.  A few of the tabs wouldn't pop into place and having a second person on the opposite side of the coop to hold it tight while you snap it together is helpful.

I tucked the babies in there after dark last night so they could get used to it and wake up in their new home.  Unfortunately, when I went out this morning, Ginger was inside terrorizing them and eating pine shavings from the nest boxes.  Ginger HATES water so I spritzed her with the water bottle a few times to get her out of there.  Thought I had that solved.  But when I went out this afternoon to check up on things, she's sitting in one of the nest boxes laying an egg.  Sigh.  YOU HAVE YOUR OWN HOUSE!!!

So I'm not quite sure what to do here.  I think I'll close the door on the house during the day and go out in the evening and open it up so the babies can go to bed.  This will keep Ginger out and hopefully, her curiosity with these new digs will pass.

But I can only do this for a few days as Sugar squatted for me yesterday.  For those non-chicken rearing folks, that means she's come of age and that we're probably just a week or so away from her laying her first egg.

And the three babies.  Two were dust bathing and the third just wanted to be close.
I have about 8 feet of really soft, loamy soil mixed with sand, peat and DE but no, they've got to dust bath right next to each other.  So sweet.

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