Chicken Coop is Finished

Preparing for the Brooder to Coop Transition

The chicks are heading into their 5th week in the brooder and will be ready to move into the coop the following week. This is what I call their transitional week. Their radiant heat heat source is slowly taken away, and they’ll also lose their all-night red lighting.
The first few nights I switch from red lighting to a white night light, then the night light is taken away. By the time they transition from brooder to coop they will have learned to accept cooler temperatures and total darkness at night.
In most parts of the country chicks are kept in the brooder until they are fully feathered, which is usually around 8 weeks. Here in Phoenix, Arizona, by the end of April temperatures during the day reach about 85-90, lows about 65. Therefore, it’s plenty warm to move the chicks to the coop at about 6 weeks. As you can see, they’re pretty well feathered already!

The Finished Coop
The coop is an existing 10×10 x walk-in covered dog enclosure converted to a chicken coop. It’s inside a 3 stall covered open air barn, offering them plenty of shade and fresh air. It has taken almost 3 weeks to completely cover the chair link fencing with 1/2 inch hardware cloth.
Needless to say, I have spent my self-quarantine time wisely. Unfortunately, my fingers are a mess from working with stubborn wire and zip ties.

Predators have been a problem in the past, we have had our share of traumatic experiences with hawks, bobcats, and coyotes. I’ve lost at 8 birds over the years, with so much time on my hands, this was a good time to put the effort into predator proofing the coop. Not to mention keeping wild birds from entering the coop and eating all the chicken feed!

Tip: Chicken wire isn’t going to keep your birds safe from predators, always use hardware cloth. Chicken wire can be chewed through or easily bent to give predators access.
Also, lay /bury hardware cloth at the base of the coop to prevent digging by raccoons and coyotes, etc.  More About Predators

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Chicken Wire 220

Updating the Chicken Coop

Chicks in the Brooder are Three Weeks Old

The March 18th chicks are growing fast and there’s work to be done before they leave the brooder and move into the coop.  As long as I’m stuck at home, seemed like a great time to update the chicken coop. There’s always something I’m not satisfied with, this year I’m going to do something about it.

My biggest pain in the butt are wild birds eating all my chicken feed. They squeeze through the tiniest hole in the chicken pen, and then can’t get out. They fly around inside bouncing off the walls, causing total chaos among the flock.

You probably think this is no big deal, but chicken feed is expensive, and wild birds can easily eat 5lbs or more every single day. That means I’m buying a $14.99 bag of feed every 8 days or so. Taking that into consideration, it would be a lot cheaper to just buy eggs!

The coop is a 10×10 covered chain link pen, inside an open air barn or shedrow at the back of our property. I had it completely covered with aviary netting, that was somewhat suitable, however, birds and lizards would get caught in it. That’s another problem I  want to avoid so I took all of it off. One problem solved, but another was created.   I was now committed to finding a favorable solution.

The Solution
I bought 3 50ft rolls of 1/2 inch hardware cloth and have almost finished covering the entire coop. Talk about time consuming, OMG. My fingers are a mess, my nails broken, and my arms look like I’ve been in a battle zone.  BUT, there will be no birds getting in my coop this year!

The Girls at Three Weeks Old

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