The Playhouse

First we built this coop for the five hens that we have. It took four weeks of working every day after work and each weekend. We got the chicks first and then decided to build the coop. OOPPS. They got big really fast and outgrew the brooder before we got the coop done. We reused materials from the kid's playhouse and swingset that they no longer used so it took a bit of time to figure out how to get it all put together and only buy as little new products as possible. Kind of like have a puzzle and not knowing what it is supposed to look like when it is done. The metal feeder is an old dog food feeder. It's one of those Little Giant metal feeders with the metal flap in front that we have held back with a block of wood so the hens can get their heads in there and not their feet. The automatic waterer that we have is a new Lil Giant. (When we replaced the valve we got a tire valve and it works just as well as the expensive valve that it came with - and - I have three more valves that I can use for my $4.00 - that included the replacement tool.)

Inside the big hen house. Our girls shun the roosts in the hen house and sleep in the rafters outside. The coop and run are both predator proofed. We live in southern/central California and the coldest that I have seen it here is 28 at night and that was only a few times. The main problem that we have is the heat in the summer. In the picture above you may be able to see the misters at the top of the eve in the front. In one of the pictures below the green cloth on the front of the coop is shade cloth. The misters get the shade cloth wet and it acts like a swamp cooler in the coop/run. I put then on a timer so that the girls would be cool when we would go on vacation in the summer. They do enjoy the middle nest box.

I put scrap vinyl flooring under the shavings. The windows are hinged with strips with old bike inner tubes and stay open with a chain and hook on the window.


So just weeks after we get this done, I am thinking that I want more chicks. I need a bigger coop. Soooo...

we added on the little coop (for brooding) and another 8'x12' of space. The first side is 8'x10'