the chicken enclosure was finished this week, so we could finally move our chickens from the rabbit hutch where they were temporarily living over to chez poulet, their posh chicken coop. the outdoor part is lined with zinc, repurposed from an old refrigerated container that was on our property, to make it rat-proof. apparently rats love eggs. we haven't seen any rats here at our place, but we have seen them at the stable next door, so they're in the neighborhood.
i was able to pick up the black swedish chickens yesterday - four hens and a rooster. they're completely black - including their combs. i read that even their meat is black! but we want them for the eggs. they're a bit smaller than the others, but they seem to get along quite peacefully when we put them together.
the dansk landhøns have really grown since we got them. they're nearly ready to begin laying eggs. and now they've got nesting boxes all lined with straw, ready for them to begin.
the black swedish rooster. i think he's actually quite cute.
husband got to indulge his inner engineer on this project and he has built a rather ingenious door that we can lower to let them out during the day.
he was inspired by castles and draw bridges, i suspect. he didn't even spend endless hours looking at designs online (like someone else in this family would), he said he had a vague picture in his head and he just started building it, modifying along the way as he encountered problems. i do admire that about him.
the chickens were pretty suspicious about going in last evening, but we managed, between the two of us to shoo them in. we want them in at night, so they don't get eaten by a fox, tho' husband has built quite a secure enclosure, so they should be ok anyway.
the door is raised and lowered by this handle on the outside.
here's how the mechanism looks on the inside. the chickens managed to open it sometime last night and let themselves out, so husband has made some more improvements so it can be locked into place and they can't get it open.
i couldn't resist showing you the beautiful door he made, repurposing one of those old round windows we've collected. it really is a cool chicken coop. on the righthand side of this photo, you can see the turning device for the door that's on the other side, where there will also be a pen they can be let out into. but that will be for another day. you can see he used a bit of a different design on that side.
woody was pretty interested in the whole project. he was wondering if they were a bit big to be an afternoon snack.