Happy Friday friends! Today I’m going to show you all of the details of our chicken coop. It took me forever to get to this post because I wanted to get the extension completed first. We started our chicken raising adventure early this year and have learned quite a bit over the past 8 months.
As soon as we purchased our property, I knew I wanted to raise chickens. So this coop had been in the plans for several years. I wanted our chicken coop to look amazing and be fully functional so I immediately eliminated any plans that did not include a walk-in design, making it easier to clean. After lots of research, I found the plans for the perfect coop from a carpenter and you can purchase them here too. I thought about purchasing a pre-built coop because James didn’t have time to help me build one but with a little convincing, I got him to agree. (Mostly because the cost to build this one was much lower than purchasing a pre-built model.)
All in the Details
I wanted to keep the costs down as much as possible while still making this project look as great as it was in my mind. One of the ways we cut costs was using the leftover exterior paint from our house build. Since the coop is visible from the street, this makes it coordinate with the house and look like it fits just right on our property. We used SW Oyster White for the exterior of both our house and the chicken coop and SW Pure White for the interior. I also added faux window shutters from Hobby Lobby, painted in our home’s door color (SW Tricorn Black). We then covered the entire run with hardware cloth to protect our new pets from predators and I snagged some handles from Hobby Lobby to use for the little trap door from the coop to the run and to lift the nesting box door.
After painting the entire coop, I laid this vinyl flooring over top of the OSB so it would be easier to sweep out the pine shavings and clean the floor of the coop – it’s also pretty and fits my french country farmhouse style. Of course, I needed to add a pretty chandelier to the interior because, why not! And I finished off the window with a curtain rod and clips and a fun lace trimmed buffalo plaid fabric that I found at Hobby Lobby for $4/yard. The curtains are super cute and also help by keeping as much wind out as possible when it’s cold out.
For the warmer days, I purchased a compact camping fan and hung it from the rafters with a hook to help circulate some air and keep the coop cool in the summer. After realizing it needed to be recharged fairly often, my brother mentioned I should get a small solar panel to plug into the fan and it works like a charm! I also added two cute solar powered lanterns to the either side of the door on the front of the coop – mostly to finish off the french country look but they do help me see when I go to close up the coop at sundown.
Fun Coop Extras
After having the chickens for several months, I realized that the run designed in the plan is much too small for the girls and I wanted to make sure they had plenty of room to play and roam when not free ranging. I am not very handy and just could not figure out how to build an addition by myself so I asked my step-dad to jump in and help. He was happy to do so since hubby was knee deep in our basement project and it was the perfect project to keep them busy while they house sat for us during our beach trip. The extended run is attached to the original run in the front and wraps around to the back of the coop. It’s a 17’x12′ addition and gives our flock plenty of room.
I like to hang cinnamon scented brooms inside the coop. They help keep things smelling fresh and are useful in sweeping off the dust and cobwebs. I also bought a shelf from Hobby Lobby and keep coop refresher, dust bath herbs, a jar of mealworms and a paint scraper (to scrape the poop off the roosting bars) on it. I also hung a small bucket closer to the floor and keep oyster shell in it for easy access.
In the nesting boxes, I added washable nesting pads and I cover them with pine shavings. For the chicken run, I hung a bridge and swing as boredom busters and perch options. I grabbed a large kitty litter pan from Walmart and fill it with sandy dirt from the yard and herbs for the perfect dust bath spot. Last time my mom visited, she spoiled the chickies with a fun thatched tiki umbrella, shading a corner of the run.
When we added baby chicks to our flock, I bought a rabbit hutch/run combo to keep them separated and help with the introduction. It fits nicely inside the run and initially, the younger girls slept in here at night until they started feeling safe and integrated themselves into the flock. Now they all sleep together in the coop and the hutch is a shelter from rain/wind or just another resting spot during the day.
I do store their feed inside the coop because it needed to be closer than the garage for easier fillups. Eventually, I want to build a small storage area under the nesting boxes, but until then, I use a rubbermaid container that has a locking clasp to keep pests out. In the run, I hang their waterer and feeder from the hardware cloth. I also use two chick waterers around the run to make sure everyone has access.
I do have plans to add pea gravel around the perimeter of the run and coop and add landscape as well but that’s a project for next year.
I hope you love my new coop and this post helps you plan for your own chicken coop! If you have any questions, please share them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer!