When we first decided to add chickens to the farm, I wasn’t quite sure what type of coop would fit our needs. Because we are located in a flood zone, I felt a chicken tractor would be the best option for us, allowing relocation to higher ground if needed. We plan on free ranging but like the idea of having a run attached so that we can leave them inside while we are away from the farm or during heavy storms. I had no idea where to start or who to turn to for the construction of our chicken tractor. My cowboy is talented in many things but construction isn’t his area of expertise and quite frankly, I knew we would kill each other trying to build this thing ourselves. I need as little stress in my life as possible. No DIY chicken tractor project for this gypsy girl.
We enlisted the help of Larry Carter with Louisiana Coops and Cages in Port Barre, LA to help make our chicken tractor dreams come true. Over the past couple months, we discussed our chicken plans and worked on the design, settling on the largest option available – 16’L x 6’W x 6’H with an 8′ coop including 8 nest boxes. At Larry’s suggestion, we added a feeder, watering nipple system and a couple chicken swings for the chickens’ enjoyment. After the design details were set, my cowboy made the trip to Sherwin Williams and found the best and brightest swatches for me to choose from and our Bayou Bunkhouse began to take shape.
Once we received the final word it was finished, my cowboy picked up a 16′ trailer and hit the road for Port Barre, LA. I danced with excitement as I viewed our adorable chick cabana on that trailer.
It was incredibly windy that afternoon and my prayers were flowing for my cowboy’s trip back to the farm. When he pulled up and backed our bunkhouse into the pasture, you literally could see hearts in my eyes.
As Andrew pulled the trailer behind the pasture gate, Sparkle and Freedom sauntered over to inspect the new addition.
We gave them plenty of time to sniff, smell and make their way around the Bayou Bunkhouse.
Freedom inched his way from the beginning of the truck until he arrived at the bunkhouse in a slow and steady fashion.
He peeked inside the truck bed ever so gently.
And stood in amazement at the bright monstrosity before him.
Freedom was definitely the most curious out of the two. Sparkle hung back most of the time, allowing Freedom to be the brave one checking out the massive foreign object in their pasture.
By the time he reached Andrew, he seemed to give his final approval with a good sniff and walking away.
This encounter couldn’t have gone any smoother. Giving the horses time to warm up to the bunkhouse and do it on their own terms proved to work perfectly. Horses are very cautious creatures and sensitive to new things in their environment. Freedom being unfazed after smelling his way around the truck and bunkhouse seemed to settle Sparkle’s energy too. On our farm, if the horses are happy, we are happy.
After our sweet farm friends helped us unload the bunkhouse, we acted like two proud parents on Christmas morning.
The flower child inside of me was giddy in that moment. The colors make me smile and remind me what fun this farm journey is for me and my cowboy. Each new addition is another adventure we experience together, bringing more joy and happiness to our lives. These colors surely represent how bright my soul is at the farm.
At this point, we hadn’t re-installed the watering system or the chicken swings after the long trip home. But here’s a better look at the details of our chicken tractor:
I can’t wait to show the coop to the chicks soon. The temperatures are slightly unpredictable in Louisiana right now and are still experiencing sporadic cool nights. Before we can transition them, some weather proofing will be added for their comfort.
As of right now, the flock is separated into 3 brooders: main brooder, hospital brooder for 2 chicks recovering from excessive bullying, and the small chick brooder for the remaining bantams and 2 other smaller chicks. I know, it’s a little cray cray right now. The chicks in the main brooder are about to bust out and will actually be the first batch to live in the Bayou Bunkhouse. They won’t make it another 2 weeks in that brooder because they are growing at such a fast rate. The bantams will be another couple weeks before transitioning because they aren’t feathered enough to survive outside in the coop yet. Slowly but surely, we will get there.
Wondering how the chicks and poults are doing these days?
Leroy and Luanne are getting bigger by the day and stealing my heart more each second. Technically, we don’t know if they are male and female but I may still call them Leroy and Luanne, regardless of their sex. Hey, that would be a funny twist on things. A boy called Luanne or a girl called Leroy. It could work, right? Their cautious personalities and funny, slow demeanor have me hooked. Leroy twists his head around watching everything, leading cautiously but curious at the same time. He even lets me cuddle him in my chest. I mean, really, how do you not fall in love with that?
This is Virginia, our one and only Rhode Island Red. She has the calmest but firm demeanor and I find myself gravitating towards her good energy. It’s probably because she doesn’t run from me which makes me feel special. Yeah, that’s probably all it is. She makes me feel special.
And this sweet furry legged friend is Harriet. She’s a bit feisty, bouncing around and bothering the other bantams she is paired with in the brooder. You never know, Harriet may end up being a Harry. Or she may just be one rock star chick with lots of energy. Only time will tell.
It’s been quite a week for Cypress Bayou Farm and the excitement will continue as we transition the chicks into the coop this weekend. Don’t forget to stay tuned and come wander with me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin and YouTube.