“Our whole culture suffers from an industrial food system that has made every part disconnected from the rest. Smelly and dirty farms are supposed to be in one place, away from people, who snuggle smugly in their cul-de-sacs and have not a clue about the out-of-sight out- of-mind atrocities being committed to their dinner before it arrives in microwaveable, four-color-labeled, plastic packaging… The notion that animals can be raised, processed, packaged, and sold in a model that offends neither our eyes nor noses cannot even register on the average bureaucrat’s radar screen — or, more importantly, on the radar of the average consumer advocacy organization. Besides, all these single-use megalithic structures are good for the gross domestic product. Anything else is illegal.” – Joel Salatin, Everything I Want to do is Illegal.
|Brrrr! Cold and Rainy!|
|The run door, ready to go on!|
|The three access doors...|
It's important to be able to have easy access to your coop, so Andy and I decided on three access doors. A main door to clean out the coop bedding, a door to easily access fresh eggs, and a door to access the far-side of the coop which we may turn into a storage area.
|Assembling the coop by moonlight! Hens are coming!|
This is the chicken door, which they will access via a ladder. The coop is placed off the ground to discourage predators and pests from entering.
The chicken door can be drawn up from outside the coop. This makes it convenient for us to let them out each morning, we don't have to enter the run.
Inside the coop are wood shavings, and in the run we put straw on the ground. The Chickens like to scratch and spread the straw; inside the coop the shavings or chips (which we will produce ourselves with a wood chipper) will absorb the liquid waste and be easy to clean out. This time we purchased the chips from a local farm store and the straw from a neighbor.
And they arrive! This coop is an upgrade from the small backyard coop they lived in at their previous home. They are about a year and a half old and once they settle in, they should begin to lay.
We didn't get to choose the breed but these hens were free, these are Rhode Island Reds. We will add to our small flock with additional hens we choose and purchase from local farmers.