The Breakfast Club

By EIEIOchick · Mar 17, 2014 · Updated Jun 16, 2015 · ·
  1. EIEIOchick
    We are so happy to have finally finished our coop. We patterned it after The Palace design with a few changes. Our coop run is 9' by 12'. 10' tall in the front and 8' tall in the back. The raised coop within the run is 4' by 9'. We have six nesting boxes inside with two roosts. [​IMG]
    The front window and the two windows over the nesting boxes are on pulleys so we can open them from the outside by pulling on the para cord and tying them off on a cleat.[​IMG]
    Here are some additional pics of the walls inside the coop, our happy chickens and our first collection of eggs on day two! Just loving the chickens and our beauty of a rooster![​IMG]
    Here is the journey described as best I can. We began our coop back in October. [​IMG]
    My husband rented a concrete mixer, a must, to pour the foundation. A couple of helpers showed up about halfway through. Lol
    Next we laid down weed barrier and a series of PVC pipes connected. The coop is downhill from the highest part of our acreage and a lot of rain comes that direction. The pipe system has holes drilled in the top followed by a layer of gravel, another layer of weed barrier and finally sand. This system works very well to let any water drain very quickly. There is a drainage pipe going through the foundation on the front, downhill side.[​IMG]
    . [​IMG]

    I had pre stained as much of the lumber that I could before rain, holidays, travel, and cold temps shut down progress. In January we began framing in earnest. The first framing had to be the entire east wall as it attached to the garden. It had to be complete with hardware cloth and all. There is an opening for a hatch door to allow the chickens to go into the garden at certain times such as between growing seasons. [​IMG]
    Next, came the rest of the walls which were on 2' centers. [​IMG]

    In the previous pictures we had framed in for the windows and built the deck for the raised coop, and also built the nesting boxes. The coop deck is sloped to the back about an inch fall. This will help for easy cleaning. The nesting boxes are slightly sloped as well toward the interior of the coop. We added linoleum to the coop deck too. Next we started the siding.

    We added the slats and the metal roof. (sorry if these are out of order. I'm having to sort through pictures I took and ones my husband took. Lol)[​IMG]

    Windows were built and attached. Later we added pulleys and used para cord through the pulleys and a series of eye hooks to open the windows from the outside. Our ground slopes so much here and the coop is so tall, I cannot reach the windows easily so this system was our solution. [​IMG]
    The door to the coop was next.
    I found an old, but sturdy screen door at a local antique store and painted it Ben Moore Heritage Red. We installed it next. [​IMG]
    I don't have pictures of the hatch doors for the garden entrance and the coop, but we built them out of 1/2" birch and used cabinet drawer glides to install them. Both doors are on the pulley system as well.
    Throughout the process, I was working on the coop decor. I found old siding boards that I put together as the backing for the coop name. The tin lettering I found at my favorite store ever, Hobby Lobby!
    Once we decided to name the coop, The Breakfast Club, my zany brain was on a roll. I researched pictures of the characters in the movie and found one where they were all perched on a railing. EUREKA! I then thought of one of my favorite cartoons as a child, Foghorn Leghorn, the little chicken hawk, the brainy chicken with glasses and the older hen with the blue hat. I decided to paint a "sign" and have them perched on a branch. I found two more cartoon hen pictures to represent the two females in the movie: the docile dark haired one and the sexy redhead. I drew out the pics on 3/4" plywood, cut it out with a jigsaw and painted them. Side note here: jigsaws are not made for left handed people! [​IMG] the air vent blows right in a left handers face! Lol here are some pics of that sign in progress!

    And the happy day once installed!
    I purchased the tin signs, but I made the four chicken pictures on wood using the decoupage method. I happened on to a beautiful chicken calendar while waiting in a long checkout line at, yes , Hobby Lobby! I wish I had room for a few more as I truly adore the chicken illustrations from that calendar. [​IMG]
    That's about it I guess, other than the fact that I want to thank God for the blessings and for creating chickens! I just ate the best omelet ever thanks to my little cluckers! [​IMG] here are a few more pics of the finished product with the ladies, two silver laced wyandottes we've named Lavern and Shirley because they are always side by side, one Easter egger named Raquel (welch) because, uhhhh, how to put this... Our beautiful rooster, Cogburn, really finds her attractive. [​IMG] we also have one white legging (Loghorn) we've named Lucy for her big red headed floppy comb, a black sex link named Ethel as she appears to be Lucy's sidekick and Lucy has been protecting her from Laverne and Shirley's bullying, and lastly, a beautiful hen that I think is a Delaware. The 89 year old chicken breeder just couldn't think of her breed, bless him, so he called her a black shawl! Lol. Because she has that shawl we thought of naming her Granny, but she's just too pretty for that, so she is Ellie Maye! BTW, if anyone has any idea what breed our rooster is, we would love to know. Again, Mr. Wise was drawing a blank! Thanks for reading our story![​IMG][​IMG]
    Our next project is to add a large chicken run to the right of the coop so that we can let the birds out in more of a free range method. We will throw in our brown and green compost and our kitchen scraps to let them do all of the work!
    I had posted on Facebook a very funny video I found of the rooster crowing! It seriously sounded like a human laughing. He would start out correctly, then his head would bounce forward and he would chuckle. It was scary hilarious! I made the comment to my FB friends that I would NOT get a rooster. Well.... We did! Thankfully he has an appropriate and stately crow. Then this happened...

