Today we got enough done on the coop that tonight the chickens are in it for the very first time. They looked startled and confused when we put them in, and didn't move around much.

Not sure if we should leave 'em in there for a few days to get used to the place or not...but I'm not super comfortable with that idea since the window isn't in yet. (Some people say to leave the chickens closed in a new coop for a few days so that they will learn to recognize it as home, and naturally go in at night to roost.) Without the window in yet it's dark, and ventilation may not be super good (although we did cut a few ventilation holes) we'll probably let them out tomorrow for the day.

This is the chicken door (I think it's called a 'pop' door). We had to get a different latch for it since we couldn't get the first one to work.

These are the roosts.

According to my research, you need approx. 10 inches of roost per chicken for standard sized chickens. Since our coop is technically for 8-12, we put in enough roost for 12 (120 inches). That way if we find that there aren't enough chickens to warm the slightly-too-large coop warm this winter, next year we'll have room to add 6 more without needing modification.

Also, according to my research (where I found multiple suggestions--always---I took the one that worked for our "guinea pig" chicken--yes we tried out perch sizes using a real chicken---or I took the average measurements) we put 12" in between perches (vertically) and placed them no less than 12 inches from the wall. We have three levels-one at 12", one at 24" and one at 36". That way they can choose their roost according to preference and pecking order. (Also it's important to have roosts higher than the nest box perch so they won't roost there--the nestbox roost is at about 23".

This is after we put the feeder in (we suspended the feeder and waterer from the roof rafters with swingset chain).

We'll need to buy a different waterer--the one we got doesn't hang well, it has a flat handle. So for now we're using the 1 gallon waterer that we were using before. That's a 30 gallon metal feeder in the picture.


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