Monday, December 27, 2010

More Coops?

At some point during chicken raising, one must decide what to do next...and if more coops are "needed". This thought process can be very time consuming, as several items must be considered:

....How much will this cost me?!
....How many "more" coops are really needed?!
....What/which birds am I doing this for?!
....What will my spouse say?! (this is the most important factor, hehe)

I was out feeding the birds this morning and taking inventory of our space while the sun was out. I don't think we are using it as effectively as we could be, so I'm considering doing some switching around of the flock. We have my son's birds (his Buff Laced Bantam Polish) and he needs to narrow them down to more manageable number (that we know for sure!).  We have my husband's Marans (Black Copper), my Dutch (Light Brown and Blue Light Brown), and several birds here and there  - basically placed where ever we could find room for them! These include a pair of Bantam Wyandottes (a Blue Laced Red project) and two Blue Laced Red hens (standard sized). The laying hen flock is doing great in their pen, so no need to move them at all - but the coop could use some repairs in the spring.

It's the Marans I am thinking about most....they are large birds and need alot of space. The males also need to be kept separate if we can, just because they can do serious damage if they decide to have a battle. I am trying to think of a coop design we could build ourselves for as little money as possible, that would keep these guys separate and dry when it rains (off the ground).

We also need to consider what we want to hatch this spring (making room for them is also a priority). We still have some birds in the "teen-aged" coops which are actually converted fruit bins...usually they are empty by now! Gadzooks.

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