I would like to start by thanking everyone... literally everyone who loves me even a little bit put time and effort into my dream of having chickens. Even you all here at BYC and Pinterest, you all added love, plans, thoughts and encouragement. So I want to post this page to give ideas and encouragement back into the chicken universe. Good Luck!
Where to start... Well I have always wanted chickens. Back in college my then boyfriend, now husband would take me to the farm store in the spring to see the chicks. It would help me feel Spring coming and shake off the dull gray days of an Oregon Winter. This year for Easter I decided it was happening. My two darling children would be just old enough to understand and be excited about it. Though they are too young to be of any help caring for them yet. I am excited that we are teaching them to be "doers" and to be connected to their food source and the environment. I convinced my husband that chickens= good kids. So off we went.
I was gifted several books by the fabulous Mary Holland my amazing boss/ bestie. She really pushed us over the edge with the plans by giving me Chicken Coops: 45 Building Ideas for Housing your Flock; Judy Pangman The plans for the community garden coop gave us the starting point we needed. I wanted a space for the hens that would encompass the run and the coop and look tidy and presentable in my small suburban yard. I had been planning this adventure in my mind for awhile and I knew that I wanted to make the coop look like a little red barn.
I originally alloted a 4ft x 8ft area for the coop and run, but quickly added an additional 4ft to the length. Our finished product is approximately 4ft x 12ft. We orginally slated the heaight to be about 6ft tall to give me room for a door and some walking space inside the coop. But our carpenter friend assured me that the pitch of the roof was necessary for slope and water run off and generally he liked the look of the height of the project better at nearly 9ft tall. So this turned out to be a whole lot bigger than I orginally planned. Good thing too as those tiny little peepers are hard to resist at the feed store.
Here is the (Nearly) finished product... I will continue this later.. .work work work...