The husband is home from Alaska and one of the first things he did was to help make the rabbit shed warmer. He covered the bank of three screen windows on one side of the shed with corrugated green plastic. I can’t tell you how much better that made it. The shed went from being able to see your breath in it to not. There is still one window for ventilation, but we partially covered it, too. It’s got about 3 inches by a foot and a half that is still open to the air, but there is all sorts of vegetation back there protecting it.
Doing the chores in there last night was cold, but not frost bite level cold, which is nice considering it was 19 degrees F outside the shed. Some of the water bottles were frozen yesterday morning, but this morning none of them were even though it was 27 degrees F, so the plastic is already doing its job. Most of the chicken water buckets were frozen over. The one in the coop was under the heat lamp so it didn’t. I’m going to put the bell waterer in the garage overnight tonight as it thawed out through the day, so that hopefully it won’t freeze tonight.
This is our old duck enclosure. We used to have four ducks that lived in here. Now we have a trough for chicken feed and a roasting pan full of water in there. It gets locked up at night so it doesn’t, or at least hasn’t frozen over yet. Also so the squirrels don’t eat all the feed. So the chickens have at least one outside source of water that is still liquid.
I thought I’d show you our chicken coop because I think it is really neat. It was designed and built by the ex-husband of my physical therapist who is a very gifted carpenter. We had it built on stilts so that the chickens could go underneath it in the event of rain or snow and we could store a few things under it. It is quite a bit larger than it looks in photos.
There are five nesting boxes across the front. The top lifts up to check for eggs.
We got 2 this morning and 4 this afternoon. The ones this morning were laid on the floor of the coop. I think they are annoyed that I am not letting them out at 7, but waiting until 8 so are leaving them where they can get stepped on. It is just so cold and dark, I don’t want to let them out too early. The other eggs were in their proper place.
The ramp leading out stops about 2 feet from the rabbit shed. Sometimes they race down it so fast they go headlong into the wall. I try not to laugh, but they do it pretty often. Silly girls. The hatch to the ramp locks with a slider that you then push down into place. It is the only type of lock the raccoons can’t seem to master.
On the side of the coop opposite the hatch is a big door. It is big enough for me to go inside. I have to hunch over a bit, but it makes it fully accessible. Again it has a slide and bolt lock.
Open the door and you have access to the inside waterer and the feeder. The heat lamp hangs above the feeder. There are three perches. The only thing I would do differently is not have the top and bottom perches be lined up with each other. Because the hens on the top perch will poop on the hens directly beneath them. Not good. It leaves bald spots sometimes on the hens below if they don’t get cleaned off right away.
The back of the coop is set up nicely with a door that runs the full length of the coop.
It has slide and bolt locks above and below. When you swing it up it holds the door in place.
We pull the buckets out so they are mostly not under the coop and then we use a rake to pull out the droppings and they go into the buckets with dirty bedding. When the buckets are full they go to the compost heap. Hopefully this spring we can get it painted. It would be nice to paint the rabbit shed as well.
I did rabbit weights of the older kits last night, but haven’t entered them into the spreadsheet yet as I left the paper in the shed, so I’ll try to get those posted tomorrow.