Hurrah! Tonight, for the first time, I put the girls in to their new, upscale Chicken Condo. Up until now, they've been crashing in their rather flimsy temporary quarters. But now they have, or so I hope, the protection of a portable and lockable pen. There are wheels in the back so I can roll them to a new spot as needed. Portable coops are called 'chicken tractors'. What sold me on it, is it's plastic, like a giant Fisher Price toy for chickens. I can disassemble and/or hose the whole thing out as necessary.
I fretted over whether it would be difficult to teach the girls how to go into their closing, night-time quarters (totally necessary to protect them from night roaming raccoons, skunks and opossums). Ha! After having their first meal out of their fancy feed container, as it was twilight, they climbed right up into their night-time roost as if they had made reservations and wanted to check out their accommodations. Why does their 'knowing how to be chickens' thing continue to surprise me?
I LOVE this coop. Has 2 pull out trays under the 'bedroom' (above), which I've lined with newspaper for easier clean-up. There is a little ventilation slit to keep the girls aired when I lock them in for the night. Their boudoir seems well insulated against excessive heat/cold too.
That last view looks through the hole. They will - without my help of course - figure out to climb through that hole into the egg laying room. There is a removable porthole so I can remove their eggs, when those wonderful commodities make their first appearances say in February or March. I can very nearly taste that first omelet now.
My kitty Rum was looking a bit miffed that the girls are getting such first class treatment. Really - he was. So to make it up to him, and to keep the Animal Cruelty people away from my door, I washed and cleaned out his outside winter-time bed. Maybe being snug as a bug in a catbed (that would, I guess be a flea?) will keep Rum purring 'til spring.