In previous posts I have talked about how the process of making a backyard homestead is a long one. It’s starting to move faster now, like a snowball effect that is rolling downhill.
We are about done on the chicken coop side of the yard. We have done SO much over here this year that it’s hard for me to even remember how different it looked. So before I take you on a tour of my new critter space, let me take you on a trip down memory lane… all the way back to March.
These two buildings were our shed and chicken coop. Neither were in great condition and then the 2012 ice storm punched holes in the roof of each, making mold and wet chickens a common thing. That is not so awesome. So we decided to bite the bullet, buy a shed and have it installed. To date, this is one of my most favorite purchases ever.
New shed was put in and the holes in the fence were fixed as best as they could be. We were ready to build the coop in the shed and the run outside.
I took this picture below to build a design for the chicken yard.
And this was that design:
We ran into a few bumps with this design. Mainly, the HUGE tree that is close to here and whose roots run all over and the huge rocks that fill my entire yard. In the end, we could NOT dig holes for the beautiful wooden poles I wanted to set. So we settled for pounding cyclone fencing poles instead.
This is now! June 2013:
Pounding the cyclone fence poles wasn’t even as easy as we were hoping.
Notice the pole to the right… yeah, it hit a rock half way down and is now bent. I am considering it my Amish Humility Pole and I am letting it go. (Myth or not, it’s a great lesson for a perfectionist like me.)
Inside the new shed, I built a coop similar to a storage bin, but much larger. It spans the entire 8ft shed and is just over 3ft deep. The doors lift up.
I added a few things that I needed in there, like my jars of garden supplements and baskets of chicken and rabbit gear. Then I also added this shelf, which I use as a mantel to display all sorts of chicken funnies and seasonal beauty.
At this same time, the rest of the shed was organized and all our tools were put into place. It was VERY exciting to be able to sharpen all of my tools and know that they would not be rusty when I came out to use them because the roof doesn’t leak! We have a very neat shed now and it makes my heart happy just standing in it. Yes, I am a homesteading dork. But man, it’s the little things… like this wall of neat, sharp, *dry* tools.
Then we got started on integrating the two flocks and making this space a home for all our bitties. Here’s what the interior of the chicken area inside the shed looks like:
I even put weather striping inside the coop doors to keep the dust inside the shed to an absolute minimum. Chickens produce a LOT of dust!
Outside I built up our waterer so that it stayed clean, put up the fencing and attached it to the shed. Then I took a leap of faith, and cut the hole in the wall for the door. I remembered to use the measurements for the Chicken Butler, which I will eventually own, but for now, it’s just a piece of plywood that moves up and down to keep the bitties safe at night.
So far I LOVE this coop! It is a great mix of fun and functional that stays clean, is easy to maintain and works for everyone. Including the birds:
And of course, I love the little moments it helps me create.
And at the top of my list is this fresh, farm, organic eggs from our happy, pampered hens!