“Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched.”-Aesop
Hey y’all! I know it seems like forever since I’ve shared life on the farm, but life on the farm over the last year has been incredibly busy. Finding time to share became very difficult. Now that our oldest is off to her first year in college and our youngest is getting ready to drive, I decided it’s high time for me to get back on the proverbial horse. My horse named Blog. Grab another cup of coffee and a comfy seat because we’ve got a lot of catching up to do…
It’s been four years since we acquired our first animals on the farm, the chickens. A couple years ago I shared in a blog post, “Farm Fresh Eggs, Anyone?” what we learned about chickens and how to care for them. I still love having chickens! However, this year, we have a new flock. Sadly, all but one of our our old flock of chickens (good ol’ Red) were prayed upon by a den of fox living in our woods. Sadly, this is the difficult part of keeping chickens, especially when they free-range. Although sweet, they aren’t the smartest or quickest animals, so when a predator catches wind of them, the outcome is…not good.
The loss of our original flock made making a new chicken coop a higher priority on the farm before getting new chickens. I got out a sheet of paper and I started a list of “must haves.”
Meeghan’s Must Have List for New Chicken Coop
1.) CUTE (Duh!)
2.) NEW LOCATION
(They say in real estate it’s all about location, location, location. Well, this new coop needed a drier location on the farm. No more muddy boots!)
(Yup! I said flooring. Seems excessive for chickens I know, but it’s not for them, it’s for me! No more plywood that rots, becomes warped, and is very hard to clean. I wanted inexpensive laminate flooring for easy cleanup!)
4.) LARGE OUTDOOR RUN
(I will forever be a free-range chicken mama. However, if there is a predator in the area, I want to keep my girls safe and still give them access to the outdoors.)
List complete. Next, Mr. A and I started looking at prefab sheds at local hardware stores to convert into a hen house. Y’all they’re expensive! After crunching the numbers, Mr. A and I decided it was going to be much more economical to build the coop ourselves. Let the Googling begin!
After many days of chicken coop research and discussion, Mr. A and I decided we knew just what we wanted. It started with him finding a great and affordable Shed Kit from Home Depot and that’s when the magic began…
Now mind you, neither Mr. A nor I have any type of construction experience. What I’m trying to say, is if we can do this, so can you. We started with the Shed Kit and went from there. We determined the dimensions of the coop that we wanted and the dimensions of the run. We made a lumber list and off to Home Depot we went to buy our supplies.
Although this chicken coop build involved some cursing (sorry to throw you under the bus Mr. A), blood, sweat, and possibly some tears (mostly from sweat in the eyes because it was 95 degrees with 100% humidity outside), it was so worth it! What we lack in building plans for y’all we make up for with photos and enthusiasm that you can do this too!
Here are photos to show you the progression of the build and prove we ACTUALLY did this!
It’s so nice to know that now our new flock of girls are happy and safe in the Hidden Acres Farm Fluffy Butt Hut.