Since the start of summer, our family's path has taken a dramatic turn. What started as just a few chickens became dreams and aspirations that we have since decided to chase full speed. The first dream that has come true? My farmhouse chicken coop!
We have had several requests for plans for the coop/run and I have promised a post regarding our process, so without further ado...
Once framed, we used treated panel siding. This stuff -->( www.homedepot.com/p/LP-SmartSide-SmartSide-48-in-x-96-in-Strand-Panel-Siding-27874/100055901) is supposed to resist termites and any sort of fungal decay, so hopefully it will hold up well to our chickens. When the siding was installed, the necessary holes were cut for the ventilation and the fun began.
The fun part for me was certainly the personalization. I had a difficult time choosing a color for the exterior, but I knew I wanted something classic. Is there anything more classic than black and white? I certainly didn't think so! The exterior is very modern farmhouse, but I wanted to contrast that by also adding very rustic touches. That's exactly what we did for the interior!
From day one, I had no intentions of building something to simply "house" chickens. Can you imagine how many chickens it would take to fill up an 8x12 shed? Far more than our modest two acres could accommodate. The interior includes the traditional roosting bars, of course, and it also houses a built in multipurpose brooder box. My plan is to house our younger pullets in here until they are able to join the rest of the flock. This allows all of the birds to see one another without having pecking access while the chicks are so much smaller. Later, I can also use the brooder as a broody breaker or a brood box for a hen that we want to sit on a clutch of eggs,
I also wanted to incorporate the nesting boxes inside of our coop. This will protect from any moisture, but more importantly, it will allow our young children to help gather eggs. Our previous coop had a traditional lidded exterior nesting box and our kids are too small to get the lid up, no matter how hard they tried or wanted to help.
I lined the interior with pallet board shiplap and pulled in the black to compliment the trim from the outside. Modern farmhouse meets rustic chic! The pallet shiplap may be one of my favorite details and it was so much fun to work on. Even taking apart the pallets was easier than I had expected thanks to a pallet buster!
The roosting bars are on a pedestal that will fold flat up against the wall when it comes time to clean the coop. There is a small door that can be secured by bungie chords to the adjoining wall so what I can simply sweep everything out onto a tarp to move to our compost pile. Is there anything better than a coop that's easy to clean?? Next to the sweep door is the chicken's door that lifts and lowers with the use of a pulley system from just outside. This means I don't even have to go into the coop or the run to let the chickens loose! I just pull the chord and they all run out.
We have a beautiful little property, but it is not without its flaws. The land is not flat, but we were able to work with rather than against this. Instead of the flat covered run that I originally envisioned, we chose to do a stair affect with our posts. We used hardware cloth all the way around, including for the "skirt" around the perimeter. The last thing we want is to have invested all of this time and money only for our flock to be taken by a predator, so we did our best to make the coop and the run as secure as possible. They still free range during the day, but at night, they are safely tucked away.
Anything that we could need for the chickens can be found in their enclosure. We are able to keep everything together because we chose to build our all inclusive "chicken shed" and it came out better than I could have ever imagined. There are still a few finishing touches that we will get to at some point, but for now, can you say #coopgoals?