Feathers were ruffled yesterday as Ray worked to add a few new features to the coop.
The girls spend a lot of their time inside the coop. Not so much a problem in winter, but in summer, when the days are hot, there is a chance they will get overheated. To help coax them out of the coop, we have provided some shade.
We repurposed two thin and light plastic mats that came with a garden cart we got last year. As soon as we started zip tying the mats to the top of the playpen, the chickens were out clucking. “Now what are you doing to our playpen? Yes, I speak chicken now.
Once we had the shade secured, they happily crowded under it. Some of them even lay down in the cool grass. Then Ray opened the big door in order to install a couple of vents for additional airflow in the coop. This caused quite a stir among the ladies. I think they thought they would never get in their home again.
Next, Ray installed a few additional locks on the door and laying box lids. Because we did not get the coop weather proofed right away, the rain caused some bowing. In order to avoid a complete rebuild, we put two more locks on either side of the big door and two more on each laying box lid.
Finally, we got the rain barrel watering system fully installed…at least as far as the outside waterer goes.
We put a space blanket that Ray had in his bug out bag. The blanket is made of mylar and reflects the heat. It is normally used to prevent heat loss by reflecting your body heat back to you. In this case, we are using it to reflect heat away from the barrel, thereby providing shade and preventing our girls from drinking boiling hot water.
Then we re-installed the gutter and attached a hose from it to the hole in the top of the barrel. We tested it out to make sure it worked. We’ll need to put some additional caulking around the area where the hose attaches to the gutter, but it will work should the weather forecast for this week prove true.
All that is left to do now is add the watering system inside, get the automatic feeder installed and prep the laying boxes.
Ruffled feathers calmed
Cooling breezes in the coop
Shade in the playpen