Well folks, sometimes the best laid plans. . .
Last year, I showed you a post about the chicken tractor.
To date, that has been my most visited page and has received the most pins.
I actually like it too; however, I'm going to sell it.
What I discovered is that it doesn't work for how I run my birds.
It was perfect for a while when "the girls" were young,
and I kept them pinned.
They got to follow a couple days behind the lambs.
As they grew and knew well where their home was,
the mobile coop wasn't necessary.
I could just lift it during the day so they could free-range all day,
then at night they would return to their tractor to roost so the need
for wheels/mobility was gone.
Then we had a Wowza! of a winter ~ the winter of winters.
We had 4-5 feet of snow at any given point for a good 4 months.
The tractor is only a couple feet high at the coop and
about 4-4.5 ft. high at the house.
I wasn't intending on giving them a heat lamp, but with subzero temperatures
for long stretches of times, I had to figure out a way to "rig up" a heat lamp
in a fashion that was both safe and effective.
If we hadn't had the winter we did, I would probably be keeping it.
the question then became what to do.
We are empty nesters - the kids have flown the coop~
(sorry, couldn't resist:)
The playhouse that once housed the toys and toddler activity
sat as a decaying storage for 'stuff.'
Here are a couple "before" photos.
So we went to work on it.
You can see there was still snow on the ground which made it a little more difficult to shuffle and sort the "stuff."
But one of the first things I did was cover those crazy colors
with some left-over white.
Then came the real work.
(Too funny, Mr.LB kept a beard for winter since it was cold for so long. He has since shaven so it seems funny to see him so furry.)
I also need to mention that this is reason one million, forty-twowhy I love Mr.LB.
I had a ton on my plate right about the time
"the Wees" were ready to emerge from their tote.
I get a different breed each year so I can tell how old they are
simply by the breed.
Each group seems to get a name.
The Barredrocks were "the Girls."
(They are gone now - long sad story.)The Rhode Islands are "the Wees." (They were wee ones but have grown.)
And, here are a couple "after" photos.
Sorry they are a little dark.
It's been rainy so my natural light is not as powerful as usual.
We have to run a cord for power which we don't do for summer.
Number 4 thinks it's sooo funny to jump up there to roost.
Then she pretends to be all in a tither when I get her and put her in the coop.
We don't have the outside coop made yet.
For now I just go out and open the door each morning and
go out and close them in each evening.
So, while it's not my ideal coop, they are safe and come winter,
it should be much easier to offer them enough room and safe heat.
The few boards we purchased and the wire were not a huge investment,
it made good use of the old playhouse,
and it forced me to go through and sort all that "stuff."