I finished the coop today. This journey began June 18 so it took a little over a month to complete. I have to say that I am pleased with how it came out and the chickens really love their new home. They aren’t old enough to go outdoors yet but the ladder is ready when they are.
Building this taught me a lot of things, some of them about building. The huge lesson I learned is that I can’t do everything myself. I physically just can’t do it. I was pretty disappointed to find that out. For some reason I thought I could have this pretty much done in a couple of weeks – I’ve built things before. I didn’t take into consideration the weight of a sheet of plywood and how high I was going to have to lift it. I want you to know that I can barely drag one across the floor.
Bill was here to help on weekends and had a 12 day vacation where this was THE project. For the most part it was much more enjoyable having help build it and I admire Bill’s ability to just tackle anything. It wouldn’t have been quite as pressing if I had actually waited to get the chicks until AFTER the coop was build. I didn’t expect them to be escaping their initial enclosure at 2 weeks old, they grow fast! As it was they were moved into it before any trim was done.
Building a shelter is one of those things that has been on my bucket list forever. I always thought it would be a cabin in the back forty (and that could happen at some point). Getting chickens was really just an excuse to build their shelter. I had been looking at coop plans for a really long time and this one popped up into a search just a month or so before coming to Rowe permanently. Yeah, I could have built just some little shack of unpainted plywood that I moved from place to place but I wanted something that looked good, something that spoke to the whole whimsy of having birds in the first place. One would think having chickens is serious business but it really isn’t. At some point their egg production may be important to me but for now I’m just watching my once fuzzy little chicks rapidly grow into adult hens. The coop provides them with as much protection as I can get from a building and it looks good in the landscape.
I took this photo the first night the chicks spent out in the coop – they had been in a room off of the shed up until that point. Their heat lamp is glowing nicely inside and they were all settled into their cozy wood chips with water and food. I worried though, was I sending them out there too soon? Later that night I woke up to the sound of foxes in the back forty, I got up and looked out my bedroom window to see their snug little home with the glowing red lamp. For now they are as safe as they can be.