Family/Lifestyle Updates

Backyard Chicken Coop | Family Adventure | Summer 2016

June 4, 2016

Today we had planned to convert the old shed into a chicken coop. The guys moved it further back into yard when they were digging a hole for the addition. We had hoped it would be basically ready to go, with only a few minor adjustments. When it moved however, we realized the bottom was uneven and rotting, the shed was definitely in need of work to be chicken ready. We discussed a few options; taking the whole thing apart and reassembling it on a new base, lifting it and sliding a new base under – but without a big machine to lift it, that option would be near impossible.

The hens are coming June 22nd, and with so much packed into the next couple of weeks/weekends, we decided a kit would be the best bet for this year. We can take our time to convert the shed into something bigger for next year (like it could make a great goat shed, wink wink). Joel ended up calling every Home Hardware/TSC store within a One and a half hour radius looking for a ready to go kit. He finally tracked one down in a town Forty-Five minutes north of Huntsville. So while the girls were at dance class he took a road trip to pick up the backyard coop by Urban Burrows (Home Hardware).

First step was picking the right spot. Somewhere close where we could see them and have the hens be apart of our everyday life. Next to our garden seemed like the perfect choice. We also have to be sure to follow the backyard chicken by law and place the coop so many feet from the property lines (Joel knows the official rules, cause he is a rule follower… I am more free spirited).

Sam decided it might be a good time to mow the lawn, I agree it is looking pretty shabby out there! Construction is well under way for Grandpa and Grandma’s new home, and the yard looks like a bomb went off, our stuff is everywhere. One day it will be a great space with lots of room for these adventurous boys (and the girls too, of course).

See rule follower Joel – reading the instructions and making sure it goes together well. I am so thankful for his steady, patient approach (though my annoyed ‘get it done’ attitude does not always display love).

There may have been a couple moments where they wondered what went where, but for the most part this was a simple project and came together in no time at all!

Annaliese loved helping. At one point she was the only child awake, so she had special one on one time with Daddy putting together the coop for our chickens.

Of course she really wanted to use the power tools – you go girl!

Standing in the coop she told me how Sam and Ben would love this, they could crawl right in there to get fresh eggs.

Admiring her hard work while Joel attached the roof. For a small compact coop it is well made.

The finished project. Joel said he may ‘beef it up’ as he calls it. He would like to add extra protection from predators with chicken wire and maybe a few boards to support it.

A fun family project, that was completed in one afternoon. I am thankful we bought the kit this year and were able to get it done ourselves. My friend Vikki had actually recommended we do this, she thought it would end up costing about the same to fix up an existing structure. This will give us a good start to see how we handle chickens, and what their needs are. I just love it and happen to think it is super cute, I hope they love it too.

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  1. I have this design coop too! These days we use it as a chick brooder and sick pen, but it was great for 2-3laying hens, because ours were allowed out to roam everyday.

    1. It is quite small. We have four hens coming for this summer, I am hoping it lasts them long enough for us to get the shed converted by fall!

    1. Thanks for following along. I have heard they are quite fun and great to have. I am excited for fresh eggs and getting the kids involved.

  2. We’re looking at this same coop. How has it worked out for you? Would you recommend beginners start with this for a couple hens? We can get it new for $250 (plus tax) and I’m wondering what your experience with it has been.


    1. This coop worked really well for us. The first year we had four hens, and the only fault I found was there was not enough room for them to scratch and move – they definitely needed a bit more space during the day. The next year we built them a bigger run and used this coop with the outside door open. We housed six hens last year and they were happy and cozy. I think that is about the price we paid for it from Home Hardware – it is so nice that it is all in one and easy to put together!

      Hope it works well for you too.

      1. Hello. This was fun to read. I’m looking at this coop also, but I’ve never kept chickens before. My question is… Do you mean you kept 6 chickens in this coop? Thanks. Barb

        1. When we had six hens we used this as their night time coop – they had the full run of their outside area all day which is a 17’x17′ fenced in area. Our hens now have the kids play house converted to chicken coop (so 4’x8′ house with a half second level) they have lots of room now, but they spend most if not all winter inside there.

  3. Hi I just purchased this coop and have 5 hens. I plan to use this until I can build a larger coop (next spring) I do plan to create a larger run asap for them though. Will my 5 hens sleep comfortably in the coop part if they have access to a large run during the day?

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