Bucks County Huhn Hut

By Tshannon, Feb 17, 2012 | Updated: Dec 4, 2012 | | |
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  1. Tshannon
    November 2012 update - we lost two girls over the thanksgiving weekend to a Cooper's Hawk. He almost killed our Salmon Faverolle (named Sammy of course) but I shooshed him/her away. The hawk plucked almost all of the hairs off Sammy's neck. So now the chicken yard is 100% enclosed in chicken wire. This is a picture of the hawk taken with a zoom lense. Mean bugger.

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    The Huhn Hut is a 10' x 8' chicken coop I built for my wife to house 12-15 chickens. We purchased an old farm in northern Bucks County last summer and wanted our new cooop to blend with our 1780 farmhouse and 1800 barn. The goal was to create a coop that looked like it has been a part of the property for a very long time. The design was inspired by Kriquet's Kyckling Tradgard which was inspired by Chicky Schnoodle Shack which was inspired by Cezanne's Coop design. The swoopy roof was a key part of the Hansel & Gretel design and we decided on a 5' 6" rise to match the substantial size of the coop. The cedar shakes are premium grade 18" x 7/8" tapersawn red cedar shakes that we purchased on Craigslist from a Russian roofer for $200. The siding is reclaimed hemlock from a 1900 collapsed barn in the Adirondacks, and the windowns are also reclaimed from the same barn (free...they were heading to a landfill). The front and back doors are 1800s barn doors from our property and they were hung with old fashioned pintles from a Architectural Antiques in Bucks County. The rake in the gable is constructed with spare rafters we found in our barn, and the front door surround is made of old hand-hewn chestnut beams also from our barn. Except for the shakes and $20 for pintles the entire exterior is from reclaimed (free) materials.

    A 20' x 20' chicken run will be on one side of the coop and a large garden will be on the other side. We'll be able to open the pop door to let the chickens graze the garden for bugs. Our compost area is out the back of the coop. The entire garden/run is being fenced with rough cedar posts and deer fencing.

    Our chicks arrive April 2.

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    The collapsed barn in the Adirondacks.

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    The foundation is set on concrete blocks on compacted gravel pads dug 6" deep. The land has a gentle slope so it took some time to get the foundation level.

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    That's my Swissy Gus on the new decking.

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    All four walls are framed and the front door is framed with old barn beams. Ready for the roof. The walls are sheathed in
    OSB panels.

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    Framing the roof at sunset.

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    Everything started to get more complicated with the swoop in the roof. Each rafter had a different angle cut, and the roof sheathing also needed to bend. It basically meant there were very few 90 deg cuts.

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    You can see the bend in the roof now that the plywood sheathing is up. The front and back gables have large vents. There is also a ridge vent so that we have adequate ventilation. One of the old rafters is leaning on the roof, and I'll use it as a rake (hope I have my roofing terms right.)

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    Time to put up the cedar shakes! I needed to make my own scaffolding because the ladders wouldn't reach the top. And the steep pitch (16 in 12) made it impossible to stand on the roof. This was my least favorite part of the entire project and I destroyed my elbows and shoulders going up and down the ladders with shakes.

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    The cedar roof is done and the coop is ready for the siding. I used a 9" Trimline ridge vent, although I am not sure I would do it again. This was my first roof so I have no idea what I'm doing, and the cut for the vent was more difficult than I expected. It's solid and water tight though. The old roof rafter is supposed to look like it's part of the structure but in reality it is just a cosmetic piece of trim. The siding is 1" thick and is flush with the front door surround.

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    The front door is hung on reclaimed pintles that are driven 6" into the old beams. It took sorting through over 100 pintles to find the two that fit on our old barn door.

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    Still some minor work left but the exterior is finished.

    This book was a huge help since we were making something a bit more custom. I would highly recommend buying this book if you are building anything bigger and 4x6.
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    Just finished cutting the stones for the floor. I know it's not a traditional coop floor material but we wanted something nonpermeable and long lasting. We found the stones in a pile on the property so they were also free. They're going down on top of 1/2" Wonderboard on top of 3/4" plywood.

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    Free Pennsylvania bluestone!

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    Digging an apron for chicken wire. The fence goes around the chicken run and a vegetable garden so we need to protect against predators and lettuce munchers.

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    The floor is done and Gus approves. Ah, cool.

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    We put the deer fencing up today.

