Friday, July 4, 2008

Our Guinea Hen Coop

Here are the keets at 4 weeks. All 3 of them started roosting on the branch inside their crate this week. And all 3 of them escaped from the crate this week (at the same time).On Wednesday, we were working in the yard and the doors of the shed were opened. I let Mulligan and Cassie outside and it took them about 30 seconds to race around to the shed to visit the keets. Mulligan pulled off one of the cardboard sides and the keets were all squished in the far corner of the crate trying to get away from her. So, I got the dogs out of the shed and the shed doors closed. I didn't replace the cardboard on the end of the crate...I figured the keets had grown too big to get through the sides. The next day I went into the shed and all 3 keets were standing outside the crate peeping and chirping. I thought it might be difficult to get them back into the crate but it was easy. Instead of trying to catch them, I just blocked off the area and walked behind them so they all marched back into the crate. Time to get them down into the coop even though it's still 2 weeks before we can let them out into the yard.

Here is our coop in all it's glory: As I mentioned before, we used the base and the roof from a child's playhouse that the previous owners left on the property (they left the pieces there, but none of the pieces were put together). We also used leftover stain from the previous owners to paint the coop. The photo above shows one end of the coop. This door opens up to the side and will be the door I use to clean the coop, and give them food and water.This photo shows the other end of the coop, with the drop down door for the hens to use. The door turns into a ramp for them to walk on. The railings on the sides are also from the playhouse...good landing spots for the hens when they're coming back to the coop. And here's a close up of one of my favourite features...
Our 6 year old granddaughter drew a chicken on the plywood when John and G were building the coop. I outlined her drawing with marker, added the year and covered it with varnish. Below is the inside of the coop.
We drilled one inch holes all along the top of the coop to allow some air circulation when the doors are closed. We are also going to add a door for the hens on the top of the shelf. We're thinking this might stop some predators (and our own dogs!) from getting in the house using the ramp. Looking at the outside, that means there will be smaller doors on the one end of the house. 
Fingers crossed all goes well moving the keets tomorrow! The keets will stay in the coop for 2 weeks, and then we'll let them roam the yard.

No comments: