Happy Friday! It has been an exciting week at our house as far as chicken raising goes. We gathered our first eggs, and they were quite delicious. I can’t wait until we have enough to make an entire meal, like a frittata… YUM! We’ve also started harvesting our tomatoes, and have loads of basil growing, so put it all together and you have one home grown and pesticide free dish of delectability. I can’t even begin to tell you how happy that makes me to see our hard work reaping such wonderful benefits. Speaking of hard work, today I wanted to finally share with you our chicken coop (which we painted with Clark & Kensington exterior grade paints from Ace Hardware). Or as I like to call it, home to the Roostamantes- a little play on our last name.
I won’t be sharing a tutorial on how to build it because Chris and I are no pros. My dad was a huge help to us in getting started, and we used these plans. (Note: We bought the $5 plans, but the free ones ended up being better and the ones that we used).For free, these plans weren’t bad, but there were definitely some things that weren’t thought of, such as the extra protection in the ventilation gap, and our coop is currently without a roosting pole which we intend to add.
We started this project Mother’s Day weekend, and then we encountered weekend after weekend of rain. Because of the weather, we weren’t able to complete it until just before the poultry swap, in the knick of time! Throughout that time period, Chris and I worked on it at every chance we had There may have been some minor hammer injuries, broken boards, holes ripped in the roofing, and severe cursing along the way, but we freakin’ did it. And there is something to be said for that… neither of us are extremely confident DIYers when it comes to building things, so we are proud of ourselves, even though there are some minor errors. (One such error really bugged me, and Chris said in frustration, “What do you want? It’s DIY, ok!” Well, OK then.)
Of course the fun part, to me, came in selecting the colors for this bad boy. The unfortunate thing about selecting the colors is that I really wanted to work with our existing home colors, since those won’t change until I have $11,000 to do make that happen (read: never). The exterior of our home is brick, a warm light mustard yellow, and a burnt sienna type of brown trim and roof. Here’s a shot from my porch tour which shows you what I was working with. This past year I brought in several blue accents in textiles and large planters on either side of my door and it really seemed to work with the existing colors as well as reflect my own personal style.
I pulled out my Clark & Kensington fan deck to choose a blue that would coordinate well with the blues on the porch and settled upon “Heirloom China.” Now, as much as I would love a blue with white trim and a charcoal roof, that would have stuck out like a sore thumb from our house and coordinating detached garage. I used the fan deck to find a brown that was similar to the brown trim on the house and selected “Ballet Barre.” It ended up being just perfect!
Just look at how the pillows coordinate with the coop. Oh and that minty green shovel? It was a thrifty find at just $1 at a yard sale. I love the way it looks, but it’s also what I call my coop poop scoop… and you can guess the task it handles.I chose to paint the trim and the lids of the nesting boxes in Ballet Barre. I thought it made sense for the lids to match the brown roofing on the coop. The cinderblock wall you can see behind the coop is the side of our garage, so you can tell that the browns are so similar.And see the latch on the nesting box and the double security on the door?That’s to keep out the varmint that left these prints…We’ve now got a high security coop to protect our little ladies.Inside the coop, we built 8 nesting boxes. A seasoned chicken raising friend took one look inside our coop, and said, “Oh you can fit way more than 8 chickens in there!” Currently we have 5, and they all hunker down in 2 of the boxes together, so I am sure she is right.We still have some minor additions to make. We need to build a little ramp for them; currently they use this vintage ladder I had on hand.
Right now, I am just happy that everything seems to be functioning well, and my hens are safe and happy. These girls are doing well, and have learned to come running when I enter the back yard because most likely I’ll have scraps for them. I’ve learned that they don’t care much for bananas, but they love pizza. Who can blame them?
This whole process from building the coop to getting our first round of hens (and then losing them) and then our next round has been one huge learning process for our family. I know we still have so much to learn but I truly and loving the experience of having backyard chickens in a lovely blue and brown coop!
Thanks to Ace Hardware for sponsoring this post. Sponsorships like theirs make it possible for me to keep this blog up and running. All opinions are my own.
Sharing here: Thrifty Decor Chick