As we increase our flock from 12 to 42 chickens the need for more space for them was becoming an issue. When everyone is a baby they need heat lamps and we call that a brooder house/box. When they get enough feathers it’s time for them to move outside. But when they go to an outside coop they need protection from predators a bit more than the grown up chickens since they are smaller and more vulnerable. And if you are integrating your young ones into your flock you best have your coop big enough to have two sections, one for each group. As you would have guessed it, we did not build our coop big enough for a good integration between groups of chickens. So, now with three sets of chickens we had to figure out how to get everyone out of the garage (our brooder) and outside while keeping boundaries until everyone has time to settle in. I’m always one for a good deal and as you probably just guessed, I found one. There was an add for a free chicken coop in town. Perfect!
I finally convinced Joe to come with me to go get it, as the lady said there was no way her and I would be able to do it ourselves, so off we went. To Joe’s not so pleasant surprise, the coop was bright pink and incredibly heavy. He put on his pretend thrilled face and helped get it loaded in the truck. Joe has a great saying that we have very well learned, and that is “Nothing is Free, Ever.” The coop was free, but the labor was extensive to get it in the truck and back out of the truck up the hill, and was missing a roof as well as a door. So again, Joe’s theory was true.
But we were going to make it work. The coop was perfect size for our four 5-week old chicks that were ready to take on the great outdoors. We would build/frame a “lid”, slap some hinges on to make a door, add some latches, attach our portable run to it and we’d be all set.
We then built a frame out of those cheap 2×2’s that we seem to always have around. And screwed some corrugated plastic roofing scraps to it as a roof.
We then added latches. You gotta have latches if you have chickens!
Next came the door and attaching the run.
Then came the babies!! You can see its right next to the first coop we have and will allow those chickens to free range around the new chickens while keeping everyone safe and allowing time to settle in and get used to everyone. (paint job to come some other time).