It was a long weekend but we got the coop done. Our kiddos are always bored to death when we work on our projects. After building a fence the weekend before and then the coop, I think next weekend we will take it easy and get some real quality family time.
So here it is, complete with solar tube lighting made with recycled bottles, pie plate windows and a play-structure frame. Sounds a bit crazy doesn’t it? But it blends in well to our backyard (thanks to semi transparent stain).
Do you remember my original plan?
After spending some time building the first wall of the coop, Hubby and I scrapped our plan to have nesting box bump out. Instead we opted to keep the nesting box fully contained in the coop. We rolled with the punches, the crazy non square dimensions of the play-structure, the bulky bolts that stuck out in odd places and made it work.
This is the completed left side of the coop/playstructure. As you can see we only used the wasted space under the structure and to the rear. The kids never played in the sandbox…well, that is until this weekend. They had a hoot climbing in and out, digging in the sand and playing in the coop. The kids were happy that the chicks are now outside, and happy to know they can still swing, climb their fort, and slide down. So this conversion makes everyone happy.
We used hardware cloth (picked after reading horror stories of birds getting grabbed by raccoons through chicken wire). I made a door in their open pen space so I can easily change water and food as well as clean it out. We also made a door for the nesting box a little taller than waist height so getting fresh eggs should be a breeze.
Here’s a front picture of the play structure/coop. The play structure is still intact and is actually stronger after our construction.
Here’s a rear picture of the pyrex pie plate windows. Also check out the pop bottles sticking out from the roof. Do you see them? They make easy solar tubes! Here’s the tutorial I promised on how to make pop bottle solar tubes.
And here’s the coop door. Notice the wood twig holding the latch? Well I haven’t been sleeping well knowing that the safety and security of our birds are relying on those twigs so this morning I went out and purchased three locking carabiners so it will be raccoon proof.
Here are some inside shots:
We still need to keep the heat lamp on because it’s so cold here. Someday spring will come!
Now check out the solar tubes! I love them! And the pie plate windows are pretty fun too.
Currently the girls are sleeping with their heads out of the door. They look so sweet and snugly there. I think I need to add a perch closer to their nesting boxes so they will want to use the nesting boxes more for sleeping.
Building the coop was a great success. I’m thankful that we didn’t reduce the footprint of our backyard, the kids still get to use their play structure and the chickens are now out of the basement. The best part about this new addition is that when I can see the chickens from the kitchen window. I never grew up with chickens. But I’m sure happy I have them in my life now. Such peaceful and beautiful creatures, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world!
Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.
Seriously cute! You did such a great job, and made such a happy home for your little chicks… yay! 🙂
Thanks DancingMooney. Amazing my marriage survived the weekend! LOL
Now that you are experienced, maybe you could come over and give some advice about how we can convert the kids’ too-small playhouse into a chicken coop! I’m kind of stuck on the whole “getting started” phase… 🙂
Anytime Megan! It’s been too long! Have you gotten chicks yet?
That’s really awesome! Looks great too!
Kristen really wants chickens. We would love to come see them sometime. Wendy
I live a block down and hadn’t seen your chicken home. Are they okay after the fire?
Thanks for asking Jen 🙂 They are happy and healthy. So glad they weren’t harmed.