After yesterday's pic of the babies in their brooder box, I thought I would share a pic of the big girls (and boy) in their coop. As you can probably tell, the girl's coop, does not look like a standard coop. For one thing, it is 4 feet off of the ground, and for another, it is almost completely open. There is a rhyme in our reason however. We live in Florida, where it is very hot and very humid most of the year. Chickens tend to dislike very hot and moist environments, and suffer in those conditions. As a result, we decided to make a coop that would allow for maximum air flow reducing both heat and humidity. The reason the coop is 4 feet off the ground is that we have several large predators in the area, such a coyotes. We needed to keep the chickens far off the ground in their open coop. You may have also noticed that there does not appear to be a way for the chickens to get in to or out of the coop. Rest assured there is a way for them to come and go. The rope going from floor to ceiling in the coop is attached to a retractable ramp that extends down during the day, and is pulled up at night, and becomes part of the floor of the coop.
The coop does have a few problems that we hope to correct this year. The biggest problem is that wind driven rain can easily infiltrate the coop, soaking the bedding material. We hope to add some sort of shutter that can be closed to protect against driven rain. We are also planning to enclose the bottom of the coop, so they have more room when they have to stay inside during the day.
The girls that were our babies just moved into the big coop, and are adjusting to their new surroundings. I promise there are several water bottles from them to pick from, but they all like this one.
Martha (an Americana named after Martha Washington), is having the hardest time adjusting - some of the big girls can be bullies. She gets plenty of cuddles to make up for it though.