Monday, April 29, 2013

Building the Coop

Soon it will be time for the ducks to move out of our bathroom (thank goodness!) to the great outdoors- something they can't do until they are fully grown (to better ward off unfriendly creatures), fully feathered (to regulate their body temperature), and have a place to live.

In comes the chicken coop.

Our research showed that ducks can live in chicken coops and, even better, ducks and chickens can cohabitate in coops (in case we decide to get chickens at some point in time).

My husband (Mr. Go Big or Go Home) had a grand vision of building a whimsical little coop that would be a fun little addition to our garden (which itself has a grand plan but still needs a substantial amount of execution). Jeff says he wants the garden to be a place I will love to be in- sitting and puttering my days away.

Sounds dreamy to me. The only problem is I'm a little tired of projects. I didn't like the idea of adding another project to the list when there is still so much to do to set up the garden and when chicken coops are available for purchase built and ready to go.

Store bought varieties are a bit pricey and we couldn't find one that seemed right for our needs, so I set out online and found ChickenSaloon.com. Some of their models seemed a bit small for what we wanted, but The Rambler looked like it might work. Thanks to a sale they were running and a coupon my husband found, we snatched it up for a great price.

Here is how it came...

Photo Apr 20, 3 35 04 PM

Okay, well it didn't arrive in a tornado as it appears in the photo. It came in two boxes with pictorial assembly instructions which led to us affectionately referring to it as the IKEA coop. (I wonder if IKEA sells coops?)

It came with seven different screw packets of slightly varying sizes. Seven! (Jeff had already started with packet 1 when I took the photo.)

Photo Apr 20, 3 37 19 PM

So we set out to assemble IKEA coop. "What's first," my husband asked.

I looked at Step 1 (as shown in the box below the screw list). "Um... pretty much... build a coop."

Photo Apr 20, 3 37 08 PM -edit

"Okay," he said. And so we did. Here is my handy-dandy husband at work.

Photo Apr 20, 3 54 03 PM

And here is the (mostly) finished product...

Photo Apr 26, 2 57 05 PM

It's cute. There's just one problem. We're not sure it will work for the ducks.

The doorway is a bit narrow for our ducks, who are growing insanely fast. And once the ducks are inside there are roosting bars that hang about one foot above the floor (the roosting bars help chickens get up into the nesting boxes which are hanging off the sides of the coop). The ducks aren't short enough to walk under.

They're removable, so we could take them out, but if we decide to get chickens in the future (a possibility we tried to accommodate with a supposedly larger coop), they would need the bars.

Also, the floor space is only about 9 square feet which doesn't seem big enough for what could be a minimum of 8 birds (2 ducks, plus chicks which are sold as a minimum of 6). Things could get tight in that little house.

So after all that, we may be selling the coop and starting over with the original idea of building one to suit our needs. We have some friends that want to get chickens and offered to buy the coop, so it will go to a good home and should suit their chicken-only needs perfectly.

As for us, we'll be in project mode once again.

3 comments:

  1. Well, it also made a good blog post! There are lessons to be learned in every home project. Good luck on the next project.

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  2. Thanks! I figure if I get a story to tell, it's not all bad, right?

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  3. [...] case you were wondering, we gave the too-small chicken coop that we built earlier this year to friends. Those friends now have chicks, so I’ll be [...]

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