Friday, April 20, 2012

Farm-fresh Friday: Coop progress...

Can I just tell you that I have actually shed tears over this chicken coop?  No joke, if you happened to be in the area in the early afternoon on Wednesday, you would have seen a 30-year-old woman out in her front yard, beating the shit out of an old door with a hammer, and sobbing like a toddler.  The good news is I'm totally over it now, and things are starting to proceed smoothly again.  I just had a tiny little melt down over the fact that my easy, little, cheap coop project had turned into a complicated monstrosity of materials that we couldn't afford.  but no turning back is what it is.  So here's the progress report since last Friday...

the railroad ties were poached from my mom's house, and the pressure-treated decking was salvaged from what was left of our root cellar.  Yes I would like to have another one someday, but that one had to go.

the plywood used to be on the floor of our living room (under the sexy carpeting that the previous owner had put in sometime, I'm guessing, around the late 70's).  We tore the sheets of plywood out when we installed our new flooring, and saved it.  3/4 inch plywood is like solid costs about the same, and you don't part with it once you have it.  The 2x4's for the framing were the first part of the coop that we had to purchase new.  I spent about $65 on enough to do the walls, and the roof.

From this post (where we left off on Monday evening).
the roof was supposed to be free, but it didn't work out that way at all.  We had a bunch of scrap roofing from an old shed we'd torn down years ago, and I was all excited to reuse it...until we discovered that it was almost completely rusted through, and where it wasn't, it had about a billion screw holes in it.  So that was another $60 spent.  thankfully the roofing panels didn't need to be fancy, and we were able to score the cheap ones at $15 a panel (with the contractor discount that i now get at the lumber yard, I think out of pity).   

(because apparently I'm expecting Godzilla-chickens,  and needed to build an extra tall coop)?

Doors...wait, no...walls...Um...
So, interesting story about these doors... About a year before I met my husband, I was planning on building my own house.  Right around the same time that I was starting to collect "good finds" (you know, a cool light fixture, or a sink still in like-new condition?) I came across an awesome find.  The local fire department was scheduled to burn down an old farmhouse.  Sounds counter-productive, I know.  Usually they try to stop things from burning, not start them.  But the house was no longer in reparable condition, and had been donated to them to use for training.  So I contacted one of the members of the department, and asked about the doors.  Turns out they were going to have to take them all off before the burn anyway.  So he went with me, and we spent a morning salvaging the doors.  I never built that house, and those stupid old doors have had to move with me twice, all the while my husband asking me what the hell we were going to do with 9 old doors.  Use them for siding on our chicken coop, of course!  

Where I left off on Wednesday.  2 sides done, 2 sides to go. 

Still to do:
~finish other 2 sides
~make nesting boxes
~put flooring in (I saw a genius idea on another blog about adding easy-to-clean material to the coop floor to make mucking a whole lot easier).  I'm all about making cleaning easy, so I'm NOT skipping the flooring step.
~fill gaps (lots of them) with caulking and spray-foam.  Vermont Winter wind is not very forgiving, and I'll be damned if I'm going to put in all this work just to have 6 frozen chick-cicles next January. 
~build fence

The chicks will be here in 2 weeks.  Oh, and we have to finish our master bathroom before our appraisal for our refinancing...also in 2 weeks.  Sweet!

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. I'm so envious! The coop looks great! I wish I could do something like that but I have a small fenced in backyard. I could probably squeak in one chicken but that would be it! LOL!
    I gotta say, your blog has been an inspiration and such a joy to read :)
    Gonna go grab another cup of joe n read some more!

    1. I can't thank you enough for saying this! just when I thought my mom was the only one who was reading my blog...ha!

      and go ahead and squeak in that chicken...that's one fresh egg per day. So free (OK, not even close to free but wicked cool that it comes from your back yard anyway) breakfast every morning!

  2. I'm getting ready to build a new coop about the same size! I had actually started looking at old doors! I love this so much..especially trying to recycle building materials. Yea, I'm sitting here trying to figure out just how much this is going to "cost" me. A couple from our church are going to help me build it. He's taking down a small shed and saving the strong parts but I haven't laid eyes on all of this so I'm nervous. LOL I think its all about "no control"..... Maybe I can post picts one day.! My chicks come in next week!