May 26, 2011

Virtual Tour de Coop

Tour my chicken coops as they have evolved over time
I enjoy seeing how chickens live on the other side of the proverbial fence and learning about the lengths to which their people will go to ensure their happiness and comfort. Coops from the small and simple to the large and ornate intrigue me and entertain me and move me to be creative with my own. Regardless of the set-up I started with or the current arrangement in my backyard, I know that there will always be changes to it either out of necessity as my flock changes, or as the result of inspiration that moves me to alter the way things appear or function. I assume that at least a few other people share my voyeuristic obsession with coops and have created this pictorial tour of my coops to share with you. Thank you for visiting, I hope you enjoy the tour!

In the beginning, there was grass. Our first coop was a pre-fab , courtesy of the Pennsylvania Amish.
Virtual Tour de Coop
Our chicks arrived four days after the coop landed. 
I asked the post office to call me the moment the chicks arrived. 6am it was.
(note to self: be careful what you ask for!)
Safety first!
The new chicks were an Australorp, Barred Plymouth Rocks, Silkies, Easter Eggers, a Buff Orpington, and a White Plymouth Rock.
After many months of re-design and tweaking, this is the view from the "people door." We raised the roosts to maximize floor space and added a droppings board to keep it as clean as possible. Both the roosts and droppings board are removable for cleaning. 
The automatic pop door opener was one of the best Christmas gifts ever. Highly recommended, particularly for those not interested in beating the early bird to the worm.
The automatic pop door opener was one of the best Christmas gifts ever. Highly recommended, particularly for those not interested in beating the early bird to the worm. 
The automatic pop door opener was one of the best Christmas gifts ever. Highly recommended, particularly for those not interested in beating the early bird to the worm.
Gratuitous flock shot in memory of Ethel, (Easter Egger hen in foreground). RIP girl. 
We added windows for ventilation on the north and south sides of the coop in the summer of 2010, which was one of the hottest in New England history.
We added windows for ventilation on the north and south sides of the coop in the summer of 2010, which was one of the hottest in New England history. 
We added windows for ventilation on the north and south sides of the coop in the summer of 2010, which was one of the hottest in New England history.
The nest boxes on the right have nest box curtains for the privacy and darkness that laying hens and broody hens appreciate. 
The nest boxes on the right have nest box curtains for the privacy and darkness that laying hens and broody hens appreciate.
What? You don't decorate your coop and run for Christmas?
What? You don't decorate your coop and run for Christmas?
It was pretty at night with the snowman standing sentry.
What? You don't decorate your coop and run for Christmas?
The winter of 2010 was unreasonably snowy. Pretty, but unbearably cold and snowy.
Did I mention... snowy?
The winter of 2010 was unreasonably snowy. Pretty, but unbearably cold and snowy. Did I mention... snowy?
Still pretty. Still snowy.
The winter of 2010 was unreasonably snowy. Pretty, but unbearably cold and snowy. Did I mention... snowy?
 No longer pretty. Still snowy.
In February, I dug the the clearing on the left for the new coop, willing winter to go away. 
It flatly refused. 
In February, I dug the the clearing on the left for the new coop, willing winter to go away.  It flatly refused.
This is the south side of the coop. People door on right, run door in its initial, miniature size. After several near-concussions, it has been made taller. Husband adding corrugated plastic roof panels (which, thankfully, were operational prior to Winter Fest 2010, above). 
This is the south side of the coop. People door on right, run door in its initial, miniature size. After several near-concussions, it has been made taller. Husband adding corrugated plastic roof panels (which, thankfully, were operational prior to Winter Fest 2010, above)
This is the PVC feeder that I built after learning to use a drill. I have since replaced the cake pan with a  plastic corner litter pan. The Christmas lights were removed prior to Memorial Day (any longer and I could have just left them up!).
This is the PVC feeder that I built after learning to use a drill. I have since replaced the cake pan with a  plastic corner litter pan.
One of my favorite photos of our coop in Fall 2010. 
One of my favorite photos of our coop in Fall 2010
My Blue Ameraucanas, Bessie and Clarice taking time to smell the flowers.
My Blue Ameraucanas, Bessie and Clarice taking time to smell the flowers.
Enjoying the cedar roost inside the run. 
Enjoying the cedar roost inside the run
Max, one of my original Black Copper Marans roosters. 
Max, one of my original Black Copper Marans roosters.
My copper weathervane was a gift from my husband for our seventh wedding anniversary. Did you know seven is the copper anniversary? True story.
My copper weathervane was a gift from my husband for our seventh wedding anniversary. Did you know seven is the copper anniversary? True story.
Clarice enjoying the view from the bench. 
I'd have been happier if her working end were facing the other direction. 
Clarice enjoying the view from the bench.
My husband built our second coop during the coldest, snowiest winter in the annals of New England meteorology. The project started in the garage where he built the floor, walls and roof joists.
Floor being assembled.
1/16/11 Floor being assembled.
 2/20/11 Coming along nicely.
 3/26/11 Installation of shingles almost finished.
Building a coop was a much more costly and time-consuming proposition than I had bargained for. I stopped tracking the actual cost after the initial planning stage as the numbers had already far exceeded the budget I originally envisioned. Clearly, my husband's vision was different from mine, but I'm not complaining.

