The COOP is COMPLETE!!!!

7:44 PM


Feast your eyes on our gorgeous chicken coop/run that is, FINALLY, complete. 
Sigh of complete happiness....


Oh yes, it also has occupants. Cute little guys. I mean gals.


Speaking of cute guys - check out this little hunk of mine. Wowser. 


I pity the women in his future. They're not gonna have a prayer.


But back to the coop. Ok, so where I left you last - hanging in utter suspense, I just know - we had put up the siding on the henhouse and had finished the egg boxes, but had yet to complete the interior wall, install roosts or paint the henhouse. We also needed to put up the ramp for the little ladies to enter their new digs. 


And today. Yes, TODAY, all is complete. I spent the afternoon painting the second coat of paint on the siding and painted the little cedar roofs of the egg boxes as well as the egg boxes themselves. 


Here is a view of the whole mansion from the back of it. I know it looks funny propped up the way it is in the back, but our yard is, as I've said before, VERY sloping. In order to level the whole contraption, there's a foot difference from the back to the front. Meaning, we had to attach extra panels of hardware cloth to the back in order to extend the cloth a foot into the ground.


This is our largest egg box - there are 3 separate egg boxes inside. This side of the henhouse wall was put together with cedar fence post boards. We cut them to size and removed their rounded ends. I turned the remains of the rounded ends into a cedar "shake" roof of sorts. I was very pleased with how they turned out.

Right now, the egg boxes are locked with some non-fancy clasps that actually are supposed to connect Singer's water pail to her crate.  I have been searching high and low for locking carabiners - but not wanting to spend $15 for each one. I finally found a set of 6 on Amazon for $8. As soon as those arrive, I'll feel better about our overall security.


I hear raccoons are pretty adept at maneuvering latches. And I kid you not, just this past Friday evening, as we were driving home, an enormous raccoon was just casually strolling down the middle of our street.
Beginning to understand why I went to such great lengths to protect my hens? 


Another view of the final product.  Again, this was constructed from plans purchased on www.thegardencoop.com  This is the actual Garden Coop, extended by an additional 3 feet to accommodate more hens.  I also added exterior egg boxes and moved the hen's "pop hole" (or their little entrance) to the front of the henhouse instead of in the floor. 


It's a thing of beauty, isn't it? I am seriously ridiculously proud of this coop.  It was a challenge, but totally worth every second, and truthfully, every penny. Kyle and I had so much fun working together on it, and it turned out very professional, if we do say so ourselves!


If you're wondering where the colors came from for the henhouse, I was inspired by this particular house.  It was featured in my Design*Sponge at Home book. The house was designed by House of Honey, and although I wasn't able to get the exact names or colors of the paint they used for this exterior, I poured over paint samples at Home Depot, Lowes and Sherwin Williams before coming up with my closest approximation. For the dark grey color, I used Sherwin Williams' Rock Bottom. For the yellow/green, I used Eye Catching. The white paint for our roof shingles was leftover exterior trim paint used on our house.


Although the lighting may not show it, I think I came pretty close.  I love how modern and crisp it looks. 


But enough of the exterior, let's move inside this palace!
Here is the interior henhouse wall, out of which we cut a door (part of the plan) which gives me access to the coop for cleaning purposes.

  

Here's the little ramp we made with branches and plywood. It leads up to their little entrance.


And speaking of entrance, Dorien wants in!


The girls have lived in their new home almost a week exactly now, and I think they like it.
We attached their feeder to the stud below the coop and it seems to work well.
We had more trouble with the waterer, which would get off balance and spill its contents down the hill.
I have attempted to create a level rock platform for the waterer, but occasionally it still tips a bit and drains down the hill.  We're working on it.


My precious daughter who loves the chickens just as much as I do.


We're the chicken gals.


Oh and here is the chickens' other biggest fan. Dorien loves them, and is so sweet to them. They seem to respond well to him too.


How could you not love this beautiful boy?


Me, the chicken whisperer. This is one of my Light Brahmas. My favorite, in fact. She is very friendly. I was squatting down talking to them and she just hopped up on my arm and got all comfy. She loves to be softly petted on her breast feathers. You can't see it in the picture, but she has the most awesome feathered feet!


