We've got nine hens that are about to start laying eggs for us any week now. I'm now faced with having to fashion them a makeshift coop (complete with nesting boxes), or go all out and use half of our existing barn to make a deluxe walk-in coop that'll end up being something like a chicken Marriott. I'm inclined to attempt the latter. A friend of mine from work volunteered to help me build the deluxe coop. In fact, the whole thing was his idea.

If we build the deluxe coop then we'll only have half of our barn for any large animal that we may one day get, but that's probably all we need ... at least for now. Within a year we're planning on having a meat cow (a cow we raise to be slaughtered), a bunch more chickens, some ducks (for butchering and eating), possibly a goat or two, and at least a decent little garden. The cow would do fine sharing the barn with the chickens, especially since the chickens would be completely enclosed.

I'll post a photo of the coop when we finally get it up and running. For now the chickens spend their evenings in the chicken tractor (cage), their days in a 200 square foot fenced off area of our yard, and their evenings free-ranging all around our property. Brandi said last night that watching the chickens is a peaceful experience for her. I also like to watch them walking around the yard, pecking at the ground. It feels good knowing they're pecking at pesky bugs.


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