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NOTE: The birds & squirrel pictured at the top of this page and in the slideshow below are just a few that I have helped rehabilitate.
WARNING: Please do not touch a wild animal, especially the young ones. If you remove a baby from it's home, sometimes the mother is just off getting it's baby food and will be back.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

100% Recycled Chicken Coop

As I sit here typing this I am hearing "Cockle-doodle-doo!" for the first time in almost 20 years and I couldn't be happier! Did you know in Germany their roosters say Ceekle-dee-dee (or something like that)? My German exchange sister taught us that many years ago, and I laugh whenever I think of it. I have always wondered how roosters know the proper language, but I guess they do somehow-Ha!
Tom and I have taken our recycling and repurposing to the extreme with this chicken coop. I know that not everyone has an old ranch with a few old junk piles dying to be repurposed, but everyone has friends that have some junk that they need to get rid of. Some of our lumber came from a neighbor, who was happy to get rid of some of his "trash".
Our tack shed for the llamas is an old six seater outhouse that was used in a different location for a conservation camp. It is very well built (Aah, the good old days!) and has really withstood the test of time and animals! We started our hen house by using recycled plywood and built a box attached to the side of the old outhouse and put a lid with hinges on it. This will make it easy to keep clean and allow for extra hours of sunshine for the chickens in the cold winter months. The roof of the house will work by a pulley system that Tom has laying around, but we ran out of steam, so a strong board to hold it open will work for this week. We then used old shelves taken out of a laundry room and turned them into nests by cutting them to size and simply screwing them together (simple for Tom anyway).
The yard is built with 2x4's and 2x6's that we already had (and borrowed from our great neighbor, Dan) and the posts are all 4x4's, again recycled. Tom is great at posts; he digs the hole and then wedges rocks in to keep the post upright and then buries it. His posts have also stood the test of time!!! We had chicken wire on hand because we had to wrap the pine trees in the llama pen so they would not kill them. The top of our tack shed was a great way to attach the wire and bring it down to the posts and then lower, to the ground. We left a couple of feet of chicken wire that we then buried, the number one defense against predators. We even went so far as to use the wire that held the chicken wire bundle together to "tie" all of the large pieces of chicken wire together every 8 inches or so, number two defense against predators, especially the flying ones!
While Tom built the door, I painted the hen house; red and white of course, to match the ranch house. The door is a frame of 2x4's with cross braces and chicken wire. We used a jigsaw to cut the door of the hen house out after I painted it so it would match the rest when we put a hinge on it to lock the chickens in at night.
As usual, we had the poor chicken before his house was done because he just had to find a new place to live! Working under pressure really gets a lot accomplished though. After a long day in a large dog crate, PW (Phillip William) was released into his new estate.
The pictures show the progression of our work, and the arrival of our rooster; we are hoping to get his girlfriends this week. That is Tom hard at work, and also my kids Nathan and Isabella (the blonde) with her friend Danielle. I'm wondering how Two Eagles worked his way into this photo shoot!!!
Good morning GreenSpot-On readers,  I decided to not cross post today, I wanted to let you all get to know me a little better.  This is a post from my blog Royal Ranch Green from the "Bottom" Up that I did last summer when we first got our chickens.  I think it is a great example as to how dedicated we are to running our ranch in an environmentally friendly way.  It is also a great way to get to know us and our critters!!!


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