Still acting as a roost while petting one of the Black Australorps.  They're not usually the most social breed, but every now and then they strut over and peck into my palm. The caramel colored one behind her is a Buff Orpington. We named one of our Buff Orpies "Violet," but to be honest, we're not sure which one. We tend to refer to them as the "Violets". Gotta do something about that before it sticks.


Here is a Rhode Island Red with a Buff Orpington behind her. I had paint on my hands and they tried their best to peck it off me. They also love to peck my wedding ring. 


Making some eye contact with a Black Australorp. It really is odd that she settled so easily in my hands and just looked at me. We can definitely tell that the amount of time we've spent around them has paid off. They are very tame and friendly and seem to enjoy our company. Even Kyle (who continues to profess disinterest) enjoys petting them and talking to them. 


Dorien, what a cutie. 


He wanted to sit next to me as we watched the chickies.


Brooklyn gets right up in the thick of them while they eat. She is so proud of them.
My Grandma visited us this past week (she is a fellow chicken lover - known to rescue them from the sides of the highway if they fall out of a chicken transport truck), and Brooklyn took great delight in gently picking up her favorites and letting Grandma Barbara hold them. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more, Brooklyn or Grandma. 


Dorien demonstrates the perch feature of our coop. We have two of them at different levels and going different directions. We also have a perch inside their henhouse.


Now that the coop is ready, I can turn my attention to refilling the hole Singer dug out of my raised bed...and maybe actually planting my garden...


I like that there is plenty of room inside our coop for us to hang out if we so choose.  
Right now, the chicks are just scratching into the earth, which was pretty bare after Kyle and I trampled all over it and dug it up.  I will eventually throw some straw around to absorb some of their poop - which makes wonderful compost! 


A view of the chickens using the feeder with the ladder to the right.


The chicken eating (on the right) is our Free Rare Chick from Murray McMurray. We had no clue what she was at first, but we're pretty sure we've identified her as a Lakenvelder. She's Kyle's favorite.


Here they huddle into their favorite corner. These crazy girls.  The two speckled white ones to the right are my Light Brahmas, the one closest to us, with a poofy orange head and black specks all over her body - she is one of my Americana-Auracanas.  We've named her Minnie. She looks NOTHING like her fellow AA who is solid white. We named her Poulet in honor of our first chicken.


Aren't they lovely? They are 7 weeks old today.


And hilarious. They are truly funny little creatures.  As of yet, they are still figuring out their new environment.   They have not mastered going up their ladder into the henhouse in the evenings. I wish they would get that concept, because as it is, I have to go out after dusk and pick each one up from their little huddle in the corner and move them up to the henhouse. There they stay until morning when they  manage to find their way down the ladder to their breakfast.  For the first two days in the coop, they didn't realize they could walk down the ladder to their food, so I had to take each one out and show them their food trough. I was much relieved when I came out to the coop the third morning to find them all outside and eating breakfast. 

One great feature of this coop is that I don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to let them out of their coop into the run. They can enter and exit the coop at their will, in complete safety. Allowing me to sleep in normally. I usually add food to their feeder in the late afternoon.I only put enough for them to eat a breakfast and a dinner. I've read that if you leave too much in, it attracts rodents. 


Doesn't this look cozy? For a chicken, that is.  It's the interior of their henhouse - with three of the egg boxes straight ahead. The fourth one is to the left. There's plenty of pine shavings to get nestled in. 
And the stick is a perch for them.


Here's the large egg box opened up. The 2x4s propped up act as stops to keep shavings from falling out. They move easily to clean the egg boxes.


And here's the small egg box and its little stop.


With the stop removed, so you can see the interior. 
Now, all we do is keep them safe and happy and wait for the day this little box holds an egg or two for our consumption! I hope you've enjoyed our coop building journey! If you're ever in my neighborhood, stop by and tour our coop and meet the ladies! They love visitors!

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1 comments

  1. Love it all! Can't wait to see it in person!

    ReplyDelete