Ta-Dah! What do you think? Not too shabby, eh? Especially considering that we did this entirely by ourselves. Hubby did most of the work obviously, but I did help wherever I could! I painted the interior, trimmed boards, screwed things in place, built the ramp, and even used power tools. You should be proud of me.
The area to the left in the photo is where we store the shavings and feed. That entire area will be paved with flagstone to make a little patio, and we will have a nice little flagstone border around the rest of the coop. Plus I plan to make some fun little signs and maybe hang a barn star or two.
My favorite part of this whole design is the siding. We used old fence boards that we scavenged from my parents' house. We still have to add the trim to the siding. There are going to be small strips of wood to cover the gaps between the siding boards, and some decorative trim around the doors.
One of the important details of a chicken coop is ventilation. Those ladies need their fresh air! We used the lid from the brooder they lived in as itty bitty chicks. In the winter we will be covering most of the vent to keep some warm air in. Another awesome feature are the double doors. These are located right below the vent, inside the run. I really liked this idea because I can easily clean out the coop while still being out of the rain. Because we all know how much it rains in this lovely state.
Hands down, the coolest part of the coop is Hubby's fantastic watering and feeding system. Clean water is very important for chickens, and also very hard to come by. These gals are messy. We saw several different designs for these auto-watering systems online and I knew this was exactly what I wanted.
Here is a view from the outside. We used an old food-grade 5 gallon bucket for the tank, and installed a fitting on the side. Then he just used basic pvc pipe and fittings to provide two separate locations for water.
One location is inside the coop. The gals are shut inside at night for protection from critters. We bought the little nipples at the local feed store. They release a drop of water whenever the little metal tip is touched. So the chickens just have to peck to get their fresh water. There is a second location under the coop too for outside drinking.
It took a few minutes to teach them how to drink. Hubby and I would reach our fingers in and tap the metal tips to make the water drip. Eventually they caught on and figured it out.
On a completely different note, aren't chicken butts adorable? I giggle every time I see those poofy little butts.
Check out these awesome feeders Hubby made too. Chickens eat a LOT of food. They will devour a 25lb bag of feed in a couple weeks. So I wanted a feeder that could hold a lot of feed, without taking up much space. Hubby came up with these great pipe feeders that serve the purpose wonderfully.
I am so incredibly proud of the coop. Hubby did such a fantastic job. Guess I owe him a pretty good Father's day gift now. Haha.
I have to admit, when we first decided to raise chickens I was a little nervous. Excited, but nervous. I had no idea what I was doing, and I wasn't sure if I was going to like it or not. Fortunately, I totally love it. I have been a terrible blogger lately because I am spending so much time outside with these ladies. Jordyn runs around the yard playing and having fun, while I'm just sitting there watching the chickens. You can call me Crazy Chicken Lady. Haha.
They really do have such great personalities, and they make fantastic pets! I made a point to handle the chicks every day when they were little so they would be really comfortable around me. And boy are they comfortable. I've had more than one occasion where they have actually perched on my shoulder like a parrot. They come chirping and clucking whenever I approach the coop and they love to eat treats out of my hands. One gal decided to hang out on my leg the other day while I was squatting down to feed them. I'm really having so much fun with this. I definitely think I'll be a chicken Mama for the rest of my life.