There’s a famous saying that goes,
If you have a dream, collect all your scrap wood from the barn and make that dream come true.
OK, maybe that saying is not quite famous, yet…but I will tell you more.
Our dream was a coop.
Our necks are burnt. Our muscles are sore. Our drill bits are broken. But we made our dream come true! Here’s how we did it.
Reason for the coop-building season
First, the need. An impulse buy of seven cute chicks from Cackle Hatchery meant we needed to make housing for them. We got seven different breeds:
- Buff Brahma
- Blue Ameraucana
- Jubilee Orpington
- Silver Laced Wyandotte
- Barred Rock
Three of them will be hens. The other four are a gamble. I will let you know in a few months what we have if/when the crowing starts!
I love their little peeping sounds! They are all fluff and warmth in the palm of my hand.
Back to the coop building
I took all of our items out of the barn to see what we had to work with. As part of the coop-building process, we got the side bonus of organizing the barn.
You can see we had quite the collection of junk stuff.
Let the coop building games begin!
Using this book from our local library, Reinventing the Chicken Coop: 14 Original Designs with Step-by-Step Building Instructions, we started with the base. From that point, it was guessing and trying since we didn’t have the wood—or the tools—that the book suggested. Our coop also needed to be much bigger than the ones described.
At this point, we are five hours in and my husband is not yet sunburnt.
Next, we started to build the side. For the front and back, I wanted them to open so we could clean the coop and collect eggs as needed.
Mid-afternoon, my son brought new energy and some much-needed supplies: more screws and 2x4s. With his help, we got the back wall done.
We used an old storm door for one side. Then it was coop-raising time!
I felt happy when I saw that our coop was strong enough to support a person inside. For people with no building skills, that was a big accomplishment. We ended day one with hope in our hearts.
Day two and I painted the base.
Cats are not good painter’s helpers
A certain naughty kitty explored the coop while I was turned around.
She loved getting her white kitty paws washed in the sink so much that she sang us a song while we cleaned them.
The we added the front gates and a little ramp.
We attached 2 by 4s for them to roost. Chickens don’t grip with their feet well like wild birds. I read that they prefer a flatter roost pole. Plus, a couple of our breeds will be 10+ pound chickens. We need a strong roost!
I realized the noun, rooster, comes from the verb, to roost. Yep, seems obvious now, doesn’t it? But I had never really thought of it.
We will pick up some paint this week and get the fencing ready for the little chick friends. They will start living outside in a few weeks after they have their feathers and it has warmed up.
Hope you have a lovely spring week. May your dream—whatever it looks like—come true!
Can’t forget the horses!
PS: a couple bonus pics of our horse and pony, just for fun.
Pixie does not look impressed by our newfound building abilities
Miko loves the long spring front lawn