Presenting: "The Little Deuce Coop." I asked for a Hoopdie and he gave me a Mercedes. That's love.
Run in-progress. Sand, check. 
The Little Deuce Coop
This walkway turned out just as I had hoped.
The Little Deuce Coop
Another view of the walkway. 
The Little Deuce Coop
We spent a weekend digging rocks out of the woods behind the coops to build this rock wall. (it has been un-built and re-built at least twice since then)
The Little Deuce Coop
The Little Deuce Coop's people door and oyster shell dispenser (below the window). 
The Little Deuce Coop
Nest boxes to the left of the people door. Feedbag artwork inspires the ladies. :)
The Little Deuce Coop
Simon, our Silver Spangled Hamburg rooster.
Simon, our Silver Spangled Hamburg rooster.
I was thrilled with the performance of the droppings board in our first coop and was confident it would be as useful in the new coop. What I did not anticipate was that half of the chickens would roost in the rafters, defeating the entire purpose of the droppings board. Outwitted by chickens again.
I was thrilled with the performance of the droppings board in our first coop and was confident it would be as useful in the new coop. What I did not anticipate was that half of the chickens would roost in the rafters, defeating the entire purpose of the droppings board. Outwitted by chickens again.
Pop door, awaiting automation. PVC Feeder alongside window. Cap on feeder is essential with rafter-roosters. 
Pop door, awaiting automation. PVC Feeder alongside window. Cap on feeder is essential with rafter-roosters.
Chicken Cam. Gotta have one. I use the area to the right of the PVC feeder as brooder and grow-out space for chicks.
Chicken Cam. Gotta have one. I use the area to the right of the PVC feeder as brooder and grow-out space for chicks.
Beware the rafter-roosters.  
Beware the rafter-roosters.
 The Chicken Compound.
The Chicken Compound.
Construction of the run roof on the Little Deuce Coop began in August, 2011.
Construction of the run roof on the Little Deuce Coop began in August, 2011
Construction of the run roof on the Little Deuce Coop began in August, 2011
Windy, my crooked toe Blue Splash Marans, taking a break from the hard work of pecking and scratching.
Windy, my crooked toe Blue Splash Marans, taking a break from the hard work of pecking and scratching.
Interior remodeling of our new coop. We installed an automatic pop door opener and raised the roosts and droppings boards because I wanted the floor space underneath it accessible.
Interior remodeling of our new coop. We installed an automatic pop door opener and raised the roosts and droppings boards because I wanted the floor space underneath it accessible.
Silver Spangled Hamburgs enjoying the view from the rafters. But not for long, sorry ladies!
Silver Spangled Hamburgs enjoying the view from the rafters. But not for long, sorry ladies!

As much as they loved it, I decided that rafters were not a good place for my heavy birds, particularly the Black Copper Marans. The sound of the landings from that height made me worry about bumblefoot and other injuries, so I decided we'd put plastic poultry netting on the rafters. The girlz were very unhappy about it for about a week. Very unhappy.
As much as they loved it, I decided that rafters were not a good place for my heavy birds, particularly the Black Copper Marans. The sound of the landings from that height made me worry about bumblefoot and other injuries, so I decided we'd put plastic poultry netting on the rafters
Pine shavings falling out of the doors is a pet peeve of mine, so kick-plates were installed at the thresholds.
Pine shavings falling out of the doors is a pet peeve of mine, so kick-plates were installed at the thresholds.
My artwork from recycled grapes crates...
My artwork from recycled grapes crates...
My artwork from recycled feed bags...
These mums were beautiful for about a week until the chickens took turns standing IN THEM. <sigh>
These mums were beautiful for about a week until the chickens took turns standing IN THEM
These mums were beautiful for about a week until the chickens took turns standing IN THEM
I had this sign made for the peak of the run.
I had this sign made for the peak of the run
My coops are ongoing project as I find reasons to modify them every few months (whether they need it or not!).
My coops are ongoing project as I find reasons to modify them every few months (whether they need it or not!).
This is my DIY cookie tin water heater
This is my DIY cookie tin water heater. Instructions for building your own are here.
No coop is complete without feed bag stockings for Christmas!
No coop is complete without feed bag stockings for Christmas!

I wasn't happy with the layout or height of the roosts and droppings boards so...back to the drawing board we went. The challenges were that the pop door on one side of the coop with a nest box on the opposite wall. We didn't want to lose access to a nest box or hinder the operation of the automatic pop door opener. In the most recent set-up, the roosts were too high and that the chickens had to hop up onto the droppings board before getting up onto the roost, plus the droppings board was too close to the lowest roost, creating an environment in which the chickens' fluffy butts could get dirty. Not acceptable.

Two and a half hours of adjustments later (in 30°F temperatures) and this is what we have. The hens can still access the nest box and exit the pop door. Mission accomplished.
I wasn't happy with the layout or height of the roosts and droppings boards so...back to the drawing board we went
4/7/12 This yard-sale find keeps the girlz entertained when the nest boxes are full or feed station is occupado.
 This yard-sale find keeps the girlz entertained when the nest boxes are full or feed station is occupado.
 10/30/12 This pre-Halloween snowstorm left us without power for 8 days, wreaked havoc on the roof of the small run and took a toll on many of the trees throughout Connecticut and in our backyard.
This pre-Halloween snowstorm left us without power for 8 days, wreaked havoc on the roof of the small run and took a toll on many of the trees throughout Connecticut and in our backyard.
April 2012: We replaced the damaged roof and put some of the fallen limbs to good use in the run this spring. The plastic, corrugated roofing was replaced with metal. 
We replaced the damaged roof and put some of the fallen limbs to good use in the run this spring. The plastic, corrugated roofing was replaced with metal.
We replaced the damaged roof and put some of the fallen limbs to good use in the run this spring. The plastic, corrugated roofing was replaced with metal.
We replaced the damaged roof and put some of the fallen limbs to good use in the run this spring. The plastic, corrugated roofing was replaced with metal.
5/13/12 New Nest Box curtains hung in both coops!
Thanks to Debbie Cade for her beautiful work!
New Nest Box curtains hung in both coops!
Nest box curtains in the 'Little Deuce Coop,' more than just pretty, functional too!
Nest box curtains in the 'Little Deuce Coop,' more than just pretty, functional too!
This ladder was a real find at our local landfill- I turned it into a planter for less than three bucks.
This ladder was a real find at our local landfill- I turned it into a planter for less than three bucks. Here's how.
 Spring 2012, we hatched Coturnix quail and built this quail coop to match the Little Deuce Coop.
 July 2012, we installed The Chicken Fountain in all three coops. They were life changing.
 August 2012. 
 
