Cart before the horse…
Poor planning on my part last year to go ahead and buy a dozen chicks from without a chicken coop ready to go. “They’re just so darn cute.” Famous last words of just about every chicken mama… Luckily, we already had a small brooder at home to get us by for 4-6 weeks until we moved the newborns out to the yard.
This chick warmer is my favorite brooder essential. I feel so much more comfortable with it than with the heat lamps, the chicks all snuggle underneath it and can easily escape it if they get to warm.
With a dozen chicks growing rapidly, as well as the smell of baby chicks, in my living room, we started to step up our pace. With most of our projects I have a rough idea in my head of what I think I want. I sketch or describe the best I can to Kev, and he usually works out the kinks for me and somehow our projects tend to come together pretty darn well.
This coop has earned its keep. It stays very dry, there is a lot of room for roosting, and it comfortably fit all 12 ladies. We also added two PVC pipe gravity feeders and set up a rain water collection and watering system, which has worked out extremely well for our needs.
Because this coop stays so dry, it will be the perfect home for our Silkie flock. Because Silkie feathers do not have the barbicels like normal chicken feathers, they do not repel water quite the same way, and therefore can have a hard time drying off and staying warm, especially in colder months.
Protecting the Silkies…
Silkies do not make great free rangers. They have fluffy feathers on top of their heads that often make it hard for them to see overhead predators. Also, they can only jump about 12 inches off the ground. Their special feathers make them very flightless birds, and even harder for them to escape or evade predators. Our plan is to keep them safe in their new Silkie Shack with supervised free range time. Once they get a little older of course….