The dog days are here

the first chicken coop

the first chicken coop

future coop resident

future coop resident

a really cute Partridge Silkie Bantam

a really cute Partridge Silkie Bantam

In the spring my goal is always to get all my yardwork/repairs done by end of June  so I don’t have to be outside in the intense Texas heat and sun in July.  The grass is now crunching as you walk across it; there is some rain in the forecast for this week.  Our neighbor across the road hays several hundred acres for a living fulltime and is busy  cutting and baling today to beat the rain I am sure.

That plan worked pretty well except my husband is still working on the 3 chicken coops which just can’t seem to finish quickly.   It is just that we have not built a coop or had chickens before, so we are trying to guess at what the design will do for them, good or bad and reading other’s experiences for more ideas.   We hope to have them finished up by end of July.   We are putting rolled roofing in a white color on the roof for maximum heat reflection; we may upgrade later if we can find some good materials on Craigslist for cheap.  But this roofing will go on faster than shingles and fit the width of the roof exactly so we are only cutting the length; not a whole lot of mess with this.  I will paint the exterior a light grey color to nearly match the barn they are next to. 

We are tossing around ideas on how to adequately ventilate without weather penetration in driving rains we sometimes have and have enough air movement when days are rather still with no breeze.  I think we have decided to start simply and we can  modify and add more venting as needed. The roof is such a steep pitch that all heat should rise quickly and exit out the triangular vents on front and back where the rooflines meet.  We will install  vents we found at Lowe’s that actually install in houses under the eaves for about $1.50 each; they are plastic vents with screening on the back (facing interior) and these will go under the low roof line at the top of the low sidewalls.  Holes will be cut to install these next. The other vents I saw I really like at Lowe’s look like short shutters with vents under  each louver.  I may install them on each side of the tall entry door if needed.  They will look like shuttered windows and add some character; they are about $6 apiece.  They come in white or silver and probably more.   Some pics attached of what we have so far. 

My chicks are now almost 7 weeks old and getting along together really well but they will be ready to spread out in separate spaces very soon and the alpacas will have something new to entertain them.

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