"Older women ... are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled." Titus 2: 3-5
So, I decided I wanted chickens. My family thought we would partake of the localore "trend" going on. Then I watched Food, Inc. I am not about to become a vegitarian... I am a HUGE carnivore so taking my meat away was not going to happen. So we are switching to grass-fed beef and our own chickens as a start...
As a homeschool mom, I took this opportunity to turn this into a learning/teaching opportunity for the family. I am getting some nice layers for me and letting each of the "older" children pick one as a pet (who happens to lay eggs). Being the frugal mom, I am also trying to teach the kids how we can recycle/reuse in this project as well. I have been stalking craigslist in an attempt to find as much of the needed material as possible.
Below is the summary of the progress we are making. It will be a SLOW project but have fun watching!
My first order of business was to determine what I wanted my coop to look like. I went through SEVERAL renditions. I had a coop in mind but my ability to describe it to my spouse was inhibiting his enthusiasm towards the design. Then I saw it on this awesome forum (perhaps you have herd of it, it is called Back Yard Chickens... LOL ) You can see the design I found https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=86615. My husband's first reaction was "THAT is a cute coop!" I was like -- "Uh, that is what I wanted to build!" He said "THAT is what you wanted to build? I would be ok with THAT." So, I settled on a design. I just want to change the dimensions a bit, but that is my basic plan.
After deciding on what the coop would look like I had to decide where to put it. I wanted it in this little garden area close to the patio but it was too close to the neighbor's house in the end. So, I thought I would put it between the shed and the square foot gardens.
Many suggestions were made to use the shed but neither my husband nor I could do that. Besides the shed is full of the things we intended for it to have in it when we built it! So to put the coop where I wanted to I had to move two of the square foot gardens down. This was a lot more work than I first anticipated since I did not want to lose the good dirt. So I had to put it all on a tarp, move the box and then put all the dirt back in. Now the area looks like:
I was not able to find wood that was of any large quantity listed in the "free" section of craigslist. I contacted builders looking for scrap and leftovers and got no reply. I started to ask some of the people with wood for sale if they had any they could spare. God blessed me with a man 2 hours away that had not been able to sell his wood yet and told me I could take enough to build a 4x8 coop! I was so excited. My 5 year old ran downstairs and got his safety glasses and hammer. I had to wait a week to go get the wood and we ended up going in a downpour that was partially sleet! But in the end I have great barn siding to use for my coop and the cost was only the rental of the trailer to bring it home! (We were orignally going to borrow our neighbor's trailer but it is shorter than the wood and given the weather conditions and the distance we had to drive we opted to rent a covered, longer trailer.)
My kids were helpful! Even the little guy was carrying any wood he could:
Becasue of the weather the wood has to dry out again.
In the end when the wood was moved, the kids had so much fun playing in the trailer they were sad to see it go back!
Now we wait for the next part! My dream is to get this coop built over the fall winter and get the chicks for my birthday in March but I am not 100% sure that will happen.
Having recieved 2x4s, tile flooring and a sheet of T1-11 I decided to start construction. Due to issues with the city, I have decided to start with a smaller coop structure then original and go from there... if all goes well in a few years I can increase things. But construction has begun... post pictures soon.