Saturday, April 26, 2008

Work on the Hen House.....

In the last few days, since it has been cooler and raining, I have been trying to get some things done on the new hen house. I am trying to get it partitioned so that I have two pens, with a feed room in the middle.

Yesterday I got one partition wall done and started on the roosts. This morning, I managed to get the roost finished, one nest box (four nests), and an "exit door" for the birds. I still need to add a door and some flashing to the hole, but it is coming along. Here is a look at it from the outside:



The nest boxes I made are from full size 1x12 boards that came from an old barn loft floor. I plan on building one more set for this room and then at least 3 for the other side of the coop. Most of the time, the hens that will be in this part are laying in the barn. HOPEFULLY they will start thinking they like these better....
The goats have even learned to "eat around" eggs laid in their hay feeder. I am always amazed at how the goats rarely break any.



This room is right at 9' wide and 10' deep. It is a bit smaller then the coop they are used to, but it will be a lot better overall. I still have a little "finish work" to do, and I'll need to add some windows, but it is about ready to move into. Here is a look at the room from the inside:



One thing I like about this coop is that the ceiling is lower then the old coop. There will be NO roosting in the rafters.....
I made a 32" "screen door" for it. I made it open into the room so it will force the birds back, instead of letting them come out.

The partition wall is made from 2x4's and a section of "Horse Panel" that has 2" x 6" openings.

I THINK tomorrow night will be moving day for the birds. I'll wait until they are roosting, then surprise them. I won't let them out for a day or two, so they get used to calling this coop home.

Here are a couple photos of the chicks we bought on 17 March 2008. The Black ones are Plymouth Barred Rocks and the others are either New Hampshire Reds or Buff-Cochin. They have REALLY grown.





One of the other things I have been trying to get finished is the feeder for milking the goats. They are EXTREMELY fast eaters, so it is important that the Milk Maid gets done before they do. I THINK the funnel part is out of an old milk separator - I bought it in a pile of stuff at an auction, so I don't really know for sure.

I cut the tip off at an angle (filed it down smooth) and made a "stand" for it. I still need to perfect the angle, but it works pretty good so far. The goats have to "lick" the grain out of the way to make room for more to fall.



The "stand" part - actually a flat metal piece with a hole cut in it, and a pipe welded to the top, over the hole. I just slide the funnel down the pipe and it hold it pretty much straight up and down.



Here is a photo of the tip of the funnel. I MIGHT need to file about 1/8" off of the tip.



I just screwed the stand down to the milk stand so that the funnel is in the corner of the feed tray. This way, they have to work for their breakfast. While they are busy feeding their face, it makes it easier to milk them.

The other day I hung a couple of plastic hog feeders in the barn to use to hold mineral and salt blocks. Since they are heavy plastic, the salts in the blocks won't bother it. They seem to be just the perfect size for blocks to fit.



They are made by "Pride of the Farm" and are model "FIE". As you can see, they work rather well....

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