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Well, we're back to hot and HUMID once again…whew! The coop, or should I say “henhouse”, is moving right along…My husband Greg and my son, Erik, have finished putting shingles on the roof. We have decided to insulate the ceiling, but I have to decide now how much electric I want in the house…I'm thinking 2 fluorescent fixtures in the ceiling with true-light full spectrum bulbs (I have these in my craft studio and they are great…no noise, no hummmm, instant on!). I was thinking of a ceiling fan, but decided against it…no need to have the chickens think a hawk is in the room (with all that overhead movement). Also, a switch just inside the front door to turn the lights on/off. The “cages”, for lack of a better word, for the paired birds will be 3' from the floor, so my husband, who will be tending to the cleaning, feeding and watering, won't have to bend. My juveniles and babies will then be relegated to the space under the adults (so I'll have to do the bending), but since Greg will be doing most of the “dirty” work, I guess I can't complain too much, can I? I will need some outlets for heat lamps for the little ones, and maybe an outlet on one short wall for a small fan, to help pull out the hot air through a back window. The soffits will be left open, with hardware cloth over them to allow maximum ventilation, along with a large gable vent on the front and back. I'm thinking a ridge vent will be superfluous…

roofing in progress on coop

roofing in progress on coop

That odd-looking wooden contraption on the roof is the brainchild of my son Erik, to help prevent himself and his father from sliding off the roof while working, since it turned out to be a fairly steep pitch…It worked flawlessly…Kudos, Erik!!!

We haven't decided about windows yet…We're going to check out some salvage places Monday or Tuesday, to try and find some cheaper windows, vents, etc. Lowe's and Home Depot are just too expensive, so we may just have to resort to some “creative thinking”!

The inside cages will be roughly 2' wide, 36″ long, 2' high on each side of the house, so the left side will be for summer, the right side for winter, since the front door is facing North. This will allow us to lime the soil and plant grass, etc. every six months, which should help keep the chickens healthy and disease-free. Now, all this sounds fine and dandy, except for the fact that there will now be 6 pop doors on each long side of the coop, for which I really, really want automatic door openers! I have found them here, but they are not cheap…and I need TWELVE of them!!! I am trying to reach out on the internet to find an alternative, so I'll let you know what happens…

I know I've posted pictures of some of my “girls”, but here is my favorite girl, Sweetpea! She is absolutely the best, most loving cat I have ever had, and I'm trying to teach her to accept the chickens, and the chicks, as part of the family…

Sweet Pea

Sweet Pea

As you can see, she's not thrilled with the recent invasion of these winged creatures. She is forced to stay indoors while the chickens are outside in their temporary pens (remember Tent City?), but I'm hoping she'll be able to curb her natural instincts to at least co-exist with the Seramas once they're in their permanent quarters.

The chicks are doing wonderfully, and one of the most maddening qualities of Seramas is one that I love the most…Since Seramas do not breed true, you cannot count on your chicks looking the same as their parents! I can understand the frustration that some breeders have with this, but for the hobbyist or backyard breeder, this is just delightful! You can have a small flock of birds, all one breed, but they will all look different! How cool is that? They will all be small, friendly, and easy to care for, except for some heat in the wintertime for the young ones.

Smokey

Smokey

Penguin

Penguin

chicks

chicks

Here is what the inside of my garage looks like…

Temporay pen in garage

Temporary pen in garage

And more...

And more...

These get covered with cardboard when the birds are in, because they do fly!