Thursday, July 21, 2016

Mother Hen DIY Coop

chicken coop in progress

chicken wire coop ook

Chicken Momma
OR Chooks Chookies Kooks and Me

Hatched the baby chickens.
A recent summary of my ranch adventures:
Lost one pullet to pasty butt. Spent three days and nights feeding her drops of vitamin water on the hour. Did you know Siri can learn the names of your baby chickens? This is helpful with an alarm at 3 and 4. Created Kleenex tissue life-safer to keep sick baby from flopping on her back, and the long process of cleaning her bottom. She died.
Next the vicious murder by grey squirrels. I now hunt bushy tails. Two squirrels poked holes in babies and tore one apart.
Horrible deaths, lost sleep and oh my, I’m a Mother Hen.

My house is next to the Cleveland National Forest. Mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, raccoons and other predators stroll on my driveway. There are two existing chicken coops. One is oversized and the other smaller one I'm adapting into Fort Knox.
The nearest hardware store is a forty minute drive away. First, I purchased chicken wire. After securing three rolls to the coop and play yard, I learn it is not strong enough to withstand hungry predators. I plan to use recycled materials. Chain link fence pieces, left over siding and a couple metal posts were found on Free-cycle. Five rolls of welded steel wire, 4 X 4 lumber posts and twenty varieties of wire I bought at Home Depot.
Country Living is not photo shooting my ranch for the coop. Painted houses with picket fences and screen windows would be torn apart by animals in a moonlit evening. The play house that your daughters grew out of is not safe enough for my hens. A raccoon tears through plastic.

"Raccoons eat plastic zip ties." I told the handy orange Apron at Home Depot.
Rolls of wire are to connect walls and ceiling for the play pen. I need to stitch the wire together and have no gaps.
"This ook wire with the nice package cutter is perfect." Orange apron tells me.
This product stinks. The cutter doesn’t trim the wire. The spool hogs the ends. Then when you just need a little a long center piece sticks out of the cardboard. As you ease the piece out to cut the rope becomes tangled in under layers. Send "Ook "frustration packaging to your enemies. Let their hands be torn bloody while they pull for the next piece. I never return purchases. Have you waited in line to face the humiliation of being asked why something doesn't work? Ook sucks, see the holes in my hands.

Another trip to Home Depot.
“Do you have metal zip ties?”
Strange facial expression from Orange vest guy.
“Perhaps in the electrical department?” he answers.
“I know metal conducts electricity. I am searching for cable ties that come in packs of 100 or more…”
“We don’t have anything like that, what are you using them for?” Frowny face from Orange vest.
I explain about the coop. He gives me the crazy lady bored face.

"J clips, hog rings, loxit rings and matching pliers?" I say as if speaking a foreign language.
Okay Orange County isn't the farming capitol of California anymore... Time for a real drive.

I make a third trip over the hill to real farming hardware stores.  Grangetto's sales person complements my cowgirl boots. They have barn owl boxes (next project) rainwater retention and grey water systems. I'm smiling. Next stops Tractor Supply and Kahoots.  

When I am finished I will post images of the darling Spanish Style Chicken High Security Vault and the shoot that opens into a play yard.
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