    Well shoot... It won't let me load the video. Just suffice it to say we have a laughing hen! Lol

    Well, I've hung my final tin sign up as there's no more space! Lol. We also added the gutter and rain catch system! I so love having access to water right there by the coop and it's free too! :)[​IMG]

    It's been six months since the completion of our coop and I thought I would give some updates. We love our coop; it's very functional in every way. We did, however change our roosts inside the enclosed area as it was too hard to step over and under them to scoop the poop. So my husband made a ladder system that is also on a pulley system so that I can raise it all the way up and can now scoop with ease. :)

    In May, we added a 20x40' covered run to allow the hens the ability to "free range" in a protected space. My husband made a deal with a local restaurant that grows their own organic vegetables to place their veggie scraps in a trash can for us, so we've been able to provide them with food. We lined the run with wood chips we acquired from a local small company that sells firewood. The chickens have done an excellent job of making us some great compost for the garden with their scratching. Here's the view before staining and after. [​IMG]

    Around July, my husband wanted to get more hens but the sweet old man didn't have any that he was ready to sell. Since we had three hens that had three hens that had gone broody, he suggested that we let one hatch some eggs. We had been isolating them individually in what I call the Broody Jail to break their broodiness which worked, but two, in particular, would go broody again a month later so it seemed like a good idea to let one become a momma. Let me interject here that raising chicks is a whole new learning curve!!!

    After much reading and study, I knew we had to build something to keep momma and baby chicks away from the rest of the flock, so I began drawing a design. We built what I dubbed, "The Hatchy Shack" and moved it into the covered run. Here are some progress pics and the completed addition in place inside the large run.
    Our barred rock, Diva, had gone broody again about a week before we had her abode ready. We let her sit on four eggs we selected and moved her in once we had the Hatchy Shack in place. It worked well and she hatched three of the four eight days ago. She's a good momma! When they were a day old she walked them down the ramp into the little run. Of course, they didn't go back up the ramp so we removed it and put a small dog crate under the hutch where they have been sleeping.

    When they were three days old I started reading more about what to expect and the appropriate feed for each stage of growth. I knew to feed them starter feed which we buy an organic brand and to provide chick grit not oyster shell as I had read that much. What I didn't realize due to lack of study :-/ was that the chicks would be staying in this coop until eighteen weeks old or when they start laying eggs (whichever comes first) before they can eat big girl food and join the flock! This made me realize they needed a bigger space to feed, dust bathe, run and roost. Dilemma.....

    Solution? More construction! Ugh! Lol. This weekend we built an addition to The Hatchy Shack that we have dubbed the juvenile detention yard as it seems we have built a collection of jails for various ages of chickens ! :)

    Here is that addition. All that's left to do on the addition is stain it in the spring when it will be empty. Now to work on getting them to sleep on a roost. I surely hope momma helps with this latest issue! :)

    I added a fancy door handle and some metal artwork to our additional covered run attached to the Hatchy Shack. I sure will be glad to get it all stained to match, but I will have to be patient and wait for spring when it's unoccupied. :)
    Chicks are two weeks old today. :)
    My most recent chicken lesson in the gigantic learning curve of raising chickens was about chicken saddles. My rooster is very attracted to the two Buff Orphingtons we have in the flock; so much so that they are missing so many feathers on their backs right above their tails that it's bare skin. This had me worried and the more I read about rooster tracks , the more I realized I needed to find a solution to protect their bare skin. This is where the chicken saddles come in. After reviewing several sights, I decided to make my own. Here are the two I made and a pic of Dolly wearing hers. I haven't gotten a good pic of Daisy yet. :)

    One thing about chicken keepers...we keep finding ways to improve our coops as the need arises. Our next project is to add a sheet of FRP (which is a plastic board used in commercial kitchens,) to the interior back wall of the coop. The chickens on the top rung of the roost ladder leave a LOT of poop on the top of 2x4 that frames the top of one of the windows. This addition should fix that problem along with adding some drop boards. I've figured out a configuration that will allow us to add the poop boards. :) I'll add pics once that's completed.

