By Joanna Blessings, Pennsylvania
This charming palace is more than just a safe haven from predators, it’s a little place to call home for our backyard feathered friends! Starting out with just a dozen Rhode Island Reds, we now have over 30 chickens, five adult turkeys, several poults, and a few other furry friends running around the farm. Needless to say the old coop we used for our first couple birds definitely needed an upgrade! After a long search for the perfect frame piece, the refurbishing began on a Craigslist steal for our new chicken coop.
Originally an old Amish-built playhouse, the shell of the house definitely needed some TLC. There was some lower board rotting, and the interior needed to be gutted and repainted. After that was done some scrap linoleum and cheap wallpaper from the “throw out” bin at a hardware store was laid down to make cleaning so much easier. The exterior was also scrubbed and repainted to preserve the life of the coop, and fencing built by us in a day around it. Our nesting boxes came from a local antique shop that seems to have an abundance of them, and since I had originally wanted an aluminum one but couldn’t find anything frugally, this one was stained gray and will last much longer! The roost was made out of leftover scrap wood lying in the barn (when you have an old farm there is always wood laying around somewhere, right?) and painted pretty pastel teal to match the interior. We have two storage bins inside, one is a shelving unit with enamel top that had been left for scrap by our neighbor, the other is an aluminum popcorn tin. Both got a fresh coat of spray paint and house all our chicken medicines, accessories, and scratch grains. Even the grits bin and chain for the feeder came from inside the house to serve a new purpose! Once curtains were hung it was move-in ready for everyone.
Our flock contains a mix of many breeds, it seems this ‘chicken addiction’ is a real thing. We have reds, Australorp, Buff Orpington, Polish, frizzles, Mille Fleur D’uccle, Barred Rock, White Leghorn, Brahma, Welsummer, Marans, Olive Eggers, Ameraucana, Easter Eggers, Superblue, Speckled Sussex, and I’m sure I’m missing a few in there… Each one of our girls has their own personality and are so fun to watch and interact with. They especially like scraps out of the kitchen door and wait on our back porch in the morning for breakfast! Hopefully this coop will last us many years to come and the girls will enjoy their time spent here.
Happy hens lay happy eggs!