Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Our New Coop

In May we are expecting 7 baby chicks and we are thrilled!  There's nothing like the taste of eggs fresh from your backyard.  I've spent the last month planning, designing and building a chicken coop for them to call home. 


I've never built something of this size before but wanted to give it a try.  I honestly designed as I went along, no plan, nothing.  Well, I kinda had a plan but it kept getting tossed cause it wasn't working.  And it was going to be painted white but then I received the Williams-Sonoma Agrarian catalog in the mail and I fell in love with cedar, which happened to be on sale at Lowes.  So there ya go...


I was trying to keep it easy and cheap.  And it's not perfect but nothing I ever build is.  It will do it's job and that's what matters.  The bricks were all found and I just did a random boring pattern because I don't have a brick cutter and didn't want to mess with it.


I'm crazy about the barn door on the end.


Can't wait to collect eggs here with my youngest.  :)


I really like red with cedar so I picked out this hibiscus plant to make it pop.


My hubby, who is still recovering from heart problems, bought me this beautiful peach tree and watching it come alive with blooms makes me smile.

I still have to add sand underneath the coop and finish up a couple of details and then it's ready for the chicks.

That's it for now!

Any of you raise chickens?   Any advice or suggestions? 

What have you been up to??


43 comments:

  1. Well! This is absolutely fabulous! I love this! Great job! I am excited to follow along and see how the chickens work out! This looks great! Way to go!

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  2. Oh this is just beautiful!! You did a really great job, and I bet you can't wait to collect those eggs, it's gonna be great!! Many of my friends have chicks now. I really should do it too, our property and barns were a chicken ranch back in their "hay-day"...!!! I hope your husband is doing well and feeling better, thinking of you....

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  3. Hi! Great coop! We are currently brooding five chicks to add to our three we have! Just adore them!! I was wondering if there was a reason you are choosing sand to put in the coop? I've done lots and lots of research and find that sand is really not good for coops as it can cause breathing problems in your chickens and really make them sick. :/ although very easy to clean. A better option would be straw or pine chips/shavings. But again, this is just my opinion and what I've looked into. I hope you enjoy them!!

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    1. Hi Shannon, wow, I wasn't aware of sand causing breathing problems. Basically we were putting sand because all the coops we looked at before building ours had sand in the bottom so that's what we assumed we were supposed to do. I will definitely be researching that now. Thanks!

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  4. I love your chicken coop! It is so pretty and tidy. Someday when we stop moving we will have chickens, we are getting closer. Can't wait to see how your chicken raising goes!

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  5. LOVE! My hubby also built one of our chicken coops (we have two) — but it is not as pretty as yours! Beautiful job! I love fresh eggs and I love watching my two-year old daughter and her Daddy gather them every day.

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  6. Wow- this looks great! I love coops, and chickens. None in my yeard - yet! I did not know your hubby had heart problems. Hope all is well soon.

    http://northislandcottage.blogspot.com/

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  7. Someday I would love to raise chicks. We actually had chickens as pets (I know!) when I was a kid. This chicken coop is fantastic -- the best I've seen. Nice job, lady!

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  8. This is the nicest chicken coop I've ever seen! Great job! I love the pop of red with the hibiscus too. :) I'd love to have farm fresh eggs. Keep posting updates!

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  9. I love it! I actually have a small shed with two windows that I would like to turn in to a coop...add some fencing, etc. But it is still in the dream stage now, no time with my Etsy shop and day job. I hope to have chickens for next spring/summer though. Good luck with yours and enjoy the eggs :)

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  10. Diana- What a beautiful chicken coop set up. Wow- impressive. I hope your hubby is doing well. I know how scary cardiac problems are. Blessings to you- xo Diana

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  11. We don't raise chickens, but I sure like your coop. Looks like you did a great job and I love the little brick path and barn door. Hoping your husband is continuing to improve.

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  12. I have had chickens for 15 years. My advice? Buy from someone with a closed flock who has had their flock for years, like the Amish. Don't buy from a hatchery. They breed hens to be super egg layers and the end result is ovarian cancer, egg laying disorders and other health issues. I've had my fair share of sadness over the years and it is all because of where I bought my girls from. Good luck on your adventures.

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  13. You will love having fresh eggs to eat. It is fun raising chickens. I have a flock of six and find that is just enough for me. Good luck!

    Danielle

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  14. Oh my goodness...this is so cute! I wish I was one of your lil chickens! :)

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  15. I am completely jealous. I keep saying, "someday". We're smack dab in the city, but several of our neighbors have chickens.
    I don't know if you read the blog, The Art Of Doing Stuff, but aside from being hilarious, she just posted about keeping chickens today. (Her coop is awesomesauce, btw) It's a cute post with humor, but very informative as well. Here's the link: http://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/thinking-of-keeping-chickens-heres-what-you-need-to-know/
    I can't wait to see pictures of your new babies!!!!!!!!

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  16. Nicely done--very pretty. When we got chickens in June of 2010, it was October before we got our first egg, so be prepared to keep buying eggs for a while if you're buying chicks.

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    1. Hi Sharon! Yeah we've had chickens before so no problem waiting on the chicks to be of age to give us fresh eggs. Thanks for stopping by!

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  17. LOVE your coop! We have four "ladies." We never thought we would love them the way we do...contrary to popular belief, they are smart! And so funny...each has their own personality. It's really fun, the eggs are amazing, and great, great, great for the kids! We use pine shavings in the nesting boxes and the closed in coop area, we use sand in the "run" area, and it's worked great. Chickens "bathe" in dirt and sand, doing so helps to keep hem parasite free. So, in my opinion, as long as you clean out this run area on a regular basis and replace the sand a couple of times a year, sand should be fine. Good luck and have FUN!

