Thursday, May 19, 2011

Completed "Chick-Mobile"

Ok, First I would like to apologize for the lack of posts recently.  We have been crazy busy as of late.  

I finished the chick-mobile a couple of weeks ago and am fairly pleased with how it came out.

I added a roost made out of some 2x2's.  I had debated this in my mind for quite some time.  I did not know if it would be better to make a slat-type floor in the back or to build a small roost.  I needed something so the hens could get off of the ground in cold or wet weather.  I finally decided to go with the roost figuring that it would double as a latter to get to the laying boxes which are still to come.

Next on the docket was predator protection.  The bottom is rapped in 1/2" hardware cloth and I covered the hoops with chicken wire.  I attached the chicken wire with UV-resistant zip-ties.

I figured that since my telekinesis powers are pretty rusty that I should have some way to pull it around.  A few washers, a couple u-bolts, two carabiners, and a good length of strong rope solved that problem.  I was a little worried as I was finishing this build that I had overbuilt it too much (honestly, I don't think there is such a thing) and it would be too heavy to move, but it turns out that is is not bad at all.  It is heavy enough that I am really not worried about it blowing away, and light enough that I can pull it where ever I need to.

Here is what the inside looks like after it was completed.  It is very hard to see in this picture, but I actually put reflective foil insulation over the back third and made sure the sides were completely covered to the ground in the back.  It does actually seem to keep it a little warmer and blocks the wind very well (as long as you remember to turn it so the back is toward the wind).  

Here are the brave soles that tested it out before I added some more chickens.  After a couple days of really cold and rainy weather, in which they stayed dry and safe, they gave it a seal of approval.

I moved more chickens out and the all seem to be loving their new home.

As you can see the back 4/5 is covered with a tarp to provide some weather protection.  I built a small shelf in the front for a 3 gallon waterer and hung a hanging-feeder from the purlin and the top.

The chickens have been enjoying it for a few weeks now and seem to be getting along great.  I still need to build a couple more of these for the rest of the ladies that are still living in the barn.  I am also planning on building a small laying shed that docks to the back.  It will have the laying boxes in it.