Can I just say how amazing it feels to have the coop finally done? Amazing! For those of you who don’t know, we got three chicks a few months ago, and they have been living in a brooder inside the house until now. With limited time and resources, we weren’t sure which coop option was going to work out for us – we were just getting ready to buy supplies to make a coop from scratch (using these plans) when Ben found the same coop on Craigslist! He has the Craigslist magic touch, I tell you. We ran right out and brought the thing home on the roof of our car. And yes, we were laughing our heads off as we drove (very slowly, so said coop wouldn’t fall off) through downtown Providence with a chicken coop on the roof, leaving a trail of straw behind us. Here it is today:
Of course, it didn’t look exactly like that when we bought it. It had been used by a bunch of hens for a year, not finished, not cleaned, and the run portion at the bottom was covered with sagging green plastic netting. We had some work to do. First, we removed the netting (not shown) and a few crooked boards, and I gave the whole thing a really thorough scrubbing.
Next, we gave the wood inside a protective finish:
I was thinking of painting it a fresh spring green, but we ended up going bold, with “Canadian Flag Red”. We also cut new hardware cloth to fit the run portion around the bottom of the coop and installed hook-and-eye latches to make it predator-proof.
Then, we built a frame the same size as the footprint of the coop, lined it with more hardware cloth…
…and dug it into a hole underneath the coop in case any wily animals try to dig their way in. Nobody is getting our chickens, man!
The ladies seem very happy in their new digs. We carried them outside on Friday, and it’s been highly entertaining watching them in the coop all weekend. Eventually, we will be letting them free range in the backyard during the day, but I want to wait until they are big enough to make the neighborhood cats think twice.
Aside from the chicken coop, my pea patch is growing like crazy, and we planted beans, zucchini, herbs, and tomatoes this weekend, too. Phew! Let’s look at the finished coop one more time, shall we?
Ah. I love that this is my view out the kitchen window now! We still need to put a few more handles on, and figure out how to straighten one last crooked board, but otherwise it is done, and I am so, so pleased. Happy new week, friends! xo Laura.