I’ll build you whatever you want, honey.” ...and here is what I wanted...

"I’ll build you whatever you want, honey.”
By CABINHOLLOWNC · Sep 19, 2017 · ·

    It all started with this statement, “I’ll build you whatever you want, honey.” This is our chicken Coop Story. I had been talking about getting chickens again for a while and we had been looking at the different options for a coop (prefab coops, storage buildings to convert to a coop, the barn on our farm etc.). I just couldn’t find anything I was willing to commit to. So, one day my husband said those seven words, that I am sure many times over the last three months he regrets even though when I would ask him if he regretted offering to build my dream chicken coop often, he always replied, “No honey, it’s what you want.”. My husband is one of those men who can look at something and then build it without plans (pretty handy talent ). He told me to find an inspiration picture and he would build it. I wanted something full sized for easy cleaning and pretty as I planned to spend a lot of time in it with my babies. I also wanted a happy bright place for them to live. This is the inspiration picture:


    Pretty darn close huh? I actually like mine better! When planning to build this, we discussed our main objective, which was to take every single safety precaution we could to protect our flock. I had chickens about 15 years ago and lost them all to predators. I swore I’d never get them again until I could build a chicken fortress. The coop is 10X10 on the inside with a 3-foot porch on the front. The run is 10X20 all covered in hardware cloth. Half of it has a vaulted roof covered in tin and the other half of it is flat. There is hardware cloth buried around the run as well to prevent digging if a predator were to get through what I call the containment fence. It is a 5-and-a-half-foot fence covered in field fencing with a hardware cloth apron buried around it. The fence has hotwires 6 inches apart all the way to the top. It is electrified by a 13 Joule fence charger that we are running at half power and it is maxing out a 7000 volt fence tester. We bought a 13 joule because we knew we'd be expanding. There are solar powered motion sensing lights on the containment fence as well. The coop had metal roofing on the floor as the first layer. You may think that is strange, but my last chickens were killed by a predator chewing though the wood floor. So, we put a layer of metal roofing then the plywood on top of that.

    Now to the fun girly stuff! The coop is done in a pretty butter yellow and purple with white trim. All of the doors and windows and eves etc. are covered in hardware cloth (I should have bought stock in the company that makes it). We used stair stringers to make the roost and each level has a different type of bar (a wood branch, 2x4 turned on it end, a 2x6 flat). I couldn’t decide which one I wanted so I thought, why choose just one? The roost isn’t’ attached so I can take it outside for deep cleaning once a week. I have 6 nesting boxes, 2 -12inch wide and three 20 inches wide, they are 18 inches tall. I like larger breed chickens and wanted to make sure they had plenty of room. I also made nesting box curtains for their privacy…and because I thought they’d look pretty. The flooring is a rubber/vinyl material. We got it on sale for 80$...it is very thick and looks like the stuff you see on gym floors. It's in the nesting boxes as well. I included a picture of it. That brings us to ventilation. He built this row of windows on the top back wall so that there would be a cross draft from the dormer on the front. He asked me to come out to the construction site so he could show me something and get my opinion. He had gone to the barn to look for a vintage screen door we bought at an auction a while back and found these shutters/windows he made about 20 years ago to close off a room that was beside the stairs. He built the frames for them and put glass in them and I use the stained-glass paint and liquid lead to decorate them. I had forgotten about them being in the barn. He had joined them together in one frame and had rigged them on a pully so that they could be opened. They are a little worn as some of the glass paint has chipped off…but I think they are perfect for the coop! Where the windows are in the front of the coop, I wanted the girls to be able to hang out in front of the window, but didn’t want to build just a roost there. So, my husband made what we call “The Jail” and “The Hospital” under the windows. We will also use them to integrate new babies when we hatch chicks. We used a piece of plexiglass and put a wood towel bar on it as a roosting bar. There is also plenty of room for them to just sit in the window as well. We did the plexiglass as it will be easy to scrape/spray off to keep it clean.

    As you can see, we used full sized doors (got them at an auction for 8$ each). We removed the glass and covered the opening with hardware cloth. In the winter, we will put Plexiglass covers over them and the window opening as there is plenty of ventilation from the eves, dormer and the back row of vents. There are also side vents on each eve. I used vintage match stick holders for grit/oyster shell. We also added a mirror so they could look at them selves! Esmarelda (Blue Ameraucana) is in love with herself...she lays in front of it and just stares at her reflection! It's a hoot! Oh and in one picture you'll see our 35 year old horse who was absolutely convinced the coop was for her! We still need to finish all of the top jut out pieces on the containment fence and finish hanging all the motion lights...but other than that it is done! We will be adding a larger run next spring. I also included a picture of the movable run my husband built for less than 100 bucks! I wanted to insert the pictures in the story but doing this on my IPad it didn't want to cooperate! So here they all are starting from a pile of lumber in the pasture to the finished product!

    Thanks for taking a look!

