The Playhouse Coop
***Click on thumbnails for bigger pictures***

Upon deciding to get back into raising chickens, after close to 20 years, we decided to get into Bantams since they are smaller and we were doing this for fun/farming. Since it's only Skip and I, we don't need a ton of eggs and Banty eggs are wonderful to use in baking.
The day after we decided to order some day-old chicks, Skip called from work letting me know that he had found the perfect Banty coop through a Homier sales paper. A few days later, we headed to Crossville and check out the sale. We lucked up and they had one playhouse left, so we brought it home.
We rent our home, the property is mostly hillside, so I gave up my 20'x20' garden (one of the few truly flat areas) in order to build the main coop/run.
We set up the playhouse in November '06. Ordered chicks in Feb. '07 (arrival date: May 14, 2007)
The pieces/parts of our prefab playhouse...

Measurements: 78" x 78" x 78"
Cost: On sale for $250.00 (original price $ 500.00)

I used 1/4" hardware cloth to cover the windows and ventilation area. Will be adding window screening also, when the weather warms up.
We bought a $15.00 linoleum remnant and used it to cover the wood floor, for easier spring cleaning and to protect the floor from moisture.

One, of the 2 homemade nest boxes and the indoor 2"x4" roosts...
nestbox.jpg th_roosts.jpg
A veiw of the area where the cattle panel hoop run was built...
We used 1" chicken wire, attached to the panels with j-clips, to enclose the run. If we build another run, using this method, the chicken wire will be replaced with 1/2" hardware cloth. Yes, it will be more expensive but we don't put a price on keeping our birds safe from predators. I'd much rather spend the extra money on a better wire that keeps them safe as opposed to having to replace my flock because something broke through the chicken wire.
The raising of the run...we learned, early on, that it was easier to move the double panels into place with 3 people, instead of just the two of us.

I used 1/2" hardware cloth around the bottom 4 feet of the hoop run and also laid a 3' section of 1" chicken wire on the ground along the outside of the coop/run as predator protection.
The completed project...
We were able to move the main flock of Banties to this coop on August 4, 2007. We decided to keep the Silkies seperated from the rest of the flock, well, you know...just because they're Silkies. LOL They are quite happy to have the modified Chick-N-Barn/Yard to themselves.
The main flock settling in on moving day...

They love this outdoor roost so much that they don't bother to sleep in the coop. The roost is protected by a tarp which means that they are protected from the worst of the weather. It doesn't bother them to sleep out there on nights we've gotten down into the single digits. I look at it this way, they have a coop to sleep in, if they want to. If they'd rather sleep outside, I'm going to let them, as they are very healthy and happy. We don't heat the coop but I have since insulated the walls and ceiling with Tekfoil (helps to both hold heat in winter and keep the coop cooler in summer.
One of the single digit nights...

My favorite night-time pix of the coop...
moon.jpg coop.jpg cooop.jpg

Thanks for stopping by and visiting with us and our menagerie. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
Dawn & Skip
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