Hello fellow readers!

I have kept my promise and I have built something new with a few pallets. I recently came upon a great source of pallets that are in great shape. They are chemically treated, so they will last quite a while. They were used to haul cardboard so at least I know there aren’t any REALLY toxic chemicals on the wood other than what would be in regular pressure treated lumber.

12122653_10153702124083478_7960561557761858400_nSo anyway, I used about 5 pallets to build this coop. I also have a gracious neighbor who gave me two landscaping timbers to use as bottom rails. I mounted the bottom frame on cinder blocks and field stone.

I then bought some hardware cloth and stapled it across the bottom so that the chicken12115535_10153702124208478_6588436197097495638_n manure would fall right to the ground. I made sort of a lean-to roof out of 2X8 lumber I bought and left over 12107281_10153702124708478_5713115505629419724_nroofing that I STILL had leftover from my other pallet barn project. I had the roof sloping so that the west wind would not have a damaging effect should any storms come along.12049402_10153705627458478_136994185988808480_n

I cut out a small entrance door for the chickens, and a human door so we can access the inside. I also built one egg laying box. I will add two more as they all fight over getting a chance to use it. I placed it next to an area where I cut down some brush next to an 12140852_10153728626728478_4030075741522017953_novergrown field. I have a small area of that fenced in. Once I get more fencing, I will increase their forage area.

Ever since they started using it, 12074656_10153744043178478_4754959207487340399_nthey have been laying eggs MUCH better than they were. Although where they were prior wasn’t the most ideal for them, they really worked over our new garden area and turned hundreds of bags of leaves into fertilized, rich, soft soil!

12063333_10153744000423478_8519027066427334673_n 12046864_10153743999693478_4268920681116930929_n 12039496_10153743999198478_1620982966691752573_n


If you have read through my blog you will see a few posts on cheap but effective ways to raise animals on your own small property. One of the posts talked about an egg mobile.

Egg-Mobile 1.0

Egg-Mobile 1.0

This contraption that I built I will call Egg Mobile 1.0. It was modified from it’s original design according to the material I had on hand. I used a lot of wood which made it heavier than desired. Though its design made it relatively easy to pull along the grass for myself, it was a little more difficult for my wife.

I recently tore it down to the pressure treated base frame. I went to tractor supply and bought 2 cattle panels that were 16′ long and about 3.5′ wide. They were $20 each. I attached the bottom of one to the inside side rail, then flexed the other end over to the other side rail board and attached it also, forming a sort of hoop house shape. I made sure that the bottom edges were attached just above the bottom edge of the boards so as to not catch on the dirt and grass while being drug. You can attach the panels in whatever way works best; large staples, screws screwed in on an angle, nails bent over…etc.

Cattle panels attached.

Cattle panels attached.

Then I attached the next panel right next to the first and joined the two in the middle with zipties about every other square to firm up the panels. Then on either end I added chicken wire, also along the sides because the panel holes are large enough for the chickens to get out if they wanted.

For a door, I had saved the one from the previous build (Egg Mobile 1.0). However,

I didn’t want to add more wood for installing the door. My wife had a great idea! She asked if I just couldn’t hinge the door sideways, on the bottom, on the wooden rail. So thats what I did. I really like the way it has turned out. The only issue is that with the door turned sideways, it is difficult to get the waterer and feeder in with ease as they are taller than the opening, and heavy when full.

I then put a tarp over the top, slightly favoring one side (the west), and slid small lengths of wood across the inside corners for perching.

Egg Mobile 2.0

Egg Mobile 2.0

Egg Mobile 2.0

Egg Mobile 2.0 

In the military we were constantly reminded to be unpredictable in our daily travels and tasks to keep unknown threats confused. It seems that among the ranks of our chickens, Sgt. Rooster has been issuing the same orders to the hens.

Our hens starting laying eggs about a month ago. Nice brown eggs. One or two of our six hens were venturing in the coop and leaving the wonderful gift that I would later find and collect with my boys. About a week later, one hen decided to start laying in the pine shavings in the goats shed. Amazingly, the goats tiptoe around the eggs. I have not seen one crushed yet!

About 2 weeks ago, I was getting disappointed and frustrated that the hens had stopped laying eggs in the coop after what seemed to be a good start. They were laying maybe 3 eggs a day up to that point. I couldn’t figure out what caused the withholding of their dues. I starting randomly checking out the tall grasses nearby when going to feed the goats but never found any evidence of stashing. I figured either they aren’t getting enough nutrition, or water, or maybe the cold weather had turned off the production.

Last night I was getting my drill together so I could unscrew the roof of the coop for my daily check (I am working on fixing the roof so this isn’t such a laborious and inefficient task). I bent over to get the extension cord plug and saw a glimpse of what looked to be a white egg under the coop! I kneeled down and sure enough there were about 4 white and brown eggs! They had made a little nest UNDER the coop! Then my eyes saw just a foot further under the coop a large nest FULL of eggs! At least a dozen or more piled in the self made nest!!

I’m on to them now! Looks like I’ll have to screen around under the coop and make the inside of the coop more attractive. Oh…they all sleep in the tree OVER the coop every night too!

Egg Stash!