 
December 30, 2012 
We made a chicken coop flower box this year and I LOVE it. 
 We did a little landscaping while addressing the problem with water flowing down the hill through the run.
 My peeps-July 2013.
August, 2013: It took three days to install tongue-in-groove wall-boards in The Little Deuce Coop. I wanted walls because it will make cleaning easier. I love the look!
Thanks for taking my Virtual Tour de Coop and check back for the inevitable revisions!
 The Chicken Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick®



252 comments :

  1. Great tour, Kathy. Where is coop #3 going??

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  2. Wow! Sure did enjoy the tour. Wonderful photos! Love the coops. Pretty chickens. Brrr... it was cold and snowy, but you had way more snow than we did. Enjoy your beautiful coops... love the curtains...

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  3. WOW! Each time I look at one of your posts I am learning something. I've kept chickens 11 years---where have you been all this time, lol? I love the coops and I love the feeders! It looks like you have plenty of land---how did you become a chicken outlaw?? (By the way, I am too now as I smuggled 5 chickens into my boyfriend's city house. They live in the room off the kitchen in a play pen until we can privacy fence the back yard.)

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  4. @ Marlana27- I have only been keeping chickens for 2 years, 1 week. :) Thanks for all the compliments, I'm thrilled to know that my posts are relevant to even a seasoned chicken-keeper!

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  5. J'aime le curtains! tres chic!

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  6. Loved the tour! Love yours coops and ideas, might have to borrow some. love the corner feeder and the pvc pipe feeders with the caps.

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  7. What a great coop!!And that rooster is beautiful!

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  8. Oh my! Luxurious. My hens would be envious. Hubs put chicken wire across the rafters right away when he built our hen house. He had done his studying. I said there is no way they would roost up there. Well your post sure has proved me wrong. Love it all. Must show hubs. He might take off running though.

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  9. That is Awesome, that gave me SO many ideas that I will have to plant in my husbands head now, I don't let my girl out, too many BAD GUYS at our place and die if anything ever happened to my girls... Thanks keep posting

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  10. Glad you enjoyed it Jackie's Ranch. :) Thanks for stopping in. Feel free to join us on Facebook where you can continue to find ideas to add to your 'honey do' list! http://www.facebook.comm/Egg.Carton.Labels.by.ADozenGirlz

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  11. Oh my goodness. I just found you through Tillie's Nest. What an awesome coop-building obsession you have, and what a lucky flock! I am so inspired, gonna go grab my power tools right now and head out to my coop... Look out, ladies!

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  12. Thank you Lauren, happy to have you join us! Check out the craziness around the coop during the holidays! http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.283488088360575.65128.186188768090508&type=1

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  13. Does your carpenter husband have a brother?

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  14. @Anonymous: ROFL! You may not believe it but my husband is not a carpenter and this was the first structure he built! Not too shabby, huh?

    He does have two brothers, but they're taken too. Sorry. ;)

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  15. Loved it!

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  16. Wow! Awesome coop & run, my girls would be envious if they didn't have the run of the back....of course, if they had a run like that size they wouldn't have the run of the backyard. I got my 6 girls from My Pet Chicken, and aside from one having crooked toes (we tried to fix them but caught it too late) they are all happy & healthy...they are almost 10 months. Love your FB postings and your blog.

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    1. Thanks LoreenH! It's a good thing our run is that size because I couldn't get them out of it in the snow this week!
      Thanks for stopping by. ;)

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    2. Congratulations Loreen! You won the 'Property of My Backyard Chickens' tee shirt in the My Pet Chicken welcome contest!!
      Please email me at service@CustomEggCartonLabels with your contact information. ☺

      Delete
  17. I love my chickens -- my favorite one is a japenese schmoo - we named him Stir Fry

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  18. Wow, love the Christmas lights on the coop, our coop was built inside our hay room (long story), next to the goat pen. During our huge snow storm this past week the girls & boys got to stay in the hay room (with hay covered) so as to stay warm, they did fly over the partition and visit my pregnant does. They got extra treats for having to stay in this past week, but they love their oatmeal with sunflower seeds and buttermilk so they didn't mind at all.

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    1. Thanks Linda. It was more fun decorating the coop this year than the house!

      It sounds like your chickens have it made in your barn! Please feel free to share pictures on my Facebook page; we all LOVE to see other people's chicken homes!

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  19. Leave a comment about my pet chicken? What about my too many pet chickens? Ok, so no one can have too many. A year and a half ago we began with 6 chickens and 3 dogs. Now we have 30-some chickens, 27 ducks, 4 rabbits and 2 pigs. Oh yeah, and still 3 dogs.

    My boyfriend and I have a system. I am disabled so getting up in the morning is kinda difficult, so he does morning chores. I do afternoon/evening chores and we share things like coop and run cleaning. The only thing we don't share is the animal rescuing. I bring home the animals and ask if I can when they're settled in LOL

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    1. Funny how quickly the flock multiplies, isn't it? :)

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    2. They sure do i cant wait until spring!!

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  20. I started with chickens almost 2 years ago! I ordered 9 from MPC thinking that a few wouldn't make it and they would fit nicely into my nice little coop. Well MPC sent me a extra chick and they all made it. Needless to say, I have had to expand. I now use a big shed and a smaller coop for all of my birds. I have 17 layers, 1 rooster, a pair of guineas and 4 silkies. Add the 2 goats to that and our backyard is crazy!!!! Thanks for the great giveaway!!

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    1. Hi Erica! Regardless of how many you intended to start with, there always end up being many more soon thereafter. Been there, done that (still doing it!).

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  21. You have such a lust-worthy coop/yard! We're re-designing ours with you as an inspiration. Any chance we can borrow your hubby for our build?

    We currently are down to 8 hens but are planning to add 7 more along with goats and guinea hens. Thank you so much for being a great resource.

