It also looked rather... Uh, well - boring and bland.
I also felt that they needed some more places to get shade. Florida isn't known as the 'Sunshine State" for nothing. Even on our rainy days it's usually sunny and hot at least during the warmest (noon-3) time of the day. Combining the sun with our extreme humidity and it's cause for concern if critters don't have a place to rest away from the intense heat.
About a month ago I switched the side of the pen that the girls used to enter, and gave them a new roof. The roof is no longer tin and so it stays a little cooler in the summer and is not as loud when it's raining either. As a result the trio are happier to hang out under the coop in inclement weather.
To give them more shade I decided to mount a piece of lattice from last years garden along the fence and support it on the far side with 2x4's. I also planted 3 strawberry guava shrubs in the run that are happy to finally be out of their pots.
I think the hens are happier now. I know I am. It looks nicer, and feels better in there. Not like the stark and completely barren pen that it was.
I also changed out their feeder giving them a much larger feeder. Now that daylight savings time has ended I'm simply not able to get out to them in the evenings any more. So filling a feeder each night is impossible. I needed something that could hold enough food for the week (or longer!) Besides, I also needed to know that if the pet sitter didn't make it for a day or two (teenager after all) that my flock would be OK physically.
So now they have something that I find much more pleasing to look at and I'm not embarrassed to show people. They have a feeder that doesn't need tended to every day, and they have 2 water sources that should also last a week if necessary.
Thankfully I can go out to the run each night and make sure that they have food and water, but actually changing and filling them in the dark is not fun. So having the ability to simply top off the water buckets and rinse them on the weekends is so much better for us. Because they are taller and the hens have to step up to use the water it eliminates all the gunk that gets into most waterers as well.
I'll post soon about how I made this feeder for only $4. I probably could have gotten by even cheaper if I'd looked around the garage or the barn. Perhaps if could have been free!