    As much as we've enjoyed our Foghorn Leghorn sign, it's going to leave out for a more country design that is more fitting with our house and our two sheds. The Breakfast Club sign will be moved to hang across the front of the run at the top, just below our raspberry trellis that we've added for next spring. We are going to add a covered porch across the front of the main coop to give the look we desire. The foundation will have stacked stone to match the various stone retaining walls we have on the property. Here are my non architectural sketches for this future addition. :)

    Foghorn Leghorn and his friends have left out and we have started building a covered porch attached to the front of the coop. Here is the progress as of February, 14, 2015
    The weather finally cooperated and we were able to get the porch stained. Saturday, February 28, 2015, we also applied the scratch coat over the metal lath as the prep for stone.
    The new coop porch completed.

    Share This Article

    12Chicksand1Lady likes this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. Nardo
    "Awesome article"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jan 3, 2019
    Enjoyed reading this account of the learning curve we encounter as we get more into chickens and raising chickens. Really superb coop and run and great writing.
  2. CCUK
    "Absolutely fantastic!"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jul 15, 2018
    What a great build! I love the signs and you have shown how your coop and run has evolved for your needs. Excellent.


To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!
  1. The_Silver_Warrior
    Holy moly! This is awesome! I'm not much of a builder, so what you did is magic to me!
  2. Bogtown Chick
    Hey EIEIOchick. We're on the index! Glad to have my coop setting next to yours under Medium Coops! Fun!
  3. EIEIOchick
    Thank you so much!
  4. GrammiChelle
    I adore your coop! I've been looking and dreaming of coops since I got my chickens 8 months ago. I just have a put it together kit coop from TSC and then a small attached covered run to it. And I let my chickens free range in the afternoon. We are renting our property and will be moving in a few months, so we are hoping to move somewhere that I can have more chickens. I envision a chicken village. Lol. I love the color of your coop, the way it blends so beautifully with its surroundings, but still has character and charm. I live in Texas and I think this style would look great here. Thanks for all the great ideas!!
  5. Jetpad
    Great job! Nice coop and run.
  6. EIEIOchick
    Thank you all so much!
  7. MissSilkie
    So freaking cool. My dream coop.
  8. birdman55
    wow that is a very well thought out design
  9. Mellow1
    The effort and time put in to your coop really paid off! Beautifully done :) The cutest chicken saddles for sure brings a warm smile, you love your girls and it shows :>
  10. TXchickmum
    Beautiful coop!!!!
  11. CharMac76
    I LOVE your coop!!! It's beautiful!
  12. EIEIOchick
    TY carlsaSC! I made the sign on plywood and even though the top coat says non-yellowing the white paint is, indeed, yellowing. Also, all of the rain we get here is getting into the plywood (even though the edges were coated too,) and it's starting to deteriorate. We've loved the sign but now want to add a front porch more in keeping with our home and two outdoor sheds/buildings we've built on our property.
  13. EIEIOchick
    Thank you all for your kind words! We loved every aspect of the process and continue to tweak things as need or desires change! Thank you again for reading and sharing your thoughts! [​IMG]
  14. sunflour
    Absolutely awesome. Thanks so much for sharing. Those are some lucky chickens.
  15. carsonwild
    Awesome chicken coop.
    Love the art word and the carpentry work great job.
  16. Ballerina Bird
    That is absolutely incredible! Gorgeous! Many things about it are amazing, but I especially wanted to comment on the decoupage signs, which I think are really beautiful and such an inspired way to create a vintage look, and the catchment system, which is totally brilliant.
  17. TwoCrows
    Holy Crow is this fantastic!!! I love the Foghorn Leghorn theme! VERY VERY nice job!!!!!! :)
  18. carlsaSC
    Wonderful coop. You have been adaptive and remained creative as the needs present themselves. Too bad about Foghorn Leghorn. Hope he finds another home where he can be appreciated. It's a great idea to separate the broodies from the rest of the flock.
  19. Troy6671
    Sweet project!
  20. COChix
    Wow, what a great job you and your hubby did on all these phases. Love the detailed story about not just the coop but the signs, etc. Thanks for sharing.
  21. Bogtown Chick
    Congratulations on coop of the week! May I express my coop envy... Infatuation again! ARTISTS! Pure and simple. Artists.
  22. Chikenbutwut
    Very nice! I'm jealous, lol!
  23. Cheryl1948
    Beautiful! Love your signs. Especially the characters you made. You should make them to sell. I would purchase some! And, the saddles are the cutest I have seen!
  24. RezChamp
    If it was a human female I'd beg it to marry me. Practical and beautiful.
    If its true that all good things take time, this coop must of taken years.
