Sunday was a beautiful day here in Missouri, especially for February. It was unusually mild, mid-50s and just a nice day to be outside. So it was the day I decided to let the chickens out of their coop. As the weather gets nicer I plan to let them out most of the day so that they can forage around and enjoy more space. It was a little nerve wracking, letting them out of their safe space. I wondered if I would be able to get them back in the coop. I was also worried about how our dogs Balto and Shadow would do and if they would bother them. Balto is our new LGD and judging by the calm, protective way he had acted around all our other animals, I felt he woul be fine. But I had no idea how Shadow, our black lab, would react. But the time came when we were ready to let the chickens explore more of their world.
We opened their door……
And it didn’t take long at all for them to venture out…..
Balto took a good, up close (and rather personal) look to make sure all was well…..
Then while the chickens were exploring the new world outside, Balto was curious about their world inside…..
Shadow was perfect around the chickens…..didn’t scare them or bother them in any way. Everyone got along beautifully.
The chickens wandered a little further than I though they would, but when I went out around 5:00 to get them inside and safe for the night, they were already settled down back in their coop. The chickens first day out went really well.
I have been thinking about getting good laying chickens for some time now and have done a lot of studying on types of coops or housing for my hens. I have looked at all kinds of coops, some very, very expensive, some not so bad. I have considered both permanent coops and the mobile, tractor types that can be moved about the farm. I considered housing the chickens in the barn with the alpacas and building a coop within the pastures. Once I took everything into consideration, I decided to use the chicken coop that had been on the farm for many years.
It is very sturdy and must have housed many chickens over the years. There are a few things I need to do for the safety and health of the hens and a few things I think would make the coop more convenient for me. And, of course, there are a few aesthetic things I would like to do as well. Now that the chicks are here (and seem to be growing so fast) we need to get busy on the coop renovation. So last weekend we got off to a good start.
Jeff removed the warped and rotting floorboards and began filling the space below the floor with some of the leftover limestone chipping we purchased for the barns. It is a slow process, one wheelbarrow at a time, but hopefully we will be done with that by the weekend.
And, of course, Sun Tzu kept a careful watch on the project. Wonder what he will think when the chickens are added to the coop?
I will keep posting as we continue with the Chicken Coop Renovation. Hope you will enjoy the transformation!