Our Golden Girls Themed Hen House I am not going to get into the specifics on HOW to build this coop because my coop was constructed on a wish and a prayer that it would stay together. Instead, I am going to show you the setup that worked for me with the square footage I had to work with. I will also show you how you can have fun with a theme. Working with a shed/lean-to style roof made winter ventilation a challenge. I live in the cold northeast, so balancing "ventilated" and "drafty" can be difficult. I wanted roost towards the back but not where the cool air would blow on the birds' heads. I finally found a compromise making it low enough to not be drafty, but still a hair higher than the nest boxes. Speaking of ventilation, I want to share with you how I set this up. My roof sits approximately 2" off the coop. This allows are to circulate high up. To avoid rain or heavy winds from coming in these openings, I made thin "draft dodgers" and secured them to the ends of the roof supports. In addition to the roof openings that are open year-round, I also have side windows. They are located in the side access doors. To cover them during cool nights or in driving rain, I attached bamboo placemats that I got at Goodwill. They are held up with cotton twine on nice days. These windows will get covered in the winter. Now it's time for access doors. The exterior mounted nest box has an access from the top. There are double doors located on the side, basically opening the whole side. There is also an access on the back. This door allows me to reach the very far side of the coop. The chickens have two doors. The reason for this is that some day (hopefully soon) the coop will be on wheels. In the spring and fall (before and after growing season) the coop will be moved to the vegetable garden gate. The birds will enter the garden via the front door. The rear door is the primary door to the run. Off the rear door is the Golden Girls lanai. An old wooden ladder allows the girls to get in and down easily. Now for the fun theme. I aimed for the fabulous Miami 80s color palate. I got the exterior and interior paint in the OOPS section of Home Depot. The other colors are basic craft paint. I tried to use TV references throughout. I also found a picture from the Chicken Little episode in a Google search. I printed it out and framed it in a cheap frame from a local thrift store. I simply replaced the glass with some plexiglass in case they peck at it. Down the line I hope to get some silk or polyester palm leaves to attach to the exterior where the chickens can't get to. I am also on the hunt for some fake Mongolia flowers. Until then, the Golden Girls and their friends are enjoying their home. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
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