Friday, May 15, 2015

Chicken Coop - Almost Done!

Oh. My. Goodness. Guys (and Gals)!!!  It's D-O-N-E!!!!!!!
Well, not done, done.  But done enough that we could move our girls in!  Yay!!

My hubby has put in countless hours of work, and it shows.  The nesting boxes, roosting bars and food/water station still have to be finished, but other than that, we're good to go!

We still have some work to do for their outside areas too.  Our plan is to basically have four different outside areas - they will have access to two at a time.  This will give the other two time to grow grass and recover while they destroy the other two :)

Anyhoo, back to the coop.  We love how it turned out and I love all of the little touches and cool things Jason has done.  He has used some stuff in pretty unusual ways and I just love the rustic look of it. 

This is what we were working with - before pictures of the outside and inside:

Let's start on the inside.

First step was to tear down all of the old OSB board.  We were thankful that the chicken door was still intact, just covered up.  Jason has hooked up a pulley system for the door so we can open/close it from outside the coop (more on that later). 

This window opened from the inside and gave the chickens no airflow or ventilation.  Not only did you have to go inside the coop to open the window, but the window opened from the top and only opened about 12 inches.  Great idea for a window, but the design didn't make much sense.  Jason removed the window, put it on the outside and made it so that we can open it all the way. 

Next, Jason cut holes out of the bottom of the wall, just below where the nesting boxes will be.  We wanted easy access to the eggs and, really, we want to access as much as possible without going inside the coop.  It's their space.  

Jason re-insulated the coop and replaced all of the OSB board.  It was really starting to come together!


And now for the outside.  First, Jason made the door out of an old window frame that he attached screen to and a piece of an old trellis to make the top.  (Look familiar?  We also used a piece of it to make one of our garden gates.) 

One of my favorite parts of the coop is the knocker Jason put on the door.  It was the knocker from our old house.  I personally think it looks awesome.  Love the whole look of the door.  Very rustic and everything was stuff we already had on hand!

We had lattice.  Lots and lots of lattice.  So, that's what Jason used as the "fence" to keep the chickens in.  (We also had enough for a huge compost bin!)  We wanted something that the kids would be able to look through and, most importantly, provide airflow for the chickens.  Bonus, we had it on hand.  Can't beat that!


To secure the egg-gettin' doors, Jason used hinges, barrel bolts and hooks.  We're able to open the door and secure it so we don't have to worry about holding it open with one hand while grabbing eggs with the other.  The barrel bolts will secure it so no animals can sneak in to steal the eggs.

Something else super cool is what Jason made for the pulley to open the chicken access door inside the coop.  He used a wooden dowel that he cut, drilled a hole through it and then ran the rope through the dowel.  He then took an old rake head and screwed it onto the side of the coop.  To secure the open door, we just bring the dowel down and hook it under the rake.  Genius! 

We then got the yard and inside the coop all cleaned out.  I laid a ton of pine flakes down (we want it to be comfy!) for the chickens and brought them in! 
 Since we don't have any roosting bars quite yet, Jason put two large tree stumps in for them to perch on.

It took some persuading at first, but they finally ventured outside.  They seem very happy in their new home and it's only going to get better. 

It's been quite the transformation!  We have plans to make it even better.  Stay tuned!

~ Sara :)

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