For those of you who may not remember, Charlene was a young hen who ran away from home and took up residence in our backyard. Her story was even featured in the April/May edition of Backyard Poultry. Last fall she was still living in our yard and didn’t seem interested in leaving. At that point we didn’t have time to build a proper coop so we took her in our attached garage and she lived happily there through the winter sleeping in a large dog crate and nesting in a large, shaving filled plastic bin. We decided to get her some friends and ordered three 6 week old babies, two Buff Orpingtons (Daisy and Rosebud) and one Silver Laced Wyandotte (Lacey). They were hatched in March and we received them in mid-April. The work had begun to build them the safest coop and run that we could. The process took a little more than two months with my sweet husband working out in the pouring rain on many weekends trying to get it completed before we left for our 2 week trip to Italy.
The structure is 12x8, and the inside coop is 4x6. We used 1/2 hardware cloth on all the walls, two foot apron under the ground around the run and sealed up every possible space, literally the Fort Knox of coops! The girls love their space and the auto ChickenGuard door is a dream as they are able to put themselves to bed every night and I don’t have to leave mine in the morning to let them out. We installed solar flood lights on all 4 sides as well as PredatorGuard solar sensors. The inside of the coop was painted to make cleaning the walls easier and we are planning on staining the outside of the coop and run as well. We designed it with ample clean out doors to make it easier. Three windows allow for plenty of air and cross breezes during the warm summer nights. One large picture window in front which allows me to watch them from my chair in my living room and two 12”x24” windows in the back up high so they can look out while on their roost bars. There are also ventilation holes drilled high on the side walls for air circulation in the winter when they are keeping warm in their coop. I used sand on the coop floor, again because of ease of cleaning. I may add some hay or Pine shavings on one side of coop floor in front of their picture window in the winter for warmth. All of the walls are two layers of plywood with insulation board in between. I’m thinking that the sunshine will help to warm it as well. If needed we will add a wall mounted heater panel behind the roost bars for the coldest winter month. Charlene is in love with her little sisters and has been so good with them. They chicklets have begun to be let out of the coop with Charlene for several hours during the day when I am working in my yard and she herds them around showing them her favorite places to find bugs and the best places to dust bathe. We are very happy that we added to our flock of one and clearly Charlene is in heaven.
CharlenesMom a.k.a Jude
Charlene’s Chicken Palace or We’ve Come A Long Way Baby!
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Recent User Reviews
- 4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Sep 9, 2019
Your entire run is predator proof. I have one too. I never close the door to the coop. They are free to come and go between coop and run as they wish. I see no reason why you cannot do the same.
You will likely not need any heat source in the winter. As long as your coop is DRY and you keep as much ventilation open as possible, they will be just fine.
I love the stone path and the landscaping you did around the run. It is very beautiful.
- 4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Jul 6, 2019
What a beautiful setup--and looks like a lot of fun for the chickens and humans alike! Toys and sand and chairs OH MY! I love all the ventilation in the coop. Did you end up putting in a droppings board I wonder?Charlenesmom likes this.