Saturday, April 17th, the actual work began.
It was a very exciting day for me, seeing Mark, his dad and his friends building a coop for my chickens. He went all out, new lumber, brand new screen door and a window. He put a white plastic (not correct word) roof on it to let light in. This makes it get very warm in the coop and he closed it up pretty tight too.
Back view of the little window.
the white roof
White Plymouth Rocks have yellow legs. Some of the chicks have blue patches on there legs but this one is nearly completely blue. I checked pictures of other breeds and the only white chicken I found with a grayish blue leg is the White Orpington. A novice or someone not up on the different breeds might think they are the same kind of chicken, afterall they are both white. Some people categorize chickens like this, white chickens, brown chickens, black, spotted, old fashioned looking multicolored, small, funny looking, or tiny chickens. Others may categorize them by meat chickens, egg chickens, -do you really eat brown chickens? I thought you would only eat the white ones? etc., You may even think that brown chickens lay brown eggs and white chickens lay white eggs. My dad thinks that you have to keep a rooster to have good eggs. Funny stuff we people think. Anyway, back to the blue legged chicken in my coop, the White Orpington is also a large white chicken, lays lots of eggs and tastes good too. It does look different from a White Plymouth Rock though, if you pay attention. I will purchase the chicken standard and have a good look at the differences. Maybe I'll find a different chicken in there with blue legs so I'll talk more about that after I research more.
The day I decided to move the chickens was not a day too soon. I was busy getting the coop prepared for them. First I had to haul all the tools out of there. Then I had to arrange my stuff. I have two galvanized garbage pails to hold feed and stuff I don't want them getting into. I had to screw a nail to hang the feeder on and find a concrete block to set the waterer on. Next I spread a bail and a half of shavings over the floor and filled and hung the feeder. I filled the waterer and placed it in there. I was nervous about the waterer. It is the kind that has a removable lid with a plug for keeping water in when you have to add new. I didn't trust it but decided to go with it and just watch what it does. When I was done, the place smelled like fresh wood and not a bit chickeny. Fortunately that would change. Anyway, everytime I went back to the house chickens were running loose. I would catch them and put them back only for two or more to fly out. Finally I decided to just let them be and hurry up to get the coop ready.
Chloe helped me move the chickens. We were both excited. I had a box to put a few chickens in at a time and Chloe held the flaps closed while I caught chickens. We only put four in at a time so this was a great time to count them. We discovered one extra of the White Plymouth Rocks. Cool.
Here are some pictures I took of them after we got them all moved.
Trying out the new roost.
The new hanging feeder was awesome. Once they were all in there I adjusted it to the right height for them. I can adjust it weekly as they grow. They still jump inside but I've fixed that problem now.
There's Chloe, in her ballet skirt.
I used the old feeder bottom, which they broke, for grit. Here's one sitting in it. It is familiar to them in a brand new environment.
Unfortunately the new waterer was leaking. Fortunately I had bought two of them. So I traded them and the second new one doesn't leak. After they had settled in I brought in the litter from the brooder and mixed it in with the new litter. They seemed to like that as it's smell was much more familiar than the brand new stuff. The old litter was completey dry as I had expected it to be. It does amaze me anyway, that's why I'm writing it in here. That night after work, Mark made a little door in the side of the coop with a sliding closer. We also put up the electronet fence. It was really easy to set up. The ground around the coop was uneven from the building process. We stood there looking at the fence all set up when who should come walking through the yard, George, our cat. The fence was completely blocking his rythem as it went right over his usual path. He was perturbed and stumped. I told Mark that we get to see right away what will happen. We had plugged the fence in to make sure it was working correctly. George walked up to it and touched it with his nose but didn't get a shock. He moved down the fence toward the coop where the ground was uneven and slipped underneath it. "Ok," I said, "that works well." He crossed the little yard and slipped out under the otherside. Mark picked him up and touched his nose to the fence long enough for him to get a shock. He didn't like it at all. I actually didn't see him again until late the next morning. He was hungry.
I opened the little door to let the chickens out in the afternoon on Wednesday, 21st.