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  22. Thanks for stopping in, Libby! I'll let my husband know you're looking for some site work support, the response depends on your climate! ;)

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  23. Great looking coops now you gotta make the 3rd one..lol

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    1. Donna, would you believe that my husband JUST TODAY said he wanted to build a coop to replace our first? It's not easy for him to get in and out of but I think he just wants a fun project to use power tools! I said no way. I love my little, Horizon Structures coop. So many babies have grown up in it. Memories.

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  24. Yea u know what you mean about the memories my hubby built our pallet coop in the spring of last year but we have so much we still are going to put into it this spring i cant not wait to do all the improvements we have planned for the run and the coop this year B-)

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    1. Donna, if you're anything like us, you'll find that improvements and tweaks are an ongoing activity when you keep chickens! That's half the fun. :)

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  25. Martha Waugh2/20/12, 11:18 AM

    I love the coop. Gives me some great ideas for the coop my hubby and I going to be building to make room for the new additions.

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    1. Thanks Martha, glad to know it inspired. :)

      How is your coop coming along now?

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  26. What an amazing coop! I am in the process of expanding mine and this is great inspiration. Congrats!

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    1. Thank you! I would love to see how your expansion project comes out. Please feel free to join me on Facebook and share your photos!

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  27. Thank You so much for sharing your coop journey!
    I love how you have made adjustments along the way. It is amazing that the 2nd coop was your hubby's first building experience - it looks like a pro did it.

    Thanks Again... I love your set up!

    ~kim

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    1. My pleasure,Kim! It's still a work in progress but time seems to be in shorter supply these days!

      I'll be sure to pass along your compliments to my husband (maybe this will get him to read my blog?? LOL).

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  28. Wow, this was a great tour. Just got my first chicks, their about 6 wks. My son helped me build a coop using pallets. It is an ongoing project. Had read about the dropping board, roosts, and such; but have found it difficult to find pics of the inside of a coop. This weekend's project, thanks for the help.
    Judi

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  29. I plan to put up nest box curtains, build a bigger run,add more roosting branches, and landscape the run.

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  30. Regina McCormick4/23/12, 7:52 PM

    we need to build more/new nesting boxes!

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  31. My next project will be to put up a droppings board. Love all your ideas, thanks for sharing.

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  32. Beautiful pictures - so inspiring. We have to add more nesting boxes and paint the rooster condo (a smaller coop built for 3 cuckoo marans until we found them a new home). The duck house needs painting and enlarged. We let the chickens free range most of the time but we want to enlarge the enclosed run for the new chicks that are arriving in July. I'm trying to convince my husband to build 'just one more coop' but he is insisting on enlarging the goat/sheep barn first and beginning on a new hay barn. Since he builds it all himself in his 'spare' time I guess he'll win out this time!

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  33. Great tour, I am having my run built today & tomorrow and this gives me great ideas for building the roof. And I've been studing my roost for dropping boards. So many ideas to incorporate.... thank you for sharing your projects

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  34. I plan to landscape around the outside of the run.And we are going to redesign the nesting boxes so the eggs can be gathered on the outside.And add another roosting pole inside the coop for when the day comes that the babies join the big girls.Dianna Ellis.

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  35. fld20@yahoo.com4/23/12, 8:00 PM

    I'd really like to add a roof over at least half the run . My husband just finished it so it has a ton of little things I'd like to add to it ( some recently added after looking at all your great pictures :) :) Fallon

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  36. I love the roof over the run! The stone wall is such a beautiful touch.
    http://ladygonegreen.blogspot.com

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  37. We have added 2 new coops so I can separate my babies and also my bantams..I tell you what when we started getting chickens I never realized how fun and rewarding they would be...we love our chickens!!!

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  38. robin mcdowell4/23/12, 8:29 PM

    great tour, We are buling a bigger coop in a few weeks. One that has real windows and up off the ground to keep mice and rats from living under it.

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  39. Nice to see all the progress and Ideas I can steal from you!!! The boys put up the free shed I got,( coop #5) with some modifications to make it sturdy and off the ground a bit. I did some chores today, and made some notes on what changes I want to make this year. I would like to make some more enclosed runs, even though I love when the girls free range, I do not feel like feeding the fox this year. I also want to try to raise Meat birds. Since we raise our own beef, and hogs, it just seems like the next step. Does anyone else have any experience with meat birds. They are suppose to grow very fast and be ready for processing in 8-10 weeks. Not long enough to get really attached to them like my layers. Nexr goal is to clean the coops, I can only handle cleaning one coop a week, it just wears me out. When the girls free range, there is less mess to clean up, but since I have had to keep them in from the fox, the coops are a little messier than usual.

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  40. robin mcdowell4/23/12, 10:14 PM

    we had 4 meatbirds ( white boilers ) and yes they grow real fast but they were my daughters 4H projects last year and we still became attached that fast. One we called big momma a pullet because she got so big she could barely walk and always came to us to hide from the roosters. We had to put her on a diet she got to big.We had the same problem as you with the foxes. She couldn't even hide from them she got to big to run. That was such a sad time for us.

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  41. I love, love, LOVE your chicken compound... the buildings, the landscaping, the coop interiors!!! WOW! I am a graphic artist, so I appreciate your attention to aesthetics and detail. I'm on the finishing stages of my coop and hope to get my girls out there in about a week. Thanks for sharing your photos!

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    Replies
    1. Congratulations Julie! Your name was randomly chosen to win the "Chicken Addict" vinyl window decal! Please contact me with your mailing address with 'chicken addict decal' in the subject line. service@CustomEggCartonLabels.com

      Delete
  42. I just had my lovely bf, who says he will never again, build me a new coop. I live in MN and the winters get very cold. We added R-13 insulation in all walls and what a difference that made in keeping the temp regulated!

