Wild Gourd Farm

Organic Gardening in St. Louis City

Our Chicken Set-Up

We haven’t mentioned the chickens in a while, and we realized we never gave our readers a tour of their home. We kept it cheap by buying used items and using  materials we found or already had on hand, as well as paint Sallie had left over.

Here’s our coop, which we discussed a long time ago in our post Dog House Turned Chicken Coop. The dog house already had the hinged roof- perfect for cleaning and egg collecting. We added the window on the right, which we’ve had propped open this summer. Chickens love being above the ground, so the coop is elevated on a coffee table we found in the alley, which also gives the chickens extra space to walk beneath their coop. Eric made the ladder out of sticks we found in the yard and a few screws… it’s held up well!

Here’s a view inside the coop, taken from above.  Chickens’ natural instinct is to sleep as high up as possible, so we installed a tall roost in the middle and a ramp to access it. Behind the roost are two nesting boxes. They don’t need separate ones, they like to share- they have their own laying schedules and like to lay their eggs all together in a clutch. We covered the nesting boxes to give the ladies an extra surface to roost on and to prevent them from pooping on the eggs.

This is the birds’ eye view from the entrance of the coop (incidentally, not the traditional “birds’ eye view”!)

Our chicken run is a chain link dog pen we bought on Craigslist, which we topped with a couple of corrugated plastic sheets for rain protection.

We have two waterers to keep the ladies hydrated. We made the one on the left using a large plastic jug with a slit towards the bottom, which sits in a plant tray. With the cap on the jug, the water flows out from the bottom and fills the tray up to the level of the slit. On the right is a pet waterer Eric’s mom found for us, which works essentially the same way. These sit atop a long roost, and there are two other roosts in the corner of the pen, out of view. Have we mentioned that the ladies really like being above the ground?

Here’s Chica our Polish hen working the camera, while Mother Clucker the Partridge Rock, Yolko the Ancona, and Fanny the Jersey Giant peck at their food. Their feeder is a 5 gallon bucket with holes cut along the bottom, attached to a plant tray. We have it suspended and attached to the top of the pen to keep it from being knocked over, though they still spill their food everywhere!

Chica, Yolko, Fanny, and Mother free ranging in the side yard.  This is their Abbey Road pose (silly chickens, they’re facing the wrong way!)

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2 responses to “Our Chicken Set-Up

  1. Mom August 16, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    I love it! Also that they are getting plenty of exercise maybe Eric can teach one of them to jump through the tree with Roscoe. Your gardens are looking good also and Im happy you were able to take some to a Restaurant. Yeh!

  2. We Will Work for Food August 16, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    They’re pretty smart, but not on the same level as Rosco. Fanny has learned where her treats come from and follows Sallie around the yard when they’re out!
    And we’ve been selling cucumbers, beets, and jalapenos to Labeebee’s. It’s been fun!

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