Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Making of a Chick Coop

Monkey Man was hard at work constructing a chicken coop in the week before Christmas.  I gave him Christmas day as the deadline for finishing.  It's now three days after Christmas and ... it's not finished.  Not surprising really because Monkey Man always under-estimates how long things will take.  And you can't predict that the drains will block and you'll have to spend Christmas calling emergency plumbers and when that fails hire for double the price a big metal snakey thing to poke down the sewer.  And encourage your guests not to eat and drink too much because there is no flushing of toilets until it's fixed!  Needless to say, the chicken coop is not finished.  The chicks are five weeks old on Saturday - maybe they'll have an outside home by then.

But I can give you a preview of the work in progress.  The coop is made from re-salvaged timber Monkey Man has lying around.  He won't throw anything away.  He has so much stuff hidden away (or lying around looking messy).  This usually drives me crazy, but occasionally I'm grateful.
Here he is building the frame.  See the monkey expression on his face?  I didn't need much imagination to come up with his nickname.
The floor to the indoor bit is wire that he had in storage.  But a friend suggested that the holes in the wire might be too big for these chicks to manage so we may need to change that.  Any advice?  I got the wire idea from the workshop I attended by Very Edible Gardens.  This way the chicken poo just drops straight down into the the straw run below.  Makes cleaning up a lot easier I imagine.  Here's a youTube link to VEG's chook house and straw yard.
There's a ladder for the chicks to get up - also made from old timber bits nailed together.  Actually, these bits were from Monkey Man's Father's broken bed.
This is their nesting box.  It is made from an old wooden crate we were storing shoes in.  Monkey Man has put some plywood around the outside and made a hinge door with a latch.  We did need to make a trip to the hardware shop to get latches, hinges and some more chicken wire.  And we did have a bit of a tiff in the shop about just what sort of latch would suffice.  I think Monkey Man was starting to get a tad tired of this whole chicken caper at this point.  Not me of course.  I was just loving the whole chook house building three days before Christmas, when I had a house full of inter-state and overseas relatives arriving and more Christmas presents to buy and a bezillion presents to wrap for spoilt monkeys and the market to negotiate for Chrissie food - not to mention chick dust to wipe off the furniture...
Anyway, enough complaining - here's a peek inside the nesting box.
So hopefully in my next post I'll be able to show you the finished coop.  For now we have lots of guests staying with us and a party happening this arvo so I'm off to do some cooking.  Hope you all had a great Christmas.


  1. Wow, that is shaping up to be one fabulous chicken coop VG, I'm very impressed. I love the expression on Monkey Man's face, you are right that you didn't have to search very far for a nickname!

    Have fun with all your guests, I am at home with two little boys way out of routine, it's not the most amount of fun I've ever had!

  2. oh looks fab so far! I've been contemplating keeping chooks lately but still undecided. Perhaps an update from you in a few months will help me decide :)

  3. Isn't it funny how other people's dramas can make you smile. Thanks for the post...I am still chuckling!

  4. Looks like that will be a chicken palace (or palais de poulet as we like to call ours!) Well done!

  5. Why is it that guests staying and plumbing problems seem to coincide at the worst times. We had a similar problem over Christmas.

    The chickens will love the coup. It's looking great.

  6. That chook house is going to be a work of art..the wire though may be a little hard on the feet of the chickens...unless you make a thick covering of straw..but I think they would scratch through it anyway...
    You may need another nesting box case they want to lay in it at the same time..
    We will they free range too?
    Cant wait to see them in their new home...x

  7. Yep, if it gets finished I think it'll be good. But Enchanted Moments I'm not sure about the wire either. Think we'll cover it with ply for the moment. Palais de poulet has a nice ring to it.

  8. Looking good! Some chicken wire might help on the other wire and then straw.You might need another box as suggested unless some turn out to be roosters!!

  9. Iwould so love to keep chickens but sadly only have a small garden. I do manage to grow a few vegs and lots of flowers though which keeps me satisfied. Will look forward to seeing the little chicks in their new home. xx Jeanette VINTAGE TREASURES by JEANETTEANN

  10. Looks great! Im keen to see the finished product as Im in the process of modifying our chicken coop to be (twas a cat run by previous owner)... Hope you had a great chrissy and have a happy and safe new year!

  11. It looks fantastic, I have a chandelier in my chook house..!!!! hows that for Palais de poulet????


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