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    1. Time for a new BF, Sage b/c chicken math is going to require a second coop eventually! :o

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  43. SInce we are new chicken owners we are still tweaking our lil coop which is made from an old cupboard. Love your blog and swoon over your coop!!

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    1. Elaine, I would LOVE to see your cupboard coop. I'm intrigued! Are you on Facebook? If so, please share a photo on my wall at Egg Carton Labels by ADozenGirlz

      Thanks for joining me on my blog, it's nice to have you here. :)

      Delete
  44. I absolutely LOVE your coop. I am also addicted to your blog! I don't get enough sleep at night because I can't pull myself away from it! I reread it over and over and it gets better every time! :)

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    1. Wow, Missy, thanks so much! I'm glad you find it helpful. If you're on Facebook, come on over and join me there, I'm at Egg Carton Labels by ADozenGirlz. :)

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  45. What a pretty coop! Lots of good ideas! I love the curtains. When my coop is finished, I'll have to put some up!

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  46. I love how you document everything, you rock!
    Caprese
    parks90@comcast.net :)

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    Replies
    1. Congratulations, Caprese! You've won a GRIT Magazine! I'll be in touch to get your address. :)

      Delete
  47. Love reading everything you post! Always with such enthusiasm and positive vibes! Got my own page now!

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    1. Congratulations Gavin, you have won a GRIT Magazine baseball cap! Please email me with your address! service@CustomEggCartonLabels.com

      Delete
  48. Heidi's Happy Acre Farm5/14/12, 9:00 PM

    I have to laugh! Not only am I reading this magazine at the moment - I am also online at MotherEarth reading and printing off the herb garden designs! I love your tour - and the fact that you have Christmas lights for them! What a great idea for adding extra lighting during the winter without fear of fire or super expensive electric bills! I have to remember this for next year! Thanks and have a great night!

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  49. Great looking coops.Keep up the great work.

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  50. Nice Pictures. I agree that custom coops cost more but they can be so much nicer. We were able to save some costs by using some pieces of a sunroom my parents were taking down. We were able to put an extra large window in, a metal roof, insulated walls and ceiling, and metal interior walls and ceiling. The metal walls make it easier to clean. I love the idea of the mirror. I'll have to find one this summer to add during the winter. I think it would help with winter boredom. I also love the Christmas lights.

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  51. I love your coops! I have learned so much from reading your blog & following you on fb! I'm getting ready to start on the inside of my coop & am trying to figure out the best material/pattern to use for my nest box curtains!
    Thank you!
    Audrey Siebert

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    Replies
    1. Congratulations, Audrey! You've won a GRIT Magazine! Please email me your address. service@CustomEggCartonLabels.com

      Delete
    2. Thank you!!!! Sending email as soon as I hit enter! :)

      Delete
  52. robin mcdowell5/14/12, 9:47 PM

    I love your coops and those curtains are so cute and your chickens are beautiful!! :)

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  53. jolie larsen5/14/12, 10:11 PM

    I wish we were neighbors...seriously. I would quit my day job and be your chicken photographer:-) Bet you have some kick-butt garage sales...!

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    1. LOL, Jolie. Thanks. Are you a photographer by trade?

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  54. Love the coops and your blog!! You're always a great source of information! :)

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  55. I love learning bout the way people build their coops compared to mine. Which is made from my hunting stands, my girls love it. Exp my black sex link she likes to get high up so she can see out in the run.. but I like reading your blogs. Thank u.

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  56. Esther Widgren5/15/12, 3:11 AM

    Documenting all the steps of your journey has certainly helped me to learn from your experiences. Thanks so much for all your efforts.

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  57. Amazing to watch it develop:) Thanks for sharing.

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  58. That was AWSOME.... I hope someday my chickens can live in the lap of luxury like yours do.... Right now they have taken over my barn.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Michelle and Congratulations! You have won tonight's giveaway!
      Please email me with your shipping address and Wooden Wonders will send you your Hobbit Hole tee shirt and I will mail you your decal!
      Kathy@The-Chicken-Chick.com

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  59. Learning Country7/11/12, 12:07 PM

    Wow! We are just now starting to renovate and build coops for our flock! Love all the pictures from your journey! Very inspiring! We just turned an old shed into our main coop (still a work in progress,not happy with it yet), an old green house into a run for our smaller pullets and then a canning shed into a coop for mama hens and babies :) Love your FB page and your blog! :)

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  60. Not fully understanding how addicting chickens could be, I bought a coop that has just enough room for my 5 girls...and I'm now contemplating the addition of another to my tiny backyard. Problem is, I'm not exactly compliant with town ordinances, as it is...But it's been my experience that the more attractive (and clean)your coop, the more likely town fathers are to give you a pass...

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  61. I love the hobbit holes! I would love to have one for my ducks!

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  62. Love looking at your pics. You've done such a great job with the building and landscaping. Every time I see them, I get new ideas.

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  63. Love looking at your pics. You've done such a great job with the building and landscaping. Every time I see them, I get new ideas.

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  64. I love looking at your pictures. You've done such a great job with the buildings and landscaping. I get ideas from these every time I look.
    De Peaslee

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  65. Love to read the progress of others...your chickens are so spoiled!

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  66. Wow...it's a fortress! I am jealous! Your coops are gorgeous. At first look, i said to myself...are those curtains! I'm telling you - your chickens must love it there!

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  67. I love seeing how everyone else's coops look - I got a bunch of great ideas following your blog & have incorporated them into my own coop.
    Thank you for all the great information & all the "Step-by-step" instructions you've given! I look forward to many more!

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  68. Love your coops. I didn't trust my husband to make one. My will need one this year! LOL. I ordered one from Tuckers Coops. He got me a great price on shipping. I'll let you know what I think of of when I get it.

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  69. I've been using a dropping board but hadn't thought about raising it above the floor. Nice idea for maximizing space.