    I love the signs.
    I'm not artistic. I don't even want to post pix of my coop now.
  25. 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.
  26. EIEIOchick
    We've made some additions I hope you all enjoy!
  27. lwiese58
    Yes I want this coop.
  28. EIEIOchick
    I had no idea there was a coop contest. I'll look for it, thank you! You should enter your coop for sure! You seem like a fun person and I enjoyed your coop journal and pics! Yes, I'm having a lot of fun with the chickens; I'm even getting used to scooping the poop! However, I did purchase a couple of bags of thechickenchick's Spruce the Coop. The dried herbs smell wonderful and the chickens seem really happy too!
  29. Bogtown Chick
    I just realized you painted the back of those cartoons! How fantastic. When this coop contest comes up be sure to enter your masterpiece. I'm thinking you are a "shoe-in" for a prize. Thanks for visiting my coop to EIEIOChick. It's a lotta fun, isn't it?!!
  30. EIEIOchick
    Awww, thank you so much chycknFun!! My husband laughed when I said I was painting their backsides. My thought was chicken butts have feelings too! Lol!
  31. chycknFun
    I am madly in love with your coop! This is the coolest thing I have ever seen! I made a tractor with slant roof 6 x4 coop over a 12x4 run for my 4 chickens we need more eggs than 3 hens provide so we need to build a new coop. I am eyeing up some inspiration for our upgrade. Your coop is by far my favorite! Looks like you guys thought of everything for chicken comfort! Love the cartoons, wow, you even painted them front and back!
  32. EIEIOchick
    I think the garden will be okay uncovered as they will only get in there between growing seasons. We are adding a larger run (20'x36') attached to the coop where we will let them free range in a contained area. We want to use them to do our composting as we throw in grass clippings, green wood chips and kitchen scraps. I think we've figured out what to do and I found a 50'x50' bird netting on Amazon that was very reasonably priced compared to others who sell netting. I will plant a couple of blueberry bushes and a fig tree inside the large run. I'm going to use the fencing on the outside to grow raspberries and grapes. We do see hawks around here so the cover is a must!
  33. Bogtown Chick
    Yah, You'll want some sort of cover for your flock. Once the hawks figure it out....he'll pick 'em off one by one. Although your rooster should give the girls warning to take cover. That's one thing you've got going for you. Well I see that you have a covered run or are you talking that outdoor access garden portion? If your roo is worth his salt he'll have the girls tucked back under before an attack. I free range and sometimes I feel they are safer in the shrubbery and landscaping than the confines of a coop and run. I know not all can do that though.
  34. EIEIOchick
    Too cute Bogtown Chick!!! There were a few times in construction I replied to my husband, "I say, I say, son.... You're about to test the limits of my medication!" Lol. Thank you for the lovely compliments! We had a blast. This chicken run has got us a bit stumped now. The man at the local feed store told me that we best use some bird netting across the top. He had a fella in there the day before who was losing chickens to hawks. That would be most upsetting if a hawk got any of our girls or our beautiful rooster. We are rethinking our design now. :-/
  35. Bogtown Chick
    "Well I say, I say, son....that is a beautiful coop." I love the Looney Toon additions! Foghorn Leghorn fan myself! The color of the coop. Nicely sized too. Just love those tin signs! I think I need to invest in a couple of those myself. ha! your set up is immaculate. just gorgeous! You and the hubby are artists.
  36. EIEIOchick
    Thanks folks! We enjoyed it and the chickens seem to like their abode. Now we're moving on to making the run.
  37. chickenboy190
    Wow! Very nice job!
  38. One Chick Two
    Great job on your coop, and excellent photo journeling!
  39. crazyfeathers
    Thank you EIEIOchick it helps.
  40. EIEIOchick
    Thank you crazyfeathers! We've had a lot of fun on this project. Basically with decoupage you have a surface, in my case stained wood, paper (the calendar), and the medium (glue). I purchased it at Hobby Lobby. There are many types and you can even make your own, but I bought Beacon's Fast Finish Decoupage. It bonds and seals. You paint it on with a foam brush, lay your paper on it which bonds instantly. Squeegee out any bubbles in the paper and apply another coat of the "glue" on top. Let that dry and apply additional coats. I did about 3 topcoats as I recall. If you google decoupage you'll find lots of ideas. Hope this helps!
  41. ChemicalchiCkns
    Entertaining titul, and work in generall... I Approve of this Coop
  42. crazyfeathers
    Could you message me as to how you decoupage? Also what you used to attach the pictures from the calendar to. Thank you.
  43. crazyfeathers
    Wow this is incredible, you are very creative, I love your art work wish I was that crafty. You have some very lucky chickens. You and your husband did a wonderful job!!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: