in-the-norway-pines-coop

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  1. Bogtown Chick
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    I have always wanted Chickens. I collected relics: (windows, door, boards) from tore down sheds, cabins, barns. The kids were on board to recycle their sandbox for a Floor Base and we were gung-ho to get some chicks . The hubby was not on board with the chickens. But it was 3 against 1. My childhood memories are vivid for chickens my grandparents had and geese my dad raised. I want my kids to have the same experiences.

    I sat down to graph paper with ruler and pencil in hand. My design in my head. It was not easy. I must admit. But I finally came up with this drawing which is crude and does not take into effect that 2 x 4's are actually 1.5 x 3.5s! I also at this point in time had no idea how to tackle the roof. But I compartmentalized each phase of building so not as to become overwhelmed. Floor first...however long it takes to figure it out. Stud walls next. Nest box figuring out. Siding. windows & doors. rafters & roofing. etc. etc.... Compartmentalizing kept me from giving up. As I built each phase, I became more proficient with the tools and was able to problem solve each step and see what I needed to do next.

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    I showed my husband these plans and he says to me, "That's aggressive." Hahaha.

    A door and some windows I've had a few years.
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    I love this paneled door and hardware. I did however cut off the top section as it was too tall for the size of the coop I built. Which is around 6' x 7'. It just looked better, dimensionally, a little shorter.

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    Painting was done on a fair middle of March Day. A rarity usually as it is usually our snowiest month. I did not take it for granted that day and got much of the painting done.
    So I started with some keystone landscape blocks I got for $1 each at my hardware store. They were a discontinued product and had moss and lichen growing on them. The owner is my neighbor too which I think helped. Checked for level with a 2x4 and bubble level. Brought the Sandbox over and added 2x6 floor joists and used floor joist hangers.


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    Then I saved & dumpster dived for some ply wood strips and buffalo board scraps from some construction projects at work. These were some cast offs we puzzle pieced for a floor.
    Here are my helpers putting the pieces together.


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    Next came an older out-dated piece of linoleum remnant from my local flooring store for $15. And 2x4's donated from Grandma she's had in her garage for 24 years. Thanks Gran! We had to buy some too, though, to help us get all the stud walls up.
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    Front and center is the first studwall I've ever made! (The North side) As I drug it out from the garage the kids came out super excited to help. Husband on couch with remote control did not move to help. His protest has been dully noted! Ha!
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    Nest box Framework on the West side of the coop.
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    2 x 4 Cross pieces on their ends to create a pitch for rafters later.
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    The East Side with Frame work for the chicken Pop Door. I was so excited putting that 2 x 4 piece in there to make that little door frame! Giddy almost.
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    TIP: I used torque screws not nails on the stud walls and framework. I can't tell you how many times I had to back out a screw and put it in a better or correct place. I'm afraid nails would have been a nightmare for me.

    And this is where I ended up on March 31, 2012:

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    My daughter and her buddies.

    So Sunday, April 1st, 2012 was beautiful and Sunny out. At my in-laws we picked up this treasure...perfectly patinaed tin roofing. I'm so excited to put this on. Dealing with the previous nail holes might be a challenge...but so worth it for the look I think.

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    I found siding at my work place. We've had a few construction projects there for the last couple years. And there's a big pile of offerings that were free for the taking. So I grabbed a varied assortment of half log and v-groove paneling. Putting up the siding has been trickier than I anticipated. Especially the half log. I should have figured out the 45 degree angle thing on my miter saw. Oh well. I did trim it out. It's a mish-mash of siding. But I believe it adds to the charm.
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    I really like this "worm-wood" v-groove. I only found a few scraps of this so saved it for above the door--it has a nice focal point appearance.
    Also, hubby update: He went on a fishing trip all weekend long and came back Sunday full of COMPLIMENTS for the new structure that I put up. He said, "Great Job, Honey, it looks really nice." Yay!


    I always say, "Fishing Fixes Everything!"
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    It's Easter Saturday and I got 4 walls finished 3 windows and a door hung. Here's those 4 Walls. (North and West Sides)
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    East Side.
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    South Side. Here's a steel Window I saved. It took a bit to get it hung up there but of the 3 this one will last a while. It's sturdy and I actually love how tall it is. Tons of light.
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    West Side again.
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    So next is getting the upper siding and starting some of the roof line. The First section is a simple slant and that's what I've figured out last night and tonight. I just used 2 x 2's here. This isn't going to be a major weight bearing roof that I'm anticipating. And I'm getting plenty of pitch. So got out the framing square and figured out rise and run and cut for a pitch. It wasn't on at all but I suppose this angle cut is better than none. Gabled roof for the final roof line is next.

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    Well that's where it's at on April 12th, 2012.

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    April 13th. The babies are here! The babies are here! The Brooder is Pine Shelving from some old cabinets that were thrown out. painted. I made a hardware cloth lid with pine framing and a handle. And of course a little roost made out of a branch a beaver cleaned up for me.

    The Chicks are (From L-R, Top-Bottom): New Hampshire , Black Australorp, Silver Lace Wyandotte, Easter Egger, Rhode Island Red, "Dominique"--but I see feathers on the feet now that I got her home-- Blue Cochin?!? Anyone?, Easter Egger, Partridge Rock, New Hampshire. We'll take whatever we got! They're all lovely and darling.

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    April 16th. We get a little set back in the weather. It was beautiful, but not condusive to getting that roof on and finishing the coop. I put plastic over the rafter/roof area to keep the snow outside of the coop and moisture off my roof boards. The power went out in the middle of the night and the chicks got pulled out of the brooder in the garage and put in their little "travel" cardboard box into the master bathroom to keep warm for an hour until the power went back on.
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    Okay so next: the roofing. Rafters turned out pretty simplistic. Buffalo board to help cut some of the noise for when it rains and hails and then the slightly rusted steel roof. I cut the roof steel with a skill saw blade turned backwards. You need ear plugs when you do this but it cut that steel like butter. Intimidating at first but worked really really slick. Caulked some seams with "Stretch" exterior caulk where that lower sections of roof meet the upper wall portion. It usually stays dry right at that seam with my overhang...but just in case we get wet weather that really hangs on...I thought it would be a good idea.

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    The center board is a 2 x 4 on it's end to set the pitch. Special little rafter/framing brackets are easy to find at hardware store.

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    So I found that I wasn't real keen on working on the roof due to the heights. The recycled tin roofing was less than cooperative as well! When I'd batten down a corner with a screw then work on the next side it would pop up on the side that I just screwed down! So I used a heavy hammer to flatten the warps out as much as possible and work from one side to the next...holding it and keeping it as flat as possible. I put a temporary 2 x 4 on the lower roof section for footing and safety while I worked on the upper roof section. I repeat. I did not like working on this part.

    But I could see the end was near and rain was coming... and the chicks were growing....
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    I had one nice evening in the forcast then rain for the rest of the week and weekend so last night after work I "went to town" on the coop. Soffits/facia and finished the Tin Roofing was a priority. The chicks were getting big for the brooder but still found comfort in it. I took them outside in my flower garden and they liked it of course but were glad to be back under the security of their mother brooder light, too. Hahaha. Anyhow after that solid evening's work before the rain came... here it is holding it's own in the morning spring showers. Hurray!!!!

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    Next up are some finishing touches, vents, Indoor bells and whistles: screen & hardware cloth the windows, roosting rails, dividing the nesting box area. Some chicken house decor. OH Yeah! and a Run! Tons to do but fun to see it at this point.

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    Rigging of the pop door with a rope and two pulleys and a "stop" took another part of a day...to get it running smoothly.

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    Hardware cloth and metal screen on the windows because we have tons! of mosquitos. Pennies drilled and used as washers.

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    Handmade rustic signs on white-washed old 1/2 rotted boards and bright cheery flowers. I love this part....
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    And my Sister's advice to me during a critical time during the build...that helped spur me on.


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    More "rotten" board signs.
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    A Clean Coop! Prior to turning into Poop-Ville.
    And below is move in day! The chicks loved it from the start! They explored and stretched their legs in the safety of their new space.

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    Here's Duke Checking out this perch nervously and getting a good look outside.
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    Welcome to your New Coop Meal was grass clippings, yogurt and mealworms!
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    The Yellow Lab taking in the smells coming from the coop the first night. Still not "Chicken-Safe" at this point yet. But she learned fast. It took about 3-4 months to train her.

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    The first night. I was a nervous Nelly worried about predators finding a way in! But all was well and not one loss! I am proud of this build.


