JoAnn and I retired to Hawaii, dream of a lifetime, right? Retirement in paradise. Well, the life in paradise is expensive. One of the higher costs here is at the grocery store. The high prices of meat has gotten us to rethink how we want to go about providing for ourselves here. Among the other choices we've made, we want to raise chickens. So the first order of business is to get a working egg and meat production coop up and running.
We want to have both egg and meat provided from our future flock, and figuring out how many birds of each to have has proven to be vexing. I'll cover the thinking process in subsequent posts, as chicken math takes on a life of it's own.
Those that know what I mean will be smiling, those that don't are invited to take the trip with us on our adventure to find out just what 'Chicken Math' is and how it corrupts. I'll be devoting an entire post just for that subject so I'll skip to the second step.
So the first thing we though we needed to do was build a place for the chickens, and if we have a home for them, we needed to pick a spot for the coop. We have a full acre in a rough rectangle so we thought that the coop should go in the 'South Forty' and picked this spot. Just for those that don't see it, the dark rocky patches you see in the photo is lava. This is the youngest island of the chain, and the lave is everywhere. Every building decision one makes here revolves to a certain extent around the lava.
Next is the design of the coop itself. We knew we didn't want the coop to be slammed together Willy-Nilly but it is after all, a home for chickens. There are lots of plans on line for coops, including those made from wooden pallets but this was a bit rustic for me. We looked at converting children's playhouses, using commercial sheds, and finally we came up with a modified barn-like design with a Monitor roof, complete with clerestory windows/vents on both sides. It has, we think, the obligatory farm feel, cute factor and ease of ownership that we were looking for.
That's it for the design considerations, next post I'll be starting the construction process.
Till next time!
Chicken Math image from: https://itunes.apple.com/hu/app/chicken-math/id422596820?l=hu&mt=12
Solar Image from : http://combizz.net/project/solar-panel/
Fence image from: http://forums2.gardenweb.com/discussions/1383643/fencing-ideas