Saturday, May 30, 2009

Another Kind of Conversion

Spring has sprung and our 6 week old chicks, Betty and Wilma, want out of the brooder and out of the garage, and into the sunshine and fresh air. We try to get them outside for a little playtime most days and it's getting harder and harder to get them to go back in the box. This past week one of them tried to make a run for it and almost flew out of the box after their romp in the yard. Now that they are fully feathered and Minnesota temps are seasonable, it's safe for them to be outside temperature-wise, but it isn't safe for them to be in the coop with the big girls just yet. The chicks need to be big enough to hold their own in a squabble when we put all of them together, because there's every chance that feathers will fly a bit as they get their pecking order sorted out when they are all together.

So for the past week or so, I've been eyeing our old dog house, which we bought ten years ago when we got our dog, and which he immediately outgrew. There it's been sitting unused all these years out in the back of the house and I wondered if it might be possible to convert the (insulated!) dog house into a temporary outdoor home for our chicks, until they are big enough to go into the big girl coop. So I made a few mental notes of things that it would need to be suitable for a few weeks, and I emailed a friend who has spent a considerable amount of time in recent weeks working in and on his own coop to ask his advice.

Saturday morning rolled around and two friends (our priest and the husband of my old high school pal, Gern) who are far handier than we are with drills and saws and such generously offered their morning and their wisdom and made some fine digs for our little girls out of that old dog house. I spent the morning handing off tools and trying to be as helpful as possible.

Here's a pictoral glance at our Saturday morning and early afternoon, beginning with the old doghouse - removeable roof removed.

Now we need to make a little ramp for the chicks and a small and predator-safe run around the house, and get some paint on that roof. We'll try to get some of that taken care of on Monday, and with any luck they will be living outside in just a few short days. We will all be happier.

It's nothing elaborate, but for our chicks it will be a palace compared to the box in the garage! It should serve them well for the summer until they are full grown in about a dozen weeks.

1 comment:

Philippa said...

That looks fantastic! What a great way to recycle and 'be' green! Woot!