So here goes... My wife is a 4K teacher, and hatches eggs in her class every year. I've been threatening for years to keep the chicks. This year, we only had 1 hatch, so I decided to keep her around long term. I built a brooding box out of an old dresser, the post is in the Brooder section. From there, we started making a coop. I have a pergola next to the garden in my back yard, and one over the deck as well, so I figured, why not keep with the theme. The "Mattersville" name is an old joke between some friends of mine and I. There is a song from NOFX called Mattersville about old punk rock guys living together in a compound. We always joked that we woudl start one. It doesn't hurt that my name is Matt, either...
The idea was to build a pergola over the area my kids swing set used to be. It is an area 12' x 16' roughly, that has 10 year old non-dyed playground bark on it. The worms love that we've been mulching this area for so long, figured the chick would too! (My youngest named her "Shelly" BTW).
I will follow with pics. If you think its cool and have any questions, let me know!
Day 1, brought the lumber home.
Below is our existing Pergola and garden. The coop is going to go to the right of the garden.
Day 2, We started digging out the trench for the perimiter, so we can build it down 12" or so.
Day 2 continued, we started the Pergola framing. And by "we", I mean "the kids did most of the work whilst I drank beer, and supervised"
Day 3, we started framing out the actual "chicken house" as my youngest calls it.
Day 4, we starting putting the walls up on the "chicken house". I had a cedar fence that hid all of my "yard junk" on the side of the garage. We figured now is as good a time as any to tear it down, and make it a nice area next to the garage for my 71' Caddy. Plus we got some free material out of the deal!
We made the outside of the coop openable doors, for easy access to clean. We will add nesting boxes to the door later this summer, figure we have a good couple of months before we need to worry about that.
The next few pics are various days after school/work where we added welded wire to keep Shelly in and secure.
Next, we built a door!!!! Not sure why all of the enthusiasm, but it was a fun afternoon from what I remember... behind is the neighbor kids who seem pretty stoked to have chickens in the neighborhood too.
If any of you have been to Dinsey World, and have been to the Brer Rabbit areas, you know what I was going for here. We used scraps from the fencing, and made a ramp and coop door.
Shelly came to check it out as I was building the door from the inside.
We have made more progress since the last pic, but I've been more worried about getting "the smelly chick" out of my house than taking pics. I'll put up more as I take them. Hope you all like it! Let me know what you think!