So we decided to keep chickens in our backyard. Actually I decided we needed chickens. Kevin just rolled his eyes at me (in an endearing way). I went on My Pet Chicken and studied the different breeds extensively. Which breeds lay what colored eggs, which breeds are good with children i.e super friendly, which ones cluck a lot etc. I ended up ordering 5 little peepers from them.
Ordering these exotic chickens was a whole experience in itself. They sell like hot cakes and literally fly off the page. If you see a popular breed available, especially those blue/olive/green egg laying ones or the silkies, you have to act fast and grab them. If you dilly dally, like I did the first time, they would be snatched away right from under your nose. I was on my way to checking out my order and lost one of the peepers I wanted.
Before I know it, the girls were scheduled to arrive and I found myself researching about chicken coops each night after Kyan goes to bed. Most of the the pre-fab chicken coops were really small. And the bigger ones that could comfortably house 5 chickens cost an arm plus a leg.
So we decided to build one ourselves! I looked through many different coop designs and pictures online and found one stellar one I really liked. It was modern, clean, with simple lines and looked like it would fit right in our backyard. I bought our plan from The Garden Coop and made the modifications to the material list based on the changes I'm making to our coop. Since we were going to build our own, I decided to build one big enough to house 10 chickens so we have room to grow our flock. I changed the size on the plan from a 10' x 6' to a 12' x 5' footprint due to our planter size. It worked out wonderfully. John, the designer behind The Garden Coop was really helpful and prompt in helping me with my questions. The guide was easy to follow despite my modifications. I did some simple calculations to accommodate my change in size and made it work even though I'm no engineer. I also added a different a window design to two sides of the henhouse, made a large door for egg collection and built three nesting boxes instead of two. We modified the door to a sliding door and added a pop door that would eventually lead to a separate enclosed run off the side of the coop so the girls can free-range.
We bought most of the materials from Home Depot and shopped around for the hardware cloth and found them much cheaper online from ZoroTools.
Russ, our contractor friend whom Kevin's known for 25 years, owns Doors Plus By Russ was staying with us and helped us greatly with our coop. He was the one who installed the fancy sliding door on our coop.
It took us almost a month to build this coop. With me working on it during the day, in between caring and interacting with Kyan, I also had Kevin and or Russ's help at night when they came home from work. We worked during the weekends too and Kevin did all the installing of the hardware cloth while I was away in Boulder for my Lifeways Early Childhood Training. I was also able to focus on knocking out the little details when Kyan went home with his grandparents for the week.
We are so proud of ourselves for completing this!