Monday, March 15, 2010
Todd has been working on building our "hoop coops" for nearly a month now. They're a revolutionary design that allows the chickens to be on fresh grass every night. They are hoop shaped (hence the name), made with rigid square hog panels set on a light weight wooden frame. A tarp covers the hoop shape to provide protection from the weather.
The back end has two wheels mounted to the frame so that when the end with the door is lifted the coop can be wheeled to it's new location with fresh grass. They are totally enclosed and will serve as the chicken's house at night time, while they are allowed to free-range and forage during the day.
The bottom is wrapped in small mesh chicken wire to prevent anything from reaching in a grabbing the chickens.
This is Todd's patented design for their feeding system. It's a 3-inch PVC pipe the runs from outside the coop (near the door), down at a 45 degree angle and then flattens out and runs about 3 feet down the side of the coop. The top of the flat portion is cut out so the chickens can access their food from there. Genius, don't you think? The PVC cap is removable from outside and you just dump a scoop of food down the chute.
This particular hoop coop is designed for our broiler chickens - those are a breed of chicken we will be raising soley for meat. They mature in about 3 months and never lay eggs. We have 25 broiler chicks arriving next weekend and this summer will end up in the freezer.
The other coop is designed exactly like this one, only it has a roosting box with six roosts connected to the backside. It is for the laying hens, which have already arrived and are currently in their "brooders". They'll stay in the brooders under lights (to stay warm) until they are bigger and have feathers to keep them warm.
Cuties, aren't they?