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 chickens… the 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.