    IMG_7310.JPG IMG_3309.JPG IMG_3315.JPG IMG_3344.JPG IMG_3412.JPG IMG_3479.JPG View attachment 1140456 IMG_6781.JPG IMG_6782.JPG IMG_6786.JPG IMG_6840.JPG IMG_6876.JPG View attachment 1140488 IMG_6979.JPG IMG_6981.JPG IMG_7034.JPG IMG_7239.JPG IMG_7241.JPG IMG_7242.JPG View attachment 1140496 IMG_7250.JPG IMG_7262.JPG IMG_7265.JPG IMG_7266.JPG IMG_7272.JPG IMG_7273.JPG IMG_7277.JPG IMG_7278.JPG IMG_7279.JPG IMG_7280.JPG IMG_7281.JPG IMG_7283.JPG IMG_7285.JPG IMG_7286.JPG IMG_7287.JPG IMG_7290.JPG IMG_7291.JPG IMG_7292.JPG IMG_7293.JPG IMG_7295.JPG IMG_7296.JPG IMG_7298.JPG IMG_7299.JPG IMG_7300.JPG IMG_7303.JPG IMG_7304.JPG IMG_7307.JPG IMG_7308.JPG IMG_7311.JPG IMG_7308.JPG IMG_7311.JPG IMG_7269.JPG IMG_7320.JPG IMG_7327.JPG

    Share This Article

Recent User Reviews

  1. lutherpug
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Apr 14, 2019
  2. ButtonquailGirl14
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jan 21, 2019
    My dad is building my Coop right now!!! It is going to be awesome!
  3. andreanar
    "Oh MY!"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Nov 5, 2018
    I love this coop so much. I love the windows, the chandelier, the jail and hospital. I love that its built on a hill. There is nothing I don't love about this coop. Amazing job!


To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!
  1. Chebird
    LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!!!!! Is the kiddy pool for dust bathing? If so, what do you have in there?
  2. ChassiNoir
    This coop is amazing. I can't even tell you in words how incredible this is!
  3. NightingaleJen
    This is beyond adorable. And when I showed it to my husband to say as much...he told me the same thing your husband told you! *Jaws theme begins*
  4. Leslie10481
    Really cute doll/chicken house. The hospital & jail are so fun. I'm totally copying your hanging chairs idea.
    I have a wood bench in my coop that always gets pooped on lol
  5. Nats Chickens
    Really great, almost jealous! Functional beauty with great drainage, jail and hospital are cute. love it! [but not as much as mine! ;)]
  6. chickenmeadow
    Wow! Be on the lookout for "squatters" trying to move in, your coop is nice enough for people.

    It's all so lovely, super attention to detail. It would make a great feature in a magazine, really.

    Ha! My dear hubby just walked away from seeing your coop pics saying, "I'm glad you didn't ask me to do that." All I asked for was a detailed remodel to our old mini barn & happily got it. You two did great! Best wishes.
      OhZark Biddies likes this.
      Aw, thank you for the kind comments! He did an outstanding job! Our babies love it and I do too! It's a great place to hang out! I'm sure your hubby did a great job of remodeling the mini barn! I've fallen victim to "Chicken Math" so, we'll be building another one in the fall with a huge run between the two coops. I've already given him my inspiration picture...LOL!
  7. shawluvsbirds
    Thank you for sharing!
    I luv luv luv it :)
  8. Gail Laubenthal
    Love the extra touches...mirrors, chandelier, and curtains...original art work! Your girls must be the luckiest I have ever seen. Great work and for all of the right reasons.
      shawluvsbirds likes this.
      Thank you!! They are so happy out there!! My husband tells them all the time that they won the chicken lottery when we brought their eggs home to hatch! LOL!
      Gail Laubenthal likes this.
  9. chippysmom
    Now you have to build the horse a cool house! And one for me.... My sister's husband built a "tree house", (not in a tree) maybe 10x10 up on stilts, with steps, porch and loft, for their kids. Now that the kids are older, she has re-purposed into a "she- house", for those times she needs some alone time or a little getaway. She's had a few girls nights for her friends in it. I'm so jealous!
    If you've seen the prices for small buildings, your husband could really have a business making little houses like that for adult playhouses!
      KikisGirls likes this.
      It's funny that you say we need to build the horse a house!!! That is the next project. If you'd seen her sad face when she couldn't walk up to the coop and stick her head in, you would be building her one too! Hers will be just as nice and pretty!
  10. N F C
    It's beautiful!
      CABINHOLLOWNC likes this.
  11. Embalmergirl
    One of the best coops I have ever seen! Thank you so much for sharing. Makes me want to improve my girls living quarters. You've given me some brilliant ideas.
      CABINHOLLOWNC likes this.
      Aw, thank you for your kind words!! We love our babies and wanted to give the best coop we could build!
  12. kitkat5505
      CABINHOLLOWNC likes this.
  13. Mylied
    That is one lovely coop! My husband will build things for me, but they are very too the point and basic. He does not do fancy. ;-) I'm sure your chickens and you will love it for years to come.
      CABINHOLLOWNC likes this.
  14. Texas Kiki
    Awesome work!
    Pretty cute brown helper you got there. ;)
      CABINHOLLOWNC likes this.
      THANKS! That horse is a hot mess...LOL! She truly thought it was for her! Her heart was broke when we fenced it and she couldn't get to the coop anymore!
      shawluvsbirds and KikisGirls like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: