Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Some more pictures

I've been out with the camera this evening to try and take some nice pictures of Honey and Dopey - they are hard to photograph, especially as I don't want to let them out yet, so they learn that the run is their home, but I think I got one that shows them nicely. Dopey is at the front, and Honey slightly behind in the shadow. They are all curled up in their house now - Honey, Speckeldy Selina and Ginger are sleeping in the nest box, and Dopey is on the floor. I ought to encourage them to roost, but none of them seem to have the slightest inclination to do so! Dopey lives up to her name and is a very sound sleeper - she has her head under her wing and barely opened her eyes when I looked in, whereas the other 3 stuck their heads out to find out what is going on. I've shut the pophole on them tonight, as a fox has been prowling - it will be interesting to see how they react when they wake up!

These photos show the coop in its new position under the bay tree, with the new extension. The blue tarpaulin is our method of catching Ginger and Speckeldy Selina at the moment - they are quite scared of it, and run back into the house. Otherwise they are impossible to catch!

Lastly, someone asked me about the way we had positioned the coop on concrete slabs - we had originally put wire on the bottom of the coop with the idea that we would move it round on the grass. After the torrential rain the weekend we got the chickens it became obvious that walking out to the coop in wet weather would quickly turn the garden into a mud bath, and their poo became trampled onto the wire, which wasn't very nice for them. They also couldn't scratch with a wire base, but I didn't want to take the wire off while it was still on the grass as a fox (of which there are many in Bristol) could easily have dug under and taken the hens. So we laid paving slabs, which the fox can't dig through, took the wire off, and put a floor of bark chippings down. They seem much happier with this arrangement, and cleaning is very easy - simply lift the coop off the slabs, shovel the bark chips out, hose it down, replace the coop, replace the bark chips and it's ready. This is a photo of the 'floor' of it.


steve said...

Hi Claire,
Not a comment, but I wanted to ask a chick Q as I found your post on mumsnet and couldn't post there (not a mum). Hope that's ok?
We have a small garden: lawn 7ftx18ft with a seperate 2m x 30m concrete alley down the side of the house. I quite like the look of the eglu for that reason, but the wood arks are a lot cheaper (and ecofriendly). How easy are they to clean etc? What would you suggest for a concrete urbanite (although grass exists, I'd rather it not dug up and covered in poo!)?

Phil said...

Hi,I'm going to buy my mum chickens but need a coop and run, as we have foxes in the area I need something fox proof and like you're idea of concrete with wood chippings. I was looking at the Eglu and using that idea but it is way out of my budget! I was just wondering where you can buy the coop/run that you have or something similar?

Claire said...

Sorry didn't spot your comments earlier - but if you happen to read this, here's my thoughts;

steve - wooden arks aren't as easy as the eglu to clean, but not at all difficult. We lift ours off the concrete slabs, bag up the wood chips, hose it all down, put the run back on the slabs, fresh chippings etc, then clean out the house - a good spray of Poultry Shield and it's done. If you've got concrete down already, just put aubiose or hemcore or easibed on the concrete - they are quite happy. If it is fairly deep then they can scratch around in it and dust bathe etc.

phil - our coops are basically homemade, but the blue house I bought from a poultry supplier in bristol ( and then we added the run on. If you do a google search on chicken coop there are loads of sites. Building your own is the cheapest way, but there are 'budget' ranges as well. I think the wooden ones are much better value than the eglu!