Saturday, November 19, 2011

My Crazy Project

Yep, that's a chicken coop. I began this crazy idea of having backyard chickens after our summer car trip to Iowa. I was impressed with the work ethic of my nieces and nephews during our visit, and I attributed a lot of that to the animals they were responsible for. This sparked the idea of having chickens. My husband was game since he loved his growing up years on the farm. I searched the internet for plans of chicken coops, but couldn't find any free plans I liked, so I sketched out a design and went from there. I didn't have any measurements, so I bought 3 2x4's in 8' lengths. I cut one in half, so my coop became 8'x4'. Since the coop has an attached run, I wanted it to be tall enough to stand up in, so the height of the coop at the peak is about 7 1/2 feet.
After I cut the frame, I had the kids help me primer.

Then it was time to put the frame together. My husband made it clear that this was my project, but he couldn't help but monitor my work and progress.

Lots of painting! I wanted the coop to match the colors of our house, so I painted the frame a dark brown.

Then we started with the roof. I had a tough time with the angles/pitch of the roof (did I mention I am not a skilled carpenter?), but I put my math skills to work and finally got it.

Then the brooding box was enclosed with some siding. This is a shot of what it looks like on the inside. There are 3 sections in the back for the nests with a hatch door so we can retrieve the eggs easily.

This is a picture of the outside of the brooding box. There is also a side door to help with clean out.

The roof and shingles went on after that. I shingled most of it in the dark one night to beat the rain, but I am a bit height challenged, so my husband had to help with the top pieces. The chicken wire was attached, as well. That was tough work and I needed a lot of help with that, but the husband is now getting excited about it all, so was willing to pitch in.

And here are 3 of our 4 peeps. The darker red in the front is a Rhode Island Red and her name is "Millie" (short for Amelia). The lighter red is a New Hampshire Red named Mrs. Beasley (we've nicknamed her "Bossy Bea" for now because she thinks she owns the place). The bigger one to the back is an Aracauna named Daisy. She has such big eyes with long lashes! We've nicknamed her "Daisy Duke" She is supposed to lay a blue/green egg, so that should be kind of fun. The other chicken not pictured is the youngest of the bunch, so she stayed under the heat lamps during the photo. She's a Barred Rock named Harriet, Sweet Harriet (that would be from the movie So I Married An Axe Murderer)

We are having such fun with our girls, and they seem to be very happy in their new home!