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Comments

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  1. JacobMaxwell
    I love the antique look!
  2. dodrpin
    Looks Great, cant wait to see the rest
  3. Patsy2757
    Your place and your coop are beautiful! Totally impressive! Thanks for sharing! WOW!
  4. judyki2004
    great floor! getting prettier every day!!! I wish the former owners of my house would left some nice stones in a pile in a corner of a yard!!! Love it!!!
  5. ColbertCoop
    Love your coop, and the property is so beautiful! Have fun with your chicks ;)
  6. kemoran
    Awesome coop and it blends well with your absolutely gorgeous environment !!
  7. sewingca
    Love, love, love it! That "swoop" gave your coop immediate age. It takes a really long time for a building to sway in like that. Good job!
  8. ScrambledEggcre
    This is awesome! I love the style and all the thought that went into it! I love all the reclaimed materials! Beautiful!
  9. BittieBoo
    simply stunning work!
  10. bantyshanty
    I really love the rustic look of your coop, but I'm truly stupefied by the stonework! PA bluestone is not east nor fun to cut. My DH worked with it as part of contracting projects and he wouldn't go near it just for fun. Super great extra effort for you & the flock to benefit from. Cool in the summer & you can wet it down as well. I am extra impressed!! & jealous!!
    Whatever you do, don't drop your basket of eggs on the coop floor, or they'll be scrambled up ;)
  11. wagoncab
    That is a work of art! Love it. A Hilton of Hen Houses.
  12. Idahomestead
    I'm jealous - your coop is sooo beautiful. Love, love, love the swooping roof. You have some lucky chicks. Great job!
  13. jdeoliveira74
    I don't know what makes me more jealous the hen house or your property and views.. sooooo Jealoussssssssssssssss!!!!!
  14. BobbyRose85
    I love the style, I thought about doing mine like a tim burton style, very bold jagged angles!
  15. Lbrad7
    Wow AMAZING job! Beautiful coop and I love your swissy Gus!
  16. kennygkw
    yes thats a point no coment about where the nest boxes and perches are for lay eggs perhaps he overlooked about that but i think an external nest box at the back with lift up lid would be better than having to go inside every day sorry if im being cynical
  17. judyki2004
    Just love it! gorgeous coop! would love to see the inside settings!
  18. Abirdbrain
    REally a nice effort for a stylish barn rather than some cobbled pile of wood scraps! I build with as much recycle and appreciate the work to make it work.
    Another note: I am installing small 2x3 'sand pits' for my girls, that has bagged stoney concrete or torpedo sand, with a coupla cups of filter earth mixed in, from the pool store. They are 8 inches deep so not too much sand is tossed out.
  19. kennygkw
    yes piglet might kill the mites if they go on hens but doesnt control the population of mites can multiply rapidly, they can survive without blood for along time it may help a little but in the long term will have big problem ,you have to control the mites for sure
  20. JenniO11
    I love that you stuck with the historic style of your home! Your coop and house are both lovely.
  21. Minniechickmama
    I don't know which I love more, the coop or your Swissy!!!
  22. piglett
    instead of killer spray go to the feed store & but some "Diatomaceous Earth"
    i just got 20lbs for $12 . put it in a pan (a cat litter box works well)
    they will get in there and take a dust bath no mites will stand a chance
    it's all natural. just keep it dry. good luck
    piglett
  23. kennygkw
    hi yes very nice chicken house but you have over looked one thing,there is to many cavitys between the walls and roof for the many mites that love chickens example red mites and many more differant kinds look up on google,so you wil need a good supply of killer spray.single skin buildings are best for keep chickens anyway good luck kennyg
  24. aceintoledo
    Beautiful job! I noticed before you put the siding on I didn't see any type of weather barrier over your OSB. I know from many years of using OSB that it and water are not the best of friends, aren't you concerned about the OSB getting wet from any rain that might slip through the cracks in your barn siding?
  25. specklesmom
    Such a wonderful coop and it fits so perfectly with your property and historic buildings. The reclaimed lumber and old metal fittings are terrific and the "swooping" roof makes it even more special....almost like a cottage in a fairy tale. Thanks for sharing your photos and information about construction.
  26. DirtCreature
    this is so awesome! i wish we could have a coop this big and great, we rent and my bf would never go for something this big we would have to move from one yard to another! its beautiful!
  27. Lothiriel
    Congratulations, we've chosen one of your pics for the CC-POW. Thanks for posting your coop design & pictures to our "Chicken Coops" pages! You can find more info about the CC-Pow here: CC-Pow Process
  28. cblakley0531
    What a beautiful coop! I'm loving the older building look from the recycled wood!
  29. Caperose
    What great ideas! Love your hen house
  30. piglett
    wow looks nice, when can i move in ?
  31. Dylan2012
    great setup how many birds does it house?
  32. paridisefarm2009
  33. isabrownmom
    Beautiful!!! Love the rustic look and can't wait to see what the inside looks like!
  34. Betsy57
    Wow! I'm impressed! I love the rustic look. I'd say you did a great job! I'm sure your chickies will love it and I'm sure your wife is proud of you! Have fun with the chickies! They're addictive!
  35. dalpop
    What a beautiful hen house! And that Gus looks like a good boy. Hoping you'll post one of the finished product.

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