Welcome to Kriquet's "Kyckling Trädgård"
Our summer has been spent constructing a beautiful playhouse for the newest members of our family! Little did I know that my dear husband would turn my simple plans into something so charming!! His mantra is, "If you're going to take the time to do something - do it right!"
In deciding upon a name for our new space I decided to tap into our Swedish heritage. Since both our families have origins in Sweden and all three of our children bear Swedish names...why not do the same for our 'chicken garden' and so 'kyckling trädgård' was born!
Credit must be given to "Chicky Shnoodle Shack" https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=3832 for giving us the idea for the swooped roof and cedar shake shingles! Those pictures were enough to give my husband the spark he needed to start building!! (I had drawn 3 different coop designs and had gotten tepid reviews until I showed him the Schnoodle!)
We hope you enjoy the pictures of our summer endeavor! If you have any questions about how we did it- please let me know!
The Adventure Begins...
The house is built with studs every 16in - just like a real house. That's the reason for the funny spacing of studs around windows. Framing on a solid surface helps keep everything square! But it means then you have to carry it to the backyard!
In the backyard we excavated to a level surface, added 6 concrete blocks to hold the house and another 6 concrete blocks to hold the base of the run. The dimensions are: house - 6'w, 8'l, 11'h; run - 6'w, 8'l, 6'h. The run is excavated 6 inches and is secured with hardware cloth and top-dressed with sand.
The walls are going up and my 5 yr old is letting Daddy borrow 'his' tape measure because Daddy misplaces his tape measure at least every 5 minutes.
This is where we had our first disagreement. I thought it was a waste of money to put OSB up when it was going to be covered with Masonite. But this is where dear husband said "If you're not going to do it right, why do it at all?" I quit arguing but continued to mumble that I couldn't understand his logic when the house we live in doesn't even have OSB under the Masonite...but hey, he's doing a fantastic job so why complain?
The boys checking out the chicken door...
OSB is up, swoop is cut and rafters are added. My husband calculated and recalculated the angle of the rafters in an attempt to get them to line up straight with no bow. He was so proud of himself but then I burst his bubble by saying that I would have rather had the bow because it looked so cute! I think he seriously wanted to choke me so I just smiled and said what a great job he was doing!
Here I am attaching tar paper and nailing in the shakes. This was my favorite part because I could 'design' how I wanted to shakes to look! It takes a lot of shakes to cover a roof!
We made sure to include soffit vents on both the east and west sides and added a roof ventilation access on the east side to help heat/moisture escape. The north and south sides of the coop have octagonal wall ventilation units and both east and west windows open and close. The house is situated underneath mature Hackberry trees which will provide much-needed shade in our hot summers and windows on the east, south and west sides will help provide warmth from the sun during the cold winter months. The run is located on the north side of the coop. Both the east and west windows were installed 'backwards' so that they can be opened and closed from the outside of the coop. The screened area of each window is covered in hardware cloth on the interior for security against predators.
Working on the interior, we used timber slats to line the roof, vinyl wallboard to line the walls (to make cleaning easier), and locking linoleum planks that resemble wood flooring (again for ease of cleaning). There is a small alcove at the entrance of the house that is approximately 2.5ft x 6ft that will serve as storage for pine shavings, tools, & feed and will also allow me to enter the coop to gather eggs, clean and check on the kycklings without getting poo on my boots! The screen door opens toward the kyckling side of the coop so that it doesn't interfere with storage space and will allow wheelbarrow access for Spring Cleaning!
Hardware cloth goes all the way to the ceiling to separate the two areas of the building. The area immediately above the door is a shelf that is approximately 24in wide and 6 ft long which will be where my bags of pine shaving will be stored.
This is a little lower view that shows the nest box access door. We will be using the Deep Litter Method so the interior screen door is 8 inches off the floor to prevent litter from falling out of the doorway into the storage area. Looking through the screen door you see the kyckling door that provides access to the outdoor sand 'trädgård'.
Here is a picture of the inside door and nestboxes.
A view of the 2 perches with droppings tray and ladder to the perches. The perches are 36 inches and 48 inches off the floor and the droppings tray is covered with leftover pieces of vinyl wallboard. The perches and droppings board are easily removed for cleaning. The food and water bins will be suspended beneath the droppings board which will help keep the area clean and neat!
Here is my husband's nifty contraption! He attached drawer slides to either side of the door to the run and sealed out drafts with garage door seals. The door slides up and down effortlessly and has a nice tight seal when closed to prevent drafty bottoms when the hens are roosting! The door opens and closes with a simple pulley system that is anchored in the storage area of the house.
Outside view of the door to the garden area run!
View of the garden area and back of house. The run has locks at the top and bottom and will be painted the same color as the house as soon as the wood completely drys out.
Side view of the run area.
VIOLA! It's finished!
(I will add landscaping and flowers to the windowbox in a couple of weeks - right now I am enjoying my peeps!)
Here are my peeps! The babies are (left to right) Salmon Favorelle, Golden-Laced Wyandotte, Black Australorp, and Silver-Laced Wyandotte. I just love their fuzzy bums!
Here are the ladies at 6 weeks of age! The two additional chicks are an Easter Egger and a Buff Orpington.
Here are my kids enjoying the ladies on their first adventure to the great outdoors!
This is my adorably inquisitive Easter Egger!
Here are the ladies in their new home - officially OUT OF THE BROODER!
Feel free to email me if you have any questions about how we built our little Kyckling Trädgård!