Wild Gourd Farm

Organic Gardening in St. Louis City

Tag Archives: chicken feeder

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!)


And the winner is…

The poll is closed and the votes have been tallied; our fourth chicken is hereby named Mother Clucker! We had a lot of fun reading through all the creative chicken names that were submitted, thanks everyone for the great ideas! We ended up using three of ’em, so Pat, Bone, and Rachel will receive a dozen eggs each when we get ’em, hopefully in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, it’s been a week and our chickens have adapted to their new home. Check out our pictures below to see the set up!

Here's the chicken area before it was all completed. The pen was wrapped in chain link fencing, with a protective layer of chicken wire on top and along the sides at the bottom. We extended it outward along the ground to prevent burrowing predators.

Our completed dog house-turned-chicken coop, which sits on a coffee table we found in the trash. We outfitted the coop with a window, ladder, and sliding door.

Here you can see the coop with the door, window, and roof open. Inside are two roosts and two nesting boxes made from reclaimed wood.

We cut slots into the bottom of the sides of a bucket and fastened it to a plant tray to make this chicken feeder.

This plastic jug with a hole cut out near the bottom sits in a plant tray to hold water for the chickens.

And now, here are our lovely ladies:

Meet Fanny, our Jersey Giant.

This is Yolko, an Ancona hen.

Here's Chica, our Polish hen. She's iridescent in person, and she's got attitude. Maybe because her crest restricts her vision so much!

Presenting to you for the first time, here's Mother Clucker (formerly Ms. X), our Partridge Rock hen.

They’re about 20 weeks old and should begin laying soon. We’re looking forward to having lots of eggs!