A cottage on the beach is probably on everyone’s list of the perfect summer vacation. But – if you can’t make it to the beach, then you might as well bring it to your backyard! This month’s Cool Coop took on a coastal style when chicken keeper, Nana Hess, chose seaside colors and a few beach themed embellishments to create her one-of-kind “Beach Shack”! Continue reading as she describes the design and construction (take note of all the recycled and repurposed materials incorporated into the structure)…
I started out in March by purchasing the Garden Coop plans at the same time we got our 1st batch of chicks – knowing that we had absolutely zero construction skills, an 8×20 area to work with, and a temporary coop to ease the pressure. I am pleased with how well my husband has taken all of my vague, and every changing, suggestions to build me a fabulous, low maintenance coop for our chicks.
Once the big girls moved into the Beach Shack (just in time to get the brooder out of my laundry room), we moved the temporary coop down to the far end and divided the run for our 2nd round of chicks until they are old enough for layer feed and to hopefully ease flock integration.
We recycled and combined all of my old raised beds (2 new raised garden beds 8×12 each built in front of the coop – pavers for muddy paths will come later) stacking the 4×4 timbers two high forming a base foundation that we framed the run and secured the fencing on. So far this has held up well against our #1 predator concern, our boxer. The base was filled with pea gravel for drainage (recycled from our old pathways) then many wheelbarrows of sand. The raised platform is an 8×4 section with just over 6×4 used for the coop. The back edge of the platform is 20″ and is where we have our auto food/water buckets feeding down to the run. Though only the Chicken Fountain is up and flowing, we have all the PVC to make the feeder now. It has also become a bit of a messy storage area pending a deck box or small shed for shavings, meal worms, grit, DE and CV….which is why there are no photos.
Both the poop board and the main coop floor have a full sheet of plastic shower wall paneling glued down with a layer of sand on coop floor. There are human access doors both outside the run and inside and 2 full size doors to the run, currently 1 for each section. The window was from a salvage site. There are 6 vents, though I am still concerned we need more even though the girls don’t spend much time inside. Siding is old and new fence slats, 60 of them painted 5 different shades and cut to different widths. Even with reusing some materials that we had on hand, I don’t want to discuss how much this project has cost! I am just thankful it was done with semi-weekly trips to the lumber store over the course of 4 months to ease the pain and prevent sticker shock.
We still have to side the wall inside the run and I am working on creative ideas to finish the exterior of the nesting boxes, leaning towards some sort of seashell mosaic instead of a simple paint job or siding. Somewhere along the line this turned into a beach shack for my beach chicks, I think it was when I was hauling all that sand? There are glass flip flop decorations, a bronze sun and our grit/shell containers are margarita glasses secured to one of the 4×4 timbers inside the run…and yes, at night there are strings of solar powered twinkling lights strung up along the rafters of the run portion that look like stars. -Nana Hess
Thanks Nana for sharing your creative and unique coop with the Community! As Nana described, any DIY coop involves a lot of time and elbow grease, but she adds, “It was worth it – now that we are nearing completion and getting a few eggs!”
Click on the link below for previous entries in the “Cool Coops!” series…
Do you have a “Cool Coop” you’d like to share? Email me at: RNickols@communitychickens.com