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    WHAT I WOULD DO DIFFERENTLY:
    * Miter the corners on the 1/2 log siding.
    * Make the Framework of the door so there is no bottom and bedding could be easily shoveled or swept out.
    * Use square cinder blocks instead of odd shaped keystone blocks.
    * Make Double sure we were level at the base block flooring level. We are now 1/2 inch off center which I'm sure all started with the leveling of the blocks! Building things square is so much easier!
    * Instead of scrap pieces of floor boards, I should have sprung for good, new plywood for the floor--one solid piece. The floor is so important to have done right. Maybe considered insulating it too underneath in consideration of our harsher winters.


    Fall Came Fast. And without a moment to spare we got a Run put up as the mud was freezing and rain turned to snow.

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    This Run made for such a nice difference in dealing with our Northern Midwest winters. I don't know what I would have done without it! It is 10 x12 and same basic roof lines and framing as the coop. With a Chute attachment to the coop so I can open the coop window without it being in the run.

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    And there it is Fall 2013...Sitting under the big Norway Pine Trees.
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    Coming Next: Landscaping the Coop and Run! [​IMG]

    Fall 2013 I stained and touched up paint on the run and the coop. Spring and Summer 2014 I started searching the woods and fields around my home for stones to put up a garden border along the run and the coop. After finding various boulders I then mixed compost and black dirt and started digging and separating my hostas and large Annabel hydrangea. The plants are still a bit beat after their splitting and transplant -- so I will update photos next summer with more mature and filled in plants. I also planted a crimson climbing rose and some oregano at the chicken door opening in front of the coop. Would like to find some mosquito repelling plants that do well in the shade.
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    I found this little radio flyer wagon at our local antique store. I thought originally I wanted to stick a rusty bike in my plantings but the price was better on this wagon...plus it held more flowers.
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    My young pullets had just ransacked the begonias before I got to the coop with my camera. Literally moments before! Rascals. At any rate the begonias, sweet potato plant and creeping jenny just really add charm to the coop and its sign. I have found the perfect plantings for this shady coop. When the young ones are used to free ranging our property, I imagine they'll leave the begonias alone. [​IMG]

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    Thank you for Viewing my little slice of heaven for my chickens. They are a blessing to us everyday and we are glad to give them this home. They seem to like it--their Jardin des Poulets-- under the Norway Pine Trees.

