Yesterday I bought a chicken coop from Agway and my son brought it home in his truck. (OK, I did think about making one, and this one though costly, is not exactly well made - it's flimsy, just sometimes its best just to buy rather than spend the time making... )
I think it is cute. More important though it needs to function here at RedTeddy and help move the pups along toward being great pets and independent confident and agile creatures. It has an upstairs and a downstairs, a ramp and the roof opens to the top chamber as well as the window, the upper chamber can be open or closed (closed at night for extra safety) so it is perfect! A nest for puppies!
These pups have graduated from the house's indoor/outdoor area and now are in the play yard full time. This should help a lot for future house breaking. They also have a lot more things to do in the play yard, so it is good for them intellectually. (Yes, I used that word for puppies. I cant think of a synonym that would exclude humans and still relate to brain development...)
Moving right along, I bought the house hoping that they would like it, but I wasn't sure if it would be a success or not. I'm happy that it is! They love it!
Last night I tucked them into the top chamber with plenty of pillows and blankets should it get cold. I was worried and yes, they did cry at first. Mommy Blaze has a big cozy dog pillow in the bottom area. The pups quickly learned to climb up and down the ramp (They are SOOO smart). I popped the pups into the upper chamber and closed all the doors after giving Blaze her bed time treat. The only downside was that Blaze growled at the other dogs outside, even though they couldn't get to her treat (it was a REALLY SPECIAL TREAT, so I had to put a tarp over it so she would not feel her treat was compromised, then she calmed down. Sparky the Doodle can go in/out of the main house all night, she is our guard dog. I know Sparky would not let a predator near the house (or evenin the yard) without sounding the alarm.
In the morning the Puppy chick family was eager to leave the coop, there weren't even any messes on the ground level!
As you can see the pups and their mom like the coop a lot! It is better than a crate because air can circulate and there are the built in zones to make it interesting, for privacy and playtime.
Next project: use the new technology to make a heated outdoor cement or ceramic floor tile pad for the coop to sit on for radiant heat, and use solar panels to power it... Any one out there who has done this - I want to do it on this small scale first before I attempt the same thing in our big dog run which I now have to repair the concrete block foundation of, well any ideas or referrals for what to use and what is good, are appreciated.