We spent this past Sunday afternoon building a chicken coop for the meat chickens (off-site from our house in the city).
“Why?”, you ask. Because all the cool kids are doing it.
Just kidding! Really it’s because we’re getting 50 day-old Cornish-rock meat chickens to raise & butcher. And apparently that is a few too many chickens for my backyard farm in the city (can you say “code violation”!), so this will be happening another Elston’s in the country (Chris’ grandparents) about 15 minutes away.
They should be delivered today. And I am pretty stinkin’ excited.
We did this last March with about 30 chicks & 27 survived to be butchered in April. We butchered them ourselves & it was actually pretty cool. 15 birds in our deep freeze wasn’t to shabby either.
So back to the coop now: #1 lesson learned from last time: Make it skunk proof.
It may seem silly or hard to believe, but skunks are a serious predator to baby chicks. As in bite into their head & suck the blood/life from them. It’s pretty Nas-tay.
So in effort to avoid that happening again, we rebuilt the chicken coop to house the meat birds for 6-7 weeks. While they won’t be outdoors & able to free range (that’s something I want to work on next time), they will have some moving round room & excellent ventilation unlike chickens in CAFO. And we even used materials (wood, chicken wire, hand stapler, wire for seaming the chicken wire together) we already had, so the cost was about an hour-ish of our time. We buried the sheet metal down & will likely seal any other tricky cracks with spray foam to ensure no varmints make meals of our future meals.
The chicks will spend the first week, maybe two in a metal water trough with a heat lamp. I think we actually are going to have some fall-ish weather here in Texas in the coming weeks 🙂
Here’s a before shot of the coop to-be:
And the completed coop:
I will be posting lots about these chicks from the arrival through the end of butchering day, so hang with me for journey!