I thought I would take some pictures of my red-neck/simple set-ups for the animals. Below you can see a portable outdoor run made from a dog kennel we found on kijiji. I wanted a safe place for the chicks to go outside without being bothered by the other chickens and ducks. Their mothers were very protective and weren't letting them out at all through the main door. I can't say I blame them it's like rush hour in there when all the animals are being let out.
It was cheaper than building anything out of wood and hardware cloth. I added a small tarp for shade and some chicken wire to the bottom around most of it to keep the chicks contained to some extent. They are still able to sneak out through some holes but they can also get back in when no one else can - a very handy place to run if they feel threatened. It looks a little messy so it won't stay there permanently.
This is the inside of the same pen. The chicks were too small to fly up to the window sill so I built them a ladder out of an old piece of barn board and some shims for the "steps". It works pretty well.
Here's a close up view of the chicken feeder I was writing about the other day. It's so simple and I am more than pleased with it. We ended up building an extra one for outside because getting into the coop and filling it up was risking your life some days! The chickens were so hungry they would peck and scratch your feet trying to get at the feed bucket. Adding another feeder outside means we can fill it up before we let them out and refill the inside one while they're busy eating we fill the inside one and shut the door.
One 10 foot eaves trough and two ends plus 4 feet of 2x4 and a few screws: total cost brand new is under $20.00 and it's better and more efficient than any plastic or metal feeder I've ever bought!
One other great idea is using these storage buckets as nesting boxes. We already have almost 20 nesting boxes in their coops but as soon as we let them out there are a few chickens that just gotta do it THEIR WAY! They want to lay in the hallway so I beat them at their game and left nesting boxes there for them too. It's better than searching high and low for missing eggs.
Since there's always room in a post for a picture of a kitten here's my favorite one this week. She's sleeping on the window sill. We have 8 little fur-balls growing up right in front of the kitchen window this year. There were two litters about three weeks apart. All of them are black with little white hairs.
Sleep well little kitty!