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  70. Ok, so now I MUST remodel both coops.... what have you done! I have enough projects!!! LOL

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  71. Ok, now I MUST redecorate. I already have so many projects... but now I have sooooo many more ideas for the girls!!! LOL

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  72. love it! <3 --Pullet Play Yard

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  73. lovely. I admire your (and DH) tenacity to work in the cold. We thought we were dying putting in our chicken habitat in the heat of a so. Cal summer. Husband kept saying. "I'll wait till it cools off." I pushed him out the door saying it is never gonna cool off. Its still hot but the fine chicken ladies are livin' large!

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  74. I gotta ask--why two coops?
    Linda

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  75. TheChickenChick10/29/12, 5:03 PM

    LOL, there are actually four! Lots of chickens, of course! http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2011/05/chicken-math.html

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  76. I am in love with your coop, can you tell me how many each of your coops can house

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  77. You always have to much to offer in the way of inspiration and ideas.  Keep up the great work.  Loved visiting......

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  78. Oh, I LOVE your chicken compound! So beautiful!

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  79. Thanks for sharing your virtual tour,  you have a great set up and it all looks so pretty  Have been a fan for a while.  We have 12 girls and one Rooster all much loved pets the breeds we have are Pekins,Wyndottes,buff orpington brahma, polish x, silkie x and sablepoot we have been keeping chickens for almost 2 years and love them a great hobby.

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  80. Love your boot's. I don't have chickens yet but I'm sure learning a lot from you. I love that the coops are so practical AND beautiful!

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  81. Rosemari Roast11/18/12, 7:24 AM

    Love the evolution!

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  82. I just love your coops! My husband and I will be retiring in a year or so, I am looking for property so I can have my chickens! My mom had chickens when I was a little girl, I can't wait to have my own! I would like it to look like your coops! Thanks for the tour!

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  83. I get such great ideas from you. Thanks so much for sharing!! <3

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  84. TheChickenChick11/18/12, 5:47 PM

    Thank you Karla! I'm happy for you, they're so much fun!

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  85. TheChickenChick11/18/12, 5:48 PM

    I'm sure we're not done yet! lol

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  86. TheChickenChick11/18/12, 5:48 PM

    Thanks for taking the tour, Shirley!

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  87. TheChickenChick11/18/12, 5:50 PM

    Thank you Wendy. ♥

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  88. TheChickenChick12/18/12, 11:20 PM

    Thanks! I already have three, the quail live in it! :o

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  90. Evelyn Qualls5/6/13, 2:58 PM

    Loved the coop tour. You both should be very proud of your little chicken village.

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  91. Love your Chicken compound! Thank-you for posting the progress.....I will be using some of your ideas in my own chicken yard. Your husband is a Gem!

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  92. amandabost5/6/13, 8:18 PM

    I am really interested in switching over to nipple waterers for my flocks in each of my coops.. I have birds of all ages who are used to drinking out of the galvanized waterers.. what did you do to train your birds to go from gallon waterers to the nipple drinking systems?

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  93. susan ladner5/6/13, 9:10 PM

    Your coops are gorgeous!!

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  94. TheChickenChick5/7/13, 9:34 AM

    Thank you, Susan!

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  95. TheChickenChick5/7/13, 9:36 AM

    Thank you, Lesley. And yes he is. ;)

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  96. TheChickenChick5/7/13, 9:36 AM

    Thank you, Evelyn.

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  97. Loving your chicken backyard! I'm wondering how you keep your chickens from devouring your lawn? I have 2 chickens and recently put new lawn in as the old one died in from heat-waves (Aussie weather). We still haven't undone the fence around it for fear of the chickens eating it all - they pecked through the fence and killed off the edges so it's not looking good!

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  98. TheChickenChick5/17/13, 9:00 PM

    I don't do anything in particular to the lawn. It gets a fair amount of shade daily and the chickens have quite a lot of room to roam, including in the woods, so they're not scratching up the same spots of grass continuously.

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  99. I just Love your coops! We have repurposed an old sauna on our property to use as a coop. It needs a little prettying up though. A run is on the top of my list for this year though to give another option for the girls to be out when I can't have them free-ranging. I was curious about your run, could you share the dimensions and did you bury the fencing to protect from critters digging under? Thanks!

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  100. TheChickenChick6/13/13, 8:50 PM

    We did bury the hardware cloth 12" into the perimeter to deter digging critters, Melissa.

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  101. Susan Morford7/6/13, 1:04 AM

    My 14 week old Rhode Island Reds have stopped sleeping on their roosting bar and are nor sleeping in their nest box. Any ideas? This has been going on for the past week.

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  102. TheChickenChick7/6/13, 2:03 AM

    Have you checked for mites on them and/or underneath the roost at night? There could have been a predator or pest that scared them during the night (raccoon scratching the coop, rats biting their toes, etc).

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  103. Tonya Kelley-Parks8/6/13, 12:08 AM

    Hello ~ I have one of the Horizon Structures coops like yours, but mine is on wheels and has the cleaner coop option, I love this coop! Now, for a run, I'd love to build one like either one of yours, I'm a beginner builder with several builds under my belt, but I used plans for everything I've done. Do you happen to have exact plans for either of your runs? I would love to have them. Thank you!~

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  104. TheChickenChick8/6/13, 1:46 PM

    There were no plans, Tonya. Sorry.

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  105. Tonya Kelley-Parks8/6/13, 2:52 PM

    Thanks for your reply. I think we've figured out a plan, your recent "submit pics of your coop" posts has really helped... Thanks! :)

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  106. Melinda Vaikasiene8/17/13, 9:17 AM

    Kathy thank you for sharing your journey. It has given me hope, as we move along on our own. Chickens for 21 weeks so far and already talking about what the new coop next spring will need to meet our needs. We currently have a raised coop that my dear husband built along with an ever growing covered run when not ranging. We recently converted on old play house that wasn't being used anymore, into a temporary coop to house the 11 weeks olds while they "make friends" with the original crew. This weekend I have planned to make our coop curtains as the girls just began laying. Now if I could give the roosters a sound proof man cave so they could discuss their girls issues in private.

