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« Extend Omelet Season With Supplemental Coop Lighting | Main | The Ruiz Family's Organic Garden »
Wednesday
Nov252015

Wildlife's New Nemesis ; The Boyd Family's Garden Coop

The Boyd family’s chickens aren’t picky, and until recently their whimsical backyard coop design complete with a metal pipe frame and plastic netting was sufficient. Then local wildlife zeroed in on their once bucolic slice of suburbia. After relentless night time raids by raccoons and more than a few close calls with sharp talons, the Boyd’s decided it was time for more substantial coop.

Like a small town general store, The Garden Coop design had everything they needed. Its beefy red cedar framing wrapped with ½” galvanized hardware cloth is more than sturdy enough to thwart even large predators like coyotes, and the tinted polycarbonate panels that cover the entire run, protect their backyard flock from sun, rain and snow. The coop rests on concrete blocks, which eliminates ground contact and further extends the life of the durable cedar frame.

With relentless digging skills that would inspire even the most dubious jailbreak plots, nighttime raiders like raccoons and rodents can often dig their way into a meal of chicken, eggs, and feed well before the sun comes up. But with up to 12” of hardware cloth buried around the entire perimeter of the coop, the Garden Coop has crushed the hopes of countless hungry critters digging for dinner under the cover of darkness. The piles of rocks that were excavated while installing Boyd family’s coop were placed back inside the trench, giving theirs an even more storied reputation for security among area wildlife.

A full sized entry door makes it easy for the Boyd’s to access the coop for cleaning, and to add food and water.  The roost box is sided with red cedar 1x6 boards, and has a front-placed egg door for convenient egg retrieval. A roomy, covered  nest box with two compartments mean no waiting in line when it’s time to lay, and the large hinged door inside the coop makes it easy to access for cleaning.  The hens access their roost box via a sturdy ladder that leads up to a door placed in the floor.

Real tree branches placed inside the roost box and in the run give the flock plenty of space to spread out and enjoy their new coop.

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