The Coop under the Stairs

The cold weather continues here in New England. It was -4F when I got up this morning. That is cold! There was a wind chill warning last night of temps -20F! So I am very glad that we have a coop under the stairs for my girls. It has taken some trial and error to get it right.
We started with single nesting boxes. But those were smaller than the ones up in the real coop (called Cluckingham Palace by some) so apparently it was just IMPOSSIBLE to lay eggs in such tiny things.

So my husband enlarged them. Still a bit smaller than what they are used to but they look ok to me.
Wrong. They might be ok to sleep in, but they are NO GOOD for laying eggs! There was much commotion and complaining at egg laying time! It sounds humorous but they really were quite distraught! But nature being what it is, they had to find a place. The big nesting box? No.

The small nesting box? I think NOT! That had already been decided. I offered a cardboard box, a basket and a plastic bin. ALL were rejected. I gave up and decided that they would just have to make do. It was too cold to go back to Cluckingham Palace. So I waited. After a lot more complaining and a great deal of noise, they finally settled on..

…the farthest corner..behind the water. I would have to crawl all the way in to collect the eggs.

The opposite corner, under the lower stairs is also acceptable. Another crawl for me!

We have also added a roost for them.

Amber likes it. The others are still deciding.

So all in all life isn’t so bad. Still, they were excited to do a bit of exploring in the cellar today while I cleaned out their coop.

“Let’s go exploring!”

“Look at all this stuff!”

“Any worms?”

“OK, she is done. Let’s go back. Maybe she put some worms in there…”

And so despite the bitter cold outside, life goes on at Brookwood Shire….

About patti

I am a retired kindergarten teacher, tending a new kind of garden now, raising chickens and exploring permaculture. I live with my husband, Bill, my beloved dog, Fergus and my cat, Mighty Merlin. We have a small cottage and a tiny bit of land called Brookwood Shire. It is our sanctuary.
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4 Responses to The Coop under the Stairs

  1. Made me laugh! So cute to see the ruckus caused by trying to make the girls more comfy!!!

    • pattigail says:

      They make me laugh all the time. They were very funny exploring the cellar, commenting on everything they saw. They will be happy to go back up to Cluckingham Palace, but they seem to be making do where they are.

  2. That is great that you have a place to put them that is cozy. Ours are having to tough it out in the coop, though it is heated with a heat lamp.

    • pattigail says:

      A heat lamp would make me nervous with all that straw…plus there is no electricity in the coop. I know other local chickens who are surviving the cold, but I feel better having them in a warmer place. And to be totally honest, it is nice for me as well.

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