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  107. Hi Kathy!
    Been viewing your site for awhile now. So informative! Thank you!
    I am curious about the chicken fountain. Does a garden hose have to be continuously hooked up to the fountain? If so,won't the hose have hot water sitting in it on a hot summer day? What about in the winter? Freezing hose and water? I am not quite sure how it's hooked up. Love your coops. I added curtains to my windows and nest boxes after seeing your coops all "dolled up". ;)

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  108. TheChickenChick8/25/13, 9:02 PM

    The Chicken Fountain can be filled manually. Some people bury their hose, but I don't and the water does not get hot in the fountain in the summertime. I suggest chatting with Frank, the owner, either on his Facebook page or giving him a call (his number is on his website). He's very helpful.

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  109. I love your feed bag stockings. I hope to add 2 more windows with flower boxes to the front of my coop. Right now the 2 large windows are on the doors and I don't want the added weight on them.

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  110. TheChickenChick10/4/13, 7:55 PM

    Yup! :D

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  111. TheChickenChick10/4/13, 8:15 PM

    Thanks Kristin. :)

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  112. Really enjoyed the tour and great ideas especially the sand for the coop I’m going totry this. Thank you and Thank you for being a great hostess to all your chickens. The coops look great!

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  113. TheChickenChick10/24/13, 8:58 PM

    Thanks Joe!

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  114. Linda Marchesini Brown11/1/13, 2:29 PM

    Simon is breathtaking! And so are your coops. What a hubby you have :-)

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  115. Day Brighteners Farm11/1/13, 2:33 PM

    Hi Cathy, we're out of power here this aft, high winds. The new Chicken Coop is done, just have to finish enclosing the Pen with hardware cloth, running into a few snags on that part. We're getting electricity in the Coop next week for some low lighting on a timer. Do you have a radio on all the time and if so, is that to keep predators fooled? The girls aren't taking too well to the new Coop, I found two eggs nestled in the Duck Den this aft. (sigh)

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  116. you are one lucky girl to have a husband who loves your chickens as much as you...he has really done some beautiful work there...my husband has slowly helped me with my coop but he doesn't love the girls as much as me so it becomes a chore for him. enjoyed the tour and thanks for all the neat ideals. Hey do you sell your eggs or just use a lot and give away.

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  117. TheChickenChick11/1/13, 3:57 PM

    I don't know if he feels the same way about them as I do, but he definitely enjoys the projects! :)

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  118. TheChickenChick11/1/13, 3:58 PM

    When you move them to a new coop, I recommend keeping them confined for a week or two so that they can't wander around looking for alternate nest locations. Such a big move can often result in them failing to return to the new coop at night too.

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  119. Denise Allison Magil11/2/13, 1:01 AM

    great photos of the how it all began

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  120. ditto question on the water feeders...my two girls were not that fast at figuring out the Chookateria feeder..... :-)

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  121. That is the prettiest chicken house I've ever seen!! Now I really have to do something with mine! Thanks For sharing!
    jody @ countryroadabode.blogspot.com

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  122. Where can I get one of the automatic pop door openers? Love your blog - I have learnt alot - just about to get a bigger coop for my two hens, plus two more chooks :-) they are addictive

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  123. Hi Cathy, I enjoyed watching your coops progress. I noticed you have your PVC feeder inside the coop. Do the chickens make a big mess spilling the feed onto the floor & is the corner piece big enough for a few of them to eat at the same time? I have the big round feeder it holds 50 lbs of laying crumble. I keep it outside in the covered run(16 x 20) on a large stone to lift it a bit off the ground. I find so much spilled feed all around it but I wasn't sure I should put it inside the coop? It's a 6 x 8 coop with 2 levels of roosts, a drooping board (with sand), 3 nesting box's, a people door and 3 windows. (getting ready to put a roof vent in). Just wondering if I should move my feeder inside the coop? Thanks for your ideas & info!

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  124. TheChickenChick12/1/13, 7:12 PM

    Try EggCartons.com Vicki.

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  125. TheChickenChick12/1/13, 7:37 PM

    If they're billing out the feed, they're going to do it whether the feeder is inside the coop or outside the coop. :(

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  126. Do you use specific measurements for your roost placement? I have a terrible time figuring out the spacing between them. What would you suggest the best hight and spacing between them be? I like the picture you show with the 3 roosts, they look perfect. Also how far away from the wall is the top roost? Do they get any poop on the wall when they sleep?


    (I hope this link works. This is your photo I am asking about) 5-13-12+(103).JPG

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  127. I love the Little Deuce Coop! I hope to build something like it in the spring. What are the dimensions of the floor space? I want to build something 8x8 preferably. Also, how do you ventilate? I thought about copula (or however you spell it) but don't think it'd look right on a coop as little and quaint.

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  128. I'm planning on getting into raising chickens when we move to Washington State. This is such an amazing blog, thank you for taking the time to do all that you do!!

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  129. TheChickenChick12/24/13, 1:29 PM

    Thank you Linda. You will love keeping chickens!

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  130. TheChickenChick12/24/13, 1:33 PM

    It's 8x8' and the eaves are open.

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  131. Michelle Poull2/9/14, 7:53 PM

    Wow the progress was astounding. We added new run last year. This yeAr it's a new chicken coop on the back of the other one for our new chickens

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  132. simply blessed.eggs in a nest2/17/14, 4:42 PM

    Very nice! Did you cover your droppings boards with anything for easier cleanup? What kind of 'board' did you use? Pine? Also, is the floor covered with vinyl flooring? It looked like it in the pic of the kick board.

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  133. Loved loved loved this post and all the insights! Thanks!!