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    1. Hi! Thank you for your reply! That is exactly what we were planning to do so I'm glad to hear you haven't had any problems. Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  18. LOVE your coop Diana, you did an amazing job. Will you be doing a tutorial of some sort on how you built it... I'd love to know how to make one of these myself and would be pretty darn grateful for any measurements and what not you'd be willing to share with us.

    (((((Hugs))))) for you and your husband and his continued recovery.

    Debbie
    Atikokan, Ontario

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  19. This is really a wonderful coop...can't wait to hear of your chicken adventures!

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  20. no chickens, but my bunny would love it....PINNED....Beuatiful

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  21. I love the coop! Great work, so cute :D

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  22. Oh my gosh I want chickens so baaaadly! My fiance says no. Boo :( Can't wait to watch the progress with yours :)

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  23. It's a very cool coop, however 7 chickens might be a bit crowded in there. If they're like mine, they turned out a bit bigger than I thought they would. If it turns out they are crowded, you could always give a few away.
    We have 9 chickens, and it's almost too many. I think next time around I'll only have a couple.

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  24. Gorgeous, Diana! Sending some good thoughts for you husband's continued improvement, too. <3

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  25. Hi Diana. Sorry to hear about your hubby's health. It's such a bummer,and I do hope he recovers quickly. I live in the sub-tropics of Queensland in Australia, and the one piece of advice I can give you is to make sure that you have sufficient overhang over the nesting box. This will help prevent the rain from seeping into the box - a problem we encountered after the January floods this year. Like yours, we have a corrugated tin roof over the coop, but the nesting box juts out at the side and is more vulnerable to wet weather. My hubby simply extended the roof to cover the box - problem solved!

    I use pine shavings inside the coop and nesting box, and also add a thick layer of straw over it in the box itself - for added warmth. The really good tips I can pass on to you include: (a) buy some human-grade Diatomaceous Earth to sprinkle inside the coop, the run and the nesting box. Be sure to cover your mouse and nose with a mask as DE is designed to slice through insects and parasites, but can make you cough when you distribute it. It's perfectly safe - hence the human-grade quality of it (most important to note as there are actually two grades out there, and the other grade is dangerous for your poultry and self. Also make sure the 'girls' are out of the coop area when you apply. Apply each time you clean out. Btw, sprinkle the DE in the run too, and from a healthy perspective, lightly sprinkle over their food. This will revolutionize your life by lessening the need to regularly de-worm or de-bug! All my girls (and guy) are parasite free! BIG plus!; (b) buy some organic Apple Cider Vinegar, such as Bragg's (with the mother still in it), and give this to your girls too. It's a great way to de-worm them and keep those parasites at bay! I use this rule of thumb - add 1 teaspoon of ACV to every litre of water. I have a large water container hanging in their run, and a much smaller one hanging inside the coop, so I bring them indoors every second day, scrub it out thoroughly with warm soapy water to remove any mold build-up, and then I add 2 litres water into the large container, and 1 litre into the smaller. And into these I add 2 teaspoons ACV into the larger, and 1 teaspoon ACV into the smaller. Stir well before hanging back in their coop.

    Btw, when you get the newbies, if they're not too small and delicate, cover their faces and then very lightly dust the DE through their feathers. You can buy a cheap sprinkler such as you'd use to sprinkle icing-sugar over cakes. Works a treat! Just make sure the birds are not too young, that you cover their faces, and that you don't apply too much. Go easy!! This will kill off any parasites they may be bringing with them.

    As makandaddie (above) says, always provide your birds with a dust bath. If they free-range like my birds do, then they scratch around in the earth and have a dust bath every day. If they don't, you can always fill up an old cat box with sandy garden soil so they can bath in. I also keep a small bucket under their coop. This contains the finely mashed oyster shell (or grit) that is recommended for the diet. It helps to break down the grain in their diet. I don't feed my chickens corn! Corn is not a natural part of a chicken's diet. I feed organic, but don't have to give too many green snacks because mine free-range and have a daily dose of worms, dandelions, weeds and grass. It's most important for them to have access to grass at least once a day to ensure great health.

    That's about it! I apologise for the length which was meant to be only one or two tips!!! ;-) Most of all, have fun with your ladies and keep handling them to make them more sociable.

    Hx

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  26. I forgot to add this amazingly informative blog which will give you all the advice you need! http://www.fresh-eggs-daily.com/

    Also...I meant 'mouth' not mouse (above)!! lol

    Hx

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  27. Your coop looks awesome and not too hard to make. Do you have plans for it? I'd love to see them for the day when we have a backyard (and thus can have chickens). Thank you for sharing, and I hope your husbands' health continues to improve!

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  28. Very cute coop~!
    I just moved mine Friday...
    And, If you want a lesson on how "NOT" to move a chicken coop, head on over to my blog and check it out for the good laugh...

    http://lacecrazy.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-tale-of-chicken-coop-move-lordy.html#more

    Jen~
    "Lace Crazy"

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  29. Lovely coop! I really wish I could have chickens here, but our homeowners association will not allow it. You did a fabulous job!

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  31. Just discovered you via Pinterest and I love your blog! I'm Suzy and a new follower. x

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  32. Diana,
    I just love your blog. It's one of my top 10. We are thinking about putting in a chicken coop too. I am sending this to my husband so he can get a visual. Thanks so much! I've been working on building my little photography business and website.

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  33. Is your front porch painted or what? It is great. Would love to know. Thank you for posting about your beautiful home!

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  34. is your front porch painted or what? It is great. Would love to know how to do that. Thank you for posting so much about your beautiful home.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment today! I read every one and they always put a smile on my face! Thanks for stopping by!