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Comments

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  1. Bogtown Chick
    Thank you @Siggie and @NickChillPhoto !
  2. NickChillPhoto
    What a wonderful setup. Great work!
  3. Siggie
    Your coop is fantastic!
  4. Bogtown Chick
    Thank you @Rayrayschicks and @silver1polish for your lovely compliments. Best to you in Chickening!~
  5. silver1polish
    Love your coop!!
  6. Rayrayschicks
    Pretty coop,... Love it
  7. Bogtown Chick
    Thanks all for the compliments and to @BYC Project Manager for selecting my coop for CC-POW this past week. It was fun watching the facebook responses and likes and shares. Hopefully it's helped out a few build some coops.
  8. piddowstix
    great work!
  9. n3kms
    Just adorable!!!
  10. MooseMtnFthills
    Where to begin? There is so much we like about your coop. The red and white panel door against the cedar toned log siding. The pieced together tin roof panels. We like that it is NOT perfect. Nor is it contrived. You obviously didn't just go out and spend money. You scrimped, saved, salvaged, and put together a little bit of child labor - great experience for the kids! This is a one-off. No one else will have a coop like this. You can't go down to IKEA or Home Depot and buy this. Congrats on the coop of the week. Awesome!
  11. mdelhomme
    Wow! All your hard work paid off in spades. A beautiful home for your chickies! I'm glad to see that you are as in to decorating your chickens home as I was. (It's all about the decor). We just built a coop/run and got chicks this last spring and are really enjoying them. It's a little sad that the weather has now turned colder and we aren't outside enjoying and playing with our girls as much. In the summer they would sit on our laps on the deck!
  12. Bogtown Chick
    Thanks all! It's a work in progress like all our chicken coops. But it is fun to share it all with you this way. Thank you for the nice compliments. I appreciate it so. I got a real good piece of advice from my friend's dad who is a contractor about the coop. "Just remember: Rome wasn't built in a day." ;) Hahahaha.
  13. sourland
    "Colorful, original, functional - beautiful use of materials. Well done!
  14. chickwhispers
    Love your coop and workmanship! I should say work-womanship! lol I know the feeling! The only thing DSO helped me with was pounding the metal stakes for the 4 x 4s in the ground. Your coop looks so awesome. And your supplies were cheap. And the kids were out there too! Just a great job all the way around! Congratulations on your Coop of the week!
  15. teach1rusl
    Congrats on coop of the week! What a wonderful, homey coop! Love your landscaping elements - just beautiful! And I love how protected the run is against winter weather.
  16. RezChamp
    Me man, I don't do pretty.
    I do however very much appreciatte beauty, and because of growing up between both sets of my grandparents' farms I also appreciatte hard work.
    You got my respect.
    I will never show this story to my wife
    [/B].(like I don't have enough to do already[after I read my BYC]lol).
  17. BYC Project Manager
    Congratulations, we've chosen one of your pics for the CC-POW. Thanks for posting your coop design & pictures to our "Chicken Coops" pages! You can find more info about the CC-POW here: CC-POW Process.
  18. McCluckles
    Very impressive! You have some really amazing pictures in here. Congratulations on getting first place for this!
  19. sssharon
    I love your coop and also the fact that you did it all yourself without the help of hubby! You did a beautiful job and it is just gorgeous and all your decorating too. Congrats on a beautiful coop and to your great skills.
  20. EIEIOchick
    I just saw all of your additions and your run! I really like your coop setup; it looks so inviting!!! Great job!
  21. vehve
    Your coop kind of has a cool oriental feel to it... I really like the signs too!
  22. Bogtown Chick
    MyLittleRedCoop. Your coop is amazing too, BTW! Love it, as you know. ;-) Covered Runs are a God send living where we do. Do what you can, when you can. I bet you'll have one before you know it... with those contractors you have there! ;-)
  23. Bogtown Chick
    Thank you all so much! It has been a labor of love. I've learned a ton about what I can do. It's a bit empowering...gotta say! ;-) And I must say the recycling part although trickier to work with...surely has been rewarding. It's snowing now...but I've got my order ready for landscaping plants. Can hardly wait for the plantings to add to the charm. Happy Chickening all!
  24. MyLittleRedCoop
    Oh my gosh! What a fantastic coop! It looks like a northwoods cabin! And that picture of the cabin with the snowy woods and the deer... gorgeous. I especially like the completely covered/roofed run. I would love to do that for my coop. I also wrap mine, which provides some shelter from the winter wind, but with part of our top open, I'm sure your chickens are way more comfy than mine! Not to mention the shoveling. I'm so impressed that you did this yourself!!
  25. EIEIOchick
    Wow! This is too cute! I can't believe you did all this by yourself!!! Really nice and creative!
  26. lwiese58
    What a charming coop! You should be so proud! In each of the seasons it is perfectly picturesque.
  27. Bogtown Chick
    Updated my article tonight and am just seeing recent (2013) comments. Thanks Judi and Lillahimed and ALL! Coop improvements summer 2013 were staining and painting of the coop and Run. Some more caulking. Roost adjustments. There's always tweaking going on down at the Coop! I hope to Landscape some Summer 2014.
  28. Lillahimed
    Truly one of my favorite coops. Even the colors are perfect :)
  29. judyki2004
    absolutely beautiful!
  30. judyki2004
    I know! , it can become an obsession... I'm still thinking of improvements lol
  31. Bogtown Chick
    Oh thank you Judy. I'm getting addicted to it. Found myself cutting boards and putting them up today on my lunch break from work at home. It's been so rewarding.
  32. judyki2004
    Wow wow! Is looking gorgeous!, I love that conbination of wood you are using!!! keep posting pics, please!
  33. applefalls
    So glad your husband was full of compliments...how could he NOT be totally struck by the fact that his wife is so skilled! Lucky guy. My husband was not on board with our chickens or with our bees and now he is fascinated by them both (we now call the bees his bees), so have hope. Your kids are fantastic to help and cheer you on (and donate their play area). Good luck!
  34. Stumpy
    It's looking great! I love all the windows.
  35. Stumpy
    It looks great. I can't wait to see it finished. I admire you for getting so much done.
  36. Roxannemc
    I really cant wait to see how this turns out with all the old windows and old door too. And your design is a little tricky it looks like not just salt box style CUTE!
  37. judyki2004
    Seems like you guys are constructing an awesome coop, so sweet to see the kids working on it! I 'll be looking forward to see the proces & finished coop...I did mine last Christmas and it was a great learning & satisfactory experience! Blessings!
  38. CraftyChicky
    Wow! You are doing a great job, and teaching your children so much in the process. I can't wait to see the finished project.

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