The coop is up, and the chickens just spent their first night in it. We told them they could sleep well, knowing that no predator this side of Godzilla could possibly break in. We hope we’re right about that.
Their new home is made from rough-sawn 1×10 pine, battened all the way around. It’s eight feet long, four feet wide, and about four feet high, with four nest boxes and several roosts made out of tree branches. The floor is vinyl-covered wood, topped with pine shavings. It’s got a sloping roof, covered in Tyvek and roof shingles, with a ridge vent on the high side. It has a window.
Their run, which isn’t yet enclosed, but will be by the end of the week, is eight by sixteen. Its base is bordered with 6×6 treated lumber, with poultry wire underneath it, so that anything that tries to dig under will hit wire rather than chicken. Above the poultry wire is a layer of compost and a layer of pine chips.
A chicken coop like this is very solid, very chicken-friendly, and very expensive.
How expensive? Funny you should ask. I was just adding it up.
|Treated lumber and wire for base||196|
|Sawmill pine (first trip)||231|
|Sawmill pine and pine chips (second trip)||110|
|Sawmill pine (third trip)||32|
|Miscellaneous hardware and parts||144|
|Feeder and waterer||45|
|Chicken wire for run enclosure||40|
|Run door and decorative rooster||15|
That comes to $866, and it’s not even everything. I haven’t counted hardware we already had, the used table saw we bought to rip 1x2s, or the new blade for the used table saw. I also haven’t included the bale of bandaging material we went through when Kevin nailed his index finger to his middle finger with a Porter Cable F350 framing gun.
By the time you include the brooder, the chicks themselves, and the Cambodian dinner we’re going to buy Dan and Linda to thank them for lending us their pick-up truck, we’re definitely into four figures. Factor in feed, and I figure we need to harvest about 400 dozen eggs to – ahem – recoup our investment.