It’s beyond time for a more permanent solution to roosts for 2.0 and 2.1. When we designed the coop, we allowed for twelve hens…MAX. We now have eighteen. Everyone who has a similar story, raise your hand.
Yeah, I thought so. Chicken math strikes again.
Now, to be fair, when we built the coop we thought our chickens would be confined to the coop and run at all times. We did the math. “They” say: four square feet of coop per chicken, and ten square feet of run per chicken. At 72 square feet in the coop, and 120 square feet in the run, we felt we had amply provided for twelve hens.
Now that our hens are free ranging from dawn to dusk, it’s hard to imagine them confined. When I wanted more chicks this spring, the fact that the only time they’d have to share a confined space with 1.0 would be while sleeping was a big plus. There’s no way we could have considered it if they were all to be confined. Not without bloodshed.
That said, they do need to share the coop while sleeping. The sawhorses were a nice band-aid, but they took up too much floor space, weren’t high enough, and were needed to be, you know…sawhorses.
I had something sexy planned for y’all; it was to be innovative and cool and sleek. It was to be a roost on folding spring hinges that could be locked into an upper (or lower) flat position to get it out of the way, and I was going to call it The Murphy Roost.
Then I said “f#ck it; let’s keep it simple and cheap, because laziness and frugality are the better part of valour”, and you can quote me on that.
I stopped at Home Depot yesterday and came out with four 12-inch L brackets, at the exorbitant price of $1.79 each. I texted The Man: “I can has eight-foot 2×4?”, and I was in business. Within an hour or two, I had eight feet of roost, cheap and easy, up and out of the way, thusly:
It seemed an ideal opportunity, while I had the paint out and the brush was dirty anyway, to clean the old roosts, and give them a fresh coat of paint. I clean them with a vinegar/water solution about four times a year, and a little paint comes off each time. A fresh coat was in order.
Unfortunately, It’s just not possible to get off all the poop that accumulates, and I struggled with my reluctance to paint over stubborn little bits of poop. You know what happened then, don’t you? I painted over stubborn little bits of poop. Oh, yes I did.
The end result is rather lovely, I think, and I’m glad I took the extra trouble. There’s only one problem…
I am a lazy person. Well, it’s not so much that I’m lazy; it’s that I despise unnecessary work. Which is what a lazy person would say, I suppose. I remembered that the original roosts were 4-feet high, and a year-old memory was good enough for me. Why bother to measure?
When I stood back from the finished project, I saw this:
The new roost is six inches higher than the old one. This troubles me for two reasons. First, will 1.0 abandon their comfy, familiar roost and battle 2.0 for the coveted higher ground? Secondly, if I have to boost Tallulah up onto the old roost, is the new roost just too damned high? Hence, the sawhorse.
Yes, I could lower the new roost. Have you met me? I would rather do the much larger task of coming up with a non-space-hogging boost for them than remove a few screws. Sheesh.
I’m leaving the little ladder in there for 2.1 until they are more a part of the big girl club. Tonight, I’ll be at the ready with my camera to show you how it goes…