We got up before God was awake this morning to have breakfast with Kevin and Sarah, who are in town from Sacramento. It was lovely… except for my husband who was running around the house this morning saying, “Goooooooood morrrrrrning, Kate! Isn’t this FUN? It’s like we’re married! Isn’t fun to get up together? GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MOR. NING. Good morning. Hey, Kate? Good morning.” I shot him and now he is dead. After breakfast, Ry and I hit the grocery store. It’s like 6 o’clock now, right? When can I go to bed?

Today, class, I would like to share with you the anatomy of a Chicken Coop. Fantastic, some of you are saying. But, look. This here is the start of a farm slash ranch and therefore you must deal with the farm-ness of it all. On the other hand, I know some of you actually really dig all the farm talk. It’s different from ‘normal life’ these days. This is for you.

Ok. The chickens have been living here. (to your left) This is the coop Curt and I (sike… jus’ the Boy) built in an afternoon, ‘member? It has worked perfectly for the past 2 years. Now that we have 25 chickens we plan to protect from fox and hawk, we figured it was time to make a little more permanent structure.

Being in construction, The Boy comes across a lot of lumber, barns, trusses, etc. that are on their way to the burn pile. This entire coop, save the foundation, is all reclaimed and recycled… from the floor to the studs to the roof. I love that boy. The siding is from an old oak barn and in covered in 100% lead paint, I am sure. It’s been scraped and there’s no paint on the inside, so we’re ok.

There’s an old kitchen window here, complete with screen, that will face South. This will let in lots of light in the winter and help keep the birdies laying those yummy brown eggs. That little rectangle there is just a little peeping window for me… maybe a little window box will live there one day. And, a butterfly bush.

I can stand up in this coop! Just inside the door will be a little storage area for food, potting materials, AND… 2 doors for grabbing eggs. Then, another door for entering Chicken-ville. It’s hard to tell here, but those two larger rectangles will be the back of 6 nests where the hens will lay. I’ll be able get the eggs from the storage side without gettin’ in their business. Very cool. And, see… there’s the little peeping window behind it? The inside dividing walls are not finished yet… just studs for now.

There will be two covered “yards”… plenty of room for chicks to play outside and scratch and drive the kittens nuts. There will be a roof to keep Mister Hawk away. Curt has made 2 doors that attach to pulleys in the storage area. so I can open a chicken yard without having to actually walk inside their area. Brilliant, that man. Seriously. This thing could pass a permit inspection.

There’s also a larger hole on the North side that will allow me to sweep out the coop. The shavings and hay and feathers and bird poo will go right out that hole and into a pile next to the garden. Genius. So, you’re looking at the North side of the coop here (to your left)… there’s a people door, then my sweeping-out-the-poo door, and then a chicken yard door around the corner. Yes? The roof is tin and makes a wonderful sound in a thunderstorm… like we’re having right now. It will match our porch roof coming later this summer.

And that’s really all it takes, folks. I never really planned on having chickensthe first batch was an accident, you know. But they are so easy and so funny. They keep visitors’ children busy for hours! And those eggs… oh, man. Even store-bought-organic-free-range-massaged-daily chicken eggs can’t touch the taste from ones outta yer backyard. They’re fantastic. So fantastic, in fact, that I’ve decided when Curt takes over the world, I’m going to buy you all one of these: click here. How awesome are those???

So, there you go. A chicken coop. Come on over… they’ll put on a show for you.
Happy weekend, folks. Y’all come back now, ya here?

And, no, Curt’s not dead. I love him so much.
After 9am.

About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

11 responses to “anatomy

  • CortneyTree

    This post is totally for me.

    I want a farm, dangit! Maybe I can buy the big vacant field behind our house one day and make it my chicken coop/goat yard/miniature pony barn/kitten commune/etc.

    I will get Matt right on that. He likes eggs, I’m sure it will be no problem.

  • Jimmy

    Now if you were just a little closer, I would come “find” some of those well protected eggs.
    And where was Curt when I moored the pontoon last week, his expertise was needed.
    You are one skilled family, can’t wait to see Rylie’s talents.


  • anna

    There is an interesting story today on about urban farming and –wait for it — killing chickens. You know, how more and more people are wanting to “get back to the land” and do locally grown food and all that, but then sometimes you actually have to um, you know, kill the chickens to eat them. Sick and hi-larious reading, that.

    P.S. Thanks a lot, Kate. Now I’m coveting an Eglu. I kind of want one for my office. Wouldn’t that be great and terrible? 🙂

  • diane

    I, for one, love the Farm Posts. And I say, yet again, that you need to read “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” she also raises chickens and…wait for it…TURKEYS!

    I’m clapping for Curt right now.

    And I LOVE THIS, “I shot him and now he is dead.” Very Funny. Didn’t know you had a gun permit. But wouldn’t put it past ya, either.

    Next, I’d like to see some piccies of your garden. Thanks.

  • diane

    Love this:
    “We got up before God was awake this morning.”

    Yes, it’s well after 6 by now, Kate. Better get started on dinner.

  • EllieRichellie

    Holy WOW. . .with the exception of my lack of a totally amazing upcycled, reclaimed chicken coop, I think we ARE the same person. I mean. . please. . .we have the same nail buffing block. If your farm was next door to the Cabin I would come over every morning at 10:30 with piping hot muffins. That would be great.

  • sunday

    i loved that you were up before God, i did not even know that was possible, and i am so glad that you built curt up so much at the end of the blog post! he is much better alive then dead, even if he does wake you early! i love the farm posts too! they are so much.

  • Lisa and Gary...

    Oh my gosh, what perfect timing for this post. We just had scrambled eggs for lunch!!! 🙂 Sadly, we got ours at Safeway. 😦


  • Miss Laura

    I want some eggs.

  • ecky

    i am jea-lous!!!
    chris thinks your coop is be-ah-oooh-tee-full.
    he says that you must immediately send him the plans.
    he also said you should write about it in mother earth news. then you could be famous. (if you dont know what we are talking about we can send you an issue). that’s just the sort of ingeniousness they look for. chris will co-author the piece if you’d like.

    please move to nh!
    and bring the farm with you.

  • Dan, Annie, Will and Mocha

    I love it, reusing materials makes everything better I’m convinced, you just feel better and somehow it’s so much prettier.
    Good job you guys.
    Thanks for the lesson in chicken cooping, something I never knew about. Those foxie foxes will never get in there.

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