Time traveling couple and our 'historical' coop with budget DIY tweaks and perks---FORT ORPINGTON!

  1. countryladyNH
    Hi! We live in NEW HAMPSHIRE~
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    We are historical reenactors living in a little 240 yr. old house that has been a DIY labor of love to restore for over 17 years. We JUST got chickens for the first time last April---4 English buff orpingtons, and put up a coop. Always on a tight budget, we do pretty much everything ourselves and have a lot of fun working on our various projects! We had just finished building our own fence of trees we cut down, and had 'tricked out' our purchased coop (from Coops for a Cause, where a portion goes to charity) with period-style hardware (from our attic stash), 'leaded' windows we did ourselves, and a few other things such as swing-out branch perches we designed and built from branches. Now the coop area blends in nicely with our old New Hampshire house.
    My husband thought our fence was reminiscent of the stockade fences at Plimoth Plantation or Jamestown, etc., We had a salvaged-for-free piece of highly-weathered 18thc. board, and a 17thc. 'Brit' flag---since we do that type of reenacting. Hubby has a degree in illustration and design, and is creative and quirky. He said the fence reminded him of an "old fort"...SO...what did we do???
    Well, created one, of course!
    We made our flag pole from a tree we cut down, and hubby hand-painted 'FORT ORPINGTON' in a 17thc. font on the old board, which we affixed to the fence around our coop and run! We think it looks just grand with our 18th century home and fits with the old-time lifestyle we live---(Yes, that is us in the avatar photo, and below in this post!)

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    I leaded the coop windows and Adam trimmed~
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    Although our coop has a nice window screen, we were afraid it might not be 'predator-proof' enough...
    Adam designed and made this interior screen that fits behind the regular window screen and slides from side to side, out of leftover, durable hardware cloth and only scraps and stuff we had in the shed, and hand made the wooden turnbuckles that keep it in place.

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    I put all the hardware on the coop myself. Hubby helped with the leaded window...

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    The coop/run area just up against the old post and beam woodshed.

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    ...The little night light inside the coop that lures our girls in every evening.
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    Inside of the run, Adam designed the neatest swing-out perch and made it from a maple branch...

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    Because it is low for us and we'd have to duck down every time we were cleaning the run, he came up with an ingenious way to latch it into place on one end, and he has an iron 'butterfly' hinge on the other end...
    For cleaning the run we unlatch and swing the perch over to the opposite side wall where it sits on it's own bracket. We just swing it back and latch it into place when we're through! Brackets are wood scraps we had in the shed.
    I clean the coop every morning. I have an old 5 gal. plastic bucket I have probably had for 10 year. I painted COOP CLEAN UP on it with black paint and I keep litter, scoop, rubber gloves, mini rake and poultry protector spray in it, in the woodshed. All I have to do is get the bucket out each AM and do my thing in the coop/run which is right next to the old woodshed.

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    Adam painted the sign in 17thc. script by hand on an 18th CENTURY, WEATHERED BOARD WE HAD SALVAGED FOR FREE.

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    We 2 cut down all the trees and built the entire fence and gate...

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    We found this small lantern on sale. We added a solar LED light inside of it and hung it on the outside of our chicken coop with a rosehead nail, and left it to rust, and shed some nice subtle light through it's piercings at night...

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    We also built this fence with trees we cut from our own property. We then created the 'mini meadow' in front sideyard for our 4 buff orpington girls by flinging native wildflower seeds we collected and letting the grass grow long...It's really looking MUCH better now~

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    Here we are in some of our reenactment 'kit'. You can 'visit' us at our website
    www.thecountryladyantiques.com
    (Our 18thc. house was a many year period restoration completely done 'on the cheap' by us.)


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  1. knwisdom
    That is so awesome. I love the fence and gate.
  2. pattyhen
    Wow you did a great job .
  3. Susan G
    Gorgeously done! What dedication. Just lovely.
  4. Stumpy
    I absolutely love it, especially the leaded windows! Wonderful details, photos, great fence, stone, etc.
  5. memphis

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