by Joy Mazeikas
Photos by author
This coop was built around two sides of a six foot fence. It’s not your eyes.., the coop does lean a bit one way because we had to build around the very large roots of the fir tree to the left. Our town was in the process of revising a local City Chicken ordinance, so we started with a smaller sleeping house for The Girls, and when the process was completed, we made a more permanent structure. The orginal “sleeping house” sits inside this more-secure frame. The front of the frame was repurposed from pieces of the original chicken run.
This original house set to the left of the Fir Tree with a 4 x 8 run.
The new and permanent Hen House is to the right of the Fir Tree and is built with the old house inside
I am a Master Gardener, so when I set out with my “plan’, I covered the roof with fiberglass so we could use the top of the sleeping house to start seedlings in the Spring.
Wintering–over garden plants.
The roof also allows protection from the elements and additional light–and facilitates ripening of those last Fall tomatoes!
One of our Girls badly injured her hip jumping down from the perch, then another. We realized they were getting older and having more difficulty with the suggested height, So we lowered the perch to 10 inches. The Girls loved it and spent most of a day jumping up and down off of it. I told my husband we probably had the only handicapped-accessible coop in the U.S. So I enlarged my own Placard, laminated it with plastic and posted it on the outside of the Hen House!
Because my Girls have the run of my back yard, I found that I needed to “rethink” the design of my garden areas to make them “chicken-friendly.” In short this means removing plants they love to eat and replacing the garden areas with plants they won’t bother as well as placing barriers such as cinderblocks, around some plants as whose roots they’d try to dig.
Our Hen House was featured as an example of “green/reusable” coop, in our town’s first ever Capital City Chicken Coup and Garden Tour this last spring.
About me: I am retired, a Master Gardener and also a new great-grandparent. I believe that deciding to have chickens has been one of my best life choices!
Due to my love and interest in our Girls, I just completed my first little children’s book called Egg~Song. It has a bit of interesting-but-true information about Backyard Hens, which is a bit of real-life combined with a bit of comedy. Watching our Girls “perform their daily duties” is like watching a backyard full of comedians. Egg~Song can be purchased on-line at Smashwords.com and Barnes & Noble Nook for only 99 cents per download.
A very crafty coop; thanks, Joy! We know there are other dedicated coop-extraordinaires out there, and we’d love to hear from them.
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