We Call Him the Chicken Whisperer

While I am busy gardening my husband is busy pulling apart hardwood skids that he brings home from work to make the world’s heaviest & cutest chicken coop. I’m very proud of all of his hard work. All of the wood has come from recycled skids! We are going to paint it in the spring to match the main house!

This is the “before” pic.  It housed 3 regular sized laying hens.  Cocoa (top chicken in the pecking order), Squawkers & Brownie.

Here is the post renovation coop design.  Complete with gable window box for the lucky lady who makes it in the coop first.  It has a wrap around porch & is completely surrounded by planter boxes in which I will seed all of the hen’s favourite foods.  This excludes dandelions – we have enough of those outside planter boxes.  Note the dinner bell which scares the crap out of everyone and no one ever rings.  At least it looks cool.

Each board comes from heavy hardwood skids that hubby brings home in a cartoon-like large load in the truck.  He beats them apart by placing them on top of each other & pounding them with a heavy metal pole with a weight on one end.  Next he painstakingly removes each nail.  When he uses them to build he has to pre-drill each hole completely, as the wood is so hard that it breaks screws. I don’t think that we could move it without a large backhoe.

The window is a piece of plexiglass with finishing wood attached.  The roof no longer opens – like the old model (too heavy) & is shingled with a $10 bag of shingles from Kijiji.  I love Kijiji. Instead one of the coop sides hinges down to allow cleaning, egg gathering & general chicken checking. The nesting boxes have their own top opening to make gathering eggs easier. Of course that means that one of the ladies has to lay her egg on the far side of the coop – making me balance on my tummy to stretch my way in to grab it.  Usually putting my hand in a mess along the way.

The caged pen area has also had a makeover.  It is 3x as tall and quite large.  It is entirely enclosed with chicken wire.  It keeps out birds, but we hear that raccoons will pretty much walk straight through it.  Maybe next time we will go with a heavier gauge steel fencing.  You can also see the hinge for the side opening in this picture. 

There is only one problem with the new coop.  It makes the human house look shabby.  It doesn’t have a pretty gable window or a wrap around porch.  And we haven’t quite finished painting it (:

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