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  134. Cheryl Postma2/17/14, 4:48 PM

    How cool. It is so nice to know that I am not alone with my constant need to improve the chicken housing! Some people in this household have accused me of being obsessive in regards to chicken housing. I have tried to explain the art and creativity of keeping chickens. You, Kathy, are a talented chicken care artist. Thanks for the inspiration. ;)

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  135. Thank you for the tour! I built a coop for my 6 chickens last summer. I put a lot of thought into it yet already I'm thinking of tweaking a few things and a major redesign of the run. I'm glad I'm not alone!

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  136. Tracy Harden2/17/14, 5:24 PM

    Wow! Your coops are true works of art!

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  137. Rachel Norton2/17/14, 5:53 PM

    This is a great reminder for me that things can change over time. My husband is making plans for our coop now. You're site is loaded with information, and this post is great inspiration! Can't wait to get this project rolling.

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  138. We too, built our coop and run from scratch. By the time it was completed it was more $$$$ than we/he thought. We plan to add another run to the coop. Yours are beautiful!!

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  139. Do you have quail? I thought you could not put chickens near quail

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  140. Brenda Hollmann2/17/14, 7:22 PM

    I love it....just keep adding on and on.....that is what I would do....Thanks for the tour!

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  141. Roberta Johnston2/17/14, 7:41 PM

    I had my hubby see this as we just began raising 9 hens and 1 chicken. this is day 3! He now has ideas for tweaking the coop. I do so love your blog!

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  142. TheChickenChick2/17/14, 8:33 PM

    Thanks Roberta! Enjoy your new peeps!

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  143. TheChickenChick2/17/14, 8:33 PM

    Thanks Nicole!

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  144. TheChickenChick2/17/14, 8:34 PM

    Thank you Viki!

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  145. TheChickenChick2/17/14, 8:34 PM

    Thank you Leslie. ♥

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  146. TheChickenChick2/17/14, 8:35 PM

    Thank you Rachel!

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  147. TheChickenChick2/17/14, 8:36 PM

    Thank you Cheryl. ♥

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  148. TheChickenChick2/17/14, 8:36 PM

    The vinyl flooring is simply stretched over a wood frame. Yes, the coop floor is also covered with vinyl.

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  149. Joy McCormick2/17/14, 10:04 PM

    Beautiful and I am envious! My husband is not that ambitious unless of course it has to do with his fishing boat!! LOL!!

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  150. really nice job!

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  151. Darcey Byrne2/17/14, 10:23 PM

    Love the tour! Love the story too.

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  152. Lisa Farley2/18/14, 6:06 AM

    I loved your tour and the coups!

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  153. Really enjoyed the tour. We are at a new home this year, and there is a coup on the property. However we moved in after the snow, so I kept Brat Bird on the back porch. She's not complaining either! So when we can get to the coup this spring, we are going to fix it up for my new flock, I plan on getting this year. There is nothing like Chicken Love!
    Thank You for all you do, and all of your wisdom!!! Much appreciated!!!

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  154. your coops are beautiful - boy is my husband in trouble!!! He will be a very busy boy come Spring!!!

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  155. simply blessed.eggs in a nest2/18/14, 2:12 PM

    My husband keeps telling me that he thinks the high ammonia content in chicken droppings would pit the vinyl. Is that what you have experienced? Or does is hold up pretty well? I thank you very much for your feedback and for your inspiration blog! I can say that I spend a lot of time on here almost daily! Stay Warm out on the East Coast! :o)

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  156. TheChickenChick2/18/14, 10:43 PM

    I have not experienced anything like that at all.

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  157. Awesome!!!!!
    Your husband does Great work!!!!

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  158. TheChickenChick3/6/14, 11:00 PM

    Thanks Sandie. :)

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  159. TheChickenChick3/18/14, 9:02 PM

    Thanks Callie!

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  160. Goodnenough Mama3/24/14, 10:10 PM

    Would you ever be willing to tell how much the coop cost as it is now 2014? I need to build a new coop but this looks like more than my house might be worth, though maybe I am just way off base. :) I would love to plan a coop as beautiful as this because the neighbors need to be kept happy.
    Thanks for all the inspiration!

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  161. TheChickenChick3/26/14, 1:56 AM

    Sure, it was $1500.00 in 2009.

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  162. wannabeachickenchick4/2/14, 10:53 PM

    You must drive your husband insane. You're awesome, Chicken Chick!

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  163. Michele Workman4/22/14, 1:44 PM

    Everything that you have done is has turned out beautiful. One quick question, is it necessary to put a roof on the run? Or if you have any info on enclosing a run, if you could send me the link that would be wonderful!

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  164. TheChickenChick4/23/14, 10:17 PM

    I HIGHLY recommend a run. You will regret not having one if you don't put one on now. Trust me.

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  165. I have just started my first flock and, and I am in love with your blog. It, just like everything chicken you do, is beautiful (and incredibly helpful). THANK YOU!

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  166. Ferne McAllister5/13/14, 8:22 AM

    Re: Insulation of coop. DH is building a new coop. At the point where we can decide whether to insulate or not. After our huge temperature swings this past year (CT), the chickens (banties) have had to adjust to temps rapidly and sometimes daily, whether in or out of coop, so I'm wondering if this would offer at least night-time regulation. Coop will be well-ventilated. The chickens are outside most days except very cold/windy days in winter. Pros and cons? Suggestions?

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  167. Nicole Woodage Zegley5/16/14, 9:22 AM

    Love your coops!! We start ours this weekend and you have given us so many wonderful ideas!

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  168. Abbi Beuby Auger5/22/14, 7:37 AM

    We are moving next week and I'll be constructing a new home for my girls. This gave me some great tips & ideas! Thanks!

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  169. Lavender Chick5/23/14, 9:20 PM

    I have a small coop for 2 & I think it's too small. Will be splitting it in half length wise & raising it up on cinder block, 3 levels. Then I can add a people door to better clean it...I hope. Thanks for ideas you share.....

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  170. Love your ongoing progress of your coops. It makes me realize I need to be patient.

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