Ley Gorrell : I’ve attached some photos of our chicken coop and run. We backed it up to our old tool barn, and put the same cedar siding on it (its actually privacy fencing). The coop is 9′ x 12′, and the run is currently 12′ x 32′ (it can be easily expanded). There’s an 8′ awning for loafing under when it’s raining/snowing, and in our hot summers.
The coop is painted plywood on the inside, with linoleum floor for ease of cleaning. I have a droppings pit under the roosts for the same reason.
The big window is one I found in the garage and refurbished. It swings out. The small one is a bathroom window that slides open. I have a remarkably bright solar light inside, and that’s the little solar panel you see on the south roof. It looks like the chickens are watching TV at night! There’s also a 4′ x 6′ storage closet for feed and supplies.
I’ve also included photos of my favorite hen, Anise, a Silver Spangled Spitzhauben, and my favorite rooster, Fennel, a gray bantam Silky, with the cutest little crow you’ve ever heard. All the chickens are named for spices and flavorings (don’t tell them!) We’re currently getting about a dozen eggs a day, including pretty blue ones from the Americaunas. We have the chickens for the eggs, not to eat. I make all of my own dog and cat food, so everyone gets eggs for breakfast.
We also have ducks, guineas, and a pair of Toulouse geese. We have another batch of babies getting shipped in next month. The next big project is going to be a wild duck aviary. We will be building that over the summer, in anticipation of the ducks arrival in October. I connected with a gentleman in Oregon who is going to ship me breeding pairs of Wood Ducks, Mandarins, White Mandarins, Northern Pintails, Green Winged Teals, Cinnamons Teals, Spotted Teals, and Hooded Mergansers. Very exciting!
I would like to hear from anyone with wild duck aviary/breeding experience, particularly help on containment. My plan is to do the same thing that we did with the coop, with heavy-duty steel wire, sunk in concrete trenches. However, the chickens are locked in the coop at night, the waterfowl will not be. We have plenty of predators (coyotes, hawks, owls, racoons, bobcats), so trying to decide what would be best for overhead. The chicken run just has lightweight plastic netting on top. I’d like to make the size of the aviary approximately 60′ x 100′, and we have several mature oaks to fence around. It would not be advisable for us to use hot wires, as it is a major fire hazard here in our arid summers.
We are on the eastern side of California, in the lower Sierra Nevadas, with King’s Canyon and Sequoia National Parks just above us with the big mountains.