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Chicken Coop

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I finally found the place for the chicken coop!  We have 2 bird dogs, so having them anywhere in the fenced backyard was really a bad idea.  What could be groovier than front-yard chickens?  Brilliant!  Now why did it take so long to figure out?  I loved having chickens as a child, and so wanted to share the experience with my family.  I immediately sketched this design and pulled Joel off his year-long project of building his office.

Chicken Coop Design

We staked out a 5 x 9 ft run for the chicken coop in the front yard, near our sitting area, and started digging!  It was a family project full of laughter and dirty fun!  The yard isn’t fenced, and we live in the country, so this coop needed to be a fortress.  Recycling and salvaging materials was also a must.  Over the years we somehow amassed a collection of old redwood 2×4’s, 4×4’s and fence boards, we were definitely going for the “rustic” look.  We used left-over welded-wire fencing which, we sunk down as far as we could… until the pickaxe broke the water main.  DARN IT!

Building Chicken Coop

  Building Chicken Coop 2

Fairly smooth sailing after the pipe was fixed- the kids thoroughly enjoyed the mud!  We fenced the floor and covered it with fresh dirt, then fenced the walls and ceiling of the run.  We ran poultry wire over the welded-wire fencing, and stacked big rocks around the perimeter.  Nothing was going to reach through, chew through or dig through to our Ladies.  I also had double locks and self-closing hinges installed on all the doors and gates to keep the chickens safe from the kids.

Heart Door Chicken Coop

A friend of my mom’s raises chickens, so when the coop was done, we paid her a visit.  She gave us 3 Araucana hens (greenish eggs) and 1 Rhode Island Red (brown eggs).  All 4 hens were a year old and good layers.  I’m still changing diapers, and I really didn’t want to deal with baby chicks at this time.  So, yes, turn-key chickens!

Our Chickens come home

These poor girls had bare-backs from the roosters, but those days are over!

Meet the Ladies, “Blackberry”, “Raspberry”, “Strawberry” and “Peachy”.

The our chickens come home

Joel and the chicken

The whole project took about 6 weeks and cost us very little.  About 90% of the materials were found around our house or scavenged from the neighbors… even the yellow paint!  It was a push to get it done, (“Thanks, Babe!”), and another step down the path of authenticity.  I honestly can’t tell who loves them more!  Now, I hope their shock wears off soon so we can start collecting eggs.

Jessica
Jessica
Take a peek into my world of Eating, Gardening, Making and Mothering, authentically and with meaning. Thanks for visiting!
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