Fowl Play Roadhouse

  1. northernroots
    I live off-grid in the interior of Alaska so when I designed my coop it was important to me to have an efficient, passive solar design. I needed to have a long side and face it towards the sun. I also knew I wanted plenty of windows for natural daylight and ventilation. A shed-roof made sense so that I could collect rainwater off the back-side; it would come in handy to water my birds and also to keep the duck's pool full.

    But I didn't want it to be just a boring shed-roof building either...especially after seeing all of the incredible designs shown on this site! So I decided to try to make it look similar to an old-west, false-front town. I'm sorry that I didn't take many pictures during the project, but here in Alaska we have to try to do all of our projects in just a few short months of summer. My builder-friend wasn't overly enthused about my idea, but even he admitted that it looked pretty neat after it was done.
    The coop isn't fancy; there's no metal or vinyl siding. It does have a metal roof and the OSB siding is painted, but that's about it. It only took an additional four sheets of OSB to create the roof-line. After paint and materials the cost was less than $75 to add the unique look (and that's Alaska prices). To me it was worth it; after all, I'm the one who has to look at it everyday.

    In the interior of the coop there are four separate pens. I painted the nesting boxes and roosts a different color in each. It was partly to make it more fun for me, but mostly so that when I have others doing chores I can make sure the instructions are a little more clear. "Give the red pen a bucket of sprouts and 2 cups of yogurt" is a lot easier for a helper to understand than saying "give the Wyandottes...". They might not know the difference between the breeds, but I know they can tell the difference between red and yellow!

    This summer I'll get signs painted to give each "building" it's own character. The middle of the coop that's painted red will be the "Fowl Play Saloon". I'm open to suggestions for the two tan and two brown "buildings" :)




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  1. northernroots
    Thank you Alaskan:) I have heat lamps ready in case of a severe cold snap, but luckily I haven't had to use them yet. Even this past week at -30 it was +22 (or above) in there. I've been keeping chickens for several years and have never had any problems with frostbite, but I appreciate your advice! I have straw bales stacked along the sides of two walls in every pen (for a little extra insulation) and most of my birds like to spend their nights on the bales. The birds seem to love the birch roosts and I did put the bigger branches at the top where I figured most of them would roost. So far, so good. I also picked hardier heritage breeds to raise...and every time the temps drop I am sure glad for that decision. I did end up with a Barred Rock rooster (that was supposed to be a hen, but apparently nobody told him!) so I carefully watch his comb when it gets below +30 in the coop, but so far his comb is doing great. We've had a pretty easy winter (so far, knock on wood) and I'm hoping to do a little remodeling in the coop this summer. Part of the remodeling will be putting some of the roosts even higher to take advantage of warmer air up higher. Thanks again for the advice and I hope you guys are having an easier-than-normal winter also! :)
  2. Alaskan
    Very nice! I love the colors.

    Unless you heat your coops, I would change out whatever branch they end up sleeping on for a fatter one. Close to four inch diameter is safest, to make sure they get no frostbite on their toes.
  3. northernroots
  4. CrazyChookLady5
    love all the colours!!
  5. featherweightmn
  6. northernroots
    Love it!! Thanks:)
  7. twisted-acres-farm
    Slick Chicks Dance Hall Cool coop btw.

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