With the craziness of falling nesting boxes when the tree fell on the coop (that still need to be fixed) and a couple little naughties getting confused about where to lay so laying outside, coupled with too many roosters (3), we’re building another coop. This project is 100% free. And who wouldn’t want a free chicken coop?
(That’s 3 duck and 12 chicken eggs, discovered under an overturned wheelbarrow on the burn pile — Stella the duck started it and others soon followed.)
And I must rephrase. I decided to build a small garden coop out of a trailer that was on the property when we bought it, but the husb abruptly took over and made it his project. Apparently my ideas were structurally sub-par. We started with the idea and this past weekend the project began.
The roof is framed in with peeler cores that we had, back panel/front door was swapped out by an old piece of plywood we had on hand.
He added the most awesome nesting box! My girls like to share, two to three to a box, so this is perfect! 12″ high and 18″ wide. Plus it’ll be a nice drinking spot on top — that’s where I will hang the waterer so it doesn’t get funky with straw and pine shavings. Again, all scrap wood, some of which was pulled from pallets. See the truck overflowing with pallets and barn metal in the background? That whole collection was traded for duck and chicken eggs, and future veggies from a non-farming neighbor.
I squealed with delight when he showed me the egg door that goes right to the nesting box!!! Again, pallet wood. Still totally free.
I love that the handle is made from the actual trailer — there were 2 on each side for tying things up.
The front door also has one of those cool handles and again, 100% free/recycled/upcycled wood. Look at the peep holes! Omgosh, so cute! I think there needs to be a Rustic Garden Cottage Coop sign over the door.
The side is so cute too. I love this little coop in progress! If I recall, it’s 30sf so more than perfect for 3 girls and a boy. Although my chickens are only inside to sleep and free-range the rest of the time, I still like to give them lots of extra space. This coop is going to live in a portion of the garden, behind a big Russian Olive for shade. I’ll probably plant a couple other big things over there as well (we need mulberries!). They, like the others, will have a compost area in their run to graze upon as well (this really cuts food costs and doesn’t effect egg laying negatively at all — my 30 layers we’re giving me over 12 dozen eggs a week in the dead of winter without supplemental heat or light). These ladies and gent are going to prepare next spring’s garden area — chickens and ducks are such amazing gardeners: weeding, aerating the soil, fertilizing it as they go, eating any potential invasive pests, excetera. Also, because the husb is a Virgo and said the floor needs to be replaced in two or three years, he made it so we can just unscrew the corners, pull the whole house off the top out of the metal frame, replace the floor and put everything back easy as pie. He’s so brilliant! I never would have thought of such a thing.
All that’s left is the roof, a roost bar, a ramp, a couple of coats of paint (I may splurge and buy a gallon of mis-mixed paint for cheap, otherwise we have a light sky blue and a deep purple, also cheap color faux pas paint we got last year). I think we also have a bunch of the nursery coop (former duck house) recycled green paint (above) as we got 5 gallons of it. Part of me wants to just seal it and leave it as is because I think it’s awesome in its rustic wood beauty.
That mountain of pallets and barn metal in the truck? Obviously that wasn’t for this little coop but rather… (drum roll)… a goat house! Yes, looks like we will be getting goats after all which means I need to get my ass in gear and start painting, book making, selling and advertising my healing services again in order to feed them.
Meet Julia (who I will rename Brida), the 3/4 Toggenburg, 1/4 Nubian baby. She’s 3 days old in this photo.
I was so excited meeting them the other day that I couldn’t get a good picture for the life of me. I was bouncing around like a baby goat myself so all of them are fuzzy. This is Mama Fauna who will also be coming to our farm. Fauna is 4 years old so can have another batch of babies or two before Brida can start having her own. She’s 1/2 Toggenburg 1/2 Nubian. In the meantime, we have milk for drinking, baking, yogurt, butter, and selling. Oh, and maybe soap making if I can make goat milk soap without lye.
Papa Hercules will not be coming to live with us but will breed any future babies Fauna has. He’s full Toggenburg and a soulful and beautiful guy. I fell in love with him and would be honored to bring up another round of his babies. Or at least another girl. I’m not ready for boy goats yet.
Hopefully all of this works out, otherwise we will be getting two baby girls, likely pure Nigerian Dwarfs when we can find some that aren’t disbudded. I won’t keep goats without horns (or cats without claws).
Stay tuned for completed Chicken Coop photos at its new location… and future goat house construction. (The above baby is half Buff Orpington, half Wesummer — I was so excited because orpingtons are one of my favorite breeds for friendliness but I think it’s a boy which means we’ll sell or eat him.) Always have to sneak in a chick pic, don’t I?