My new coop - Bittersweet to say the least

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cswartout, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. cswartout

    cswartout In the Brooder

    May 17, 2008
    Columbia County, NY
    Here are more than a few pictures of my new chicken coop. I don't want to bore you with all of the details and I am definitely not looking for sympathy, but the story of my coop is unique.

    In April of this year my closest friend in the world was re-diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The same week I got 2 new coronary stents (I now have three - I am 44). My wife and I decided to finally get some chickens after a couple of years of hemming and hawing about it.

    My friend's father is a pretty good carpenter and I am not, but I like to learn new things, so we decided to build the coop together. It was a way to build something, but also to spend time together and lower our blood pressure. It would keep us out of trouble.

    I started by fashioning a temporary chick coop.

    Eventually they grew out of that plastic box and I built this one (on my own, I was very proud, and my friend's dad was too)

    At the same time, he and I had started to build. Here was the building site. The ground at our house is very sloped, which was a challenge.

    The design was sort of taken from something we found on line. The original design was 10x12 but we did not need something that big. A simple structure, 8x8, with a pitched roof. The front was to be 7 feet tall and the rear was 5 feet. We used cinder blocks and mad ethe floor from 2x6's and laid 3/4 inch plywood.

    We used 3/8 inch T-111 for the siding:

    I painted it with a stain from Benjamin Moore (not sure of color at this moment) and we decided on white trim.

    I added some pop doors (this one is the front - these chickens will mostly be free range when they are a bit older). I could not exactly charge for this workmanship, but I was pretty proud of it, as my friend's dad was away when I did this work.

    My parents came up for a visit from Florida and my dad helped me build the nesting boxes and apply the rolled roofing. My friend's father was away in the city visiting my friend in the hospital at the time.

    Here is a bad snap of the nesting boxes. I made three of them.

    Here is the front of the coop with the door on. The windows were not yet in.

    Another great friend came down from Vermont to help me with the run this weekend. Eventually they will probably not use the run that much but we had a little space so we just took a 4x4 post and a bunch of pressure treated 2x2's and just winged it.

    We finished the coop yesterday and my friend's father and I posed for a few snaps with my daughter. Here is one.

    Oops, there don't seem to be any chickens in these pictures so far. Here they are when they were less than a week old. We have 8 in total - 3 Buff Orpingtons, 2 Silver Lace Wyandottes, 1 Rhode Island Red, 1 Araucana, & 1 White Leghorn (rooster division).

    Here they are today, in the coop.

    Here is my daughter in the coop with the hanging feeder and hanging waterer. No more pooping in their food and water supply!

    This is a snap of my daughter holding Edna, the chicken my friend named a month ago.

    My friend passed away at home on Tuesday morning. We finished the coop yesterday afternoon (a friend came down from Vermont to help me finish because he knew how important it was to me to get it done). The chickens are spending their first night in the coop tonight (poor fools were huddled in a corner of the run in after dusk).

    I don't think I could ever charge for this kind of construction, but this coop was built with a lot of love. Whenever I was upset or worried, we would work on it and everything would get instantly calm. My friend never was able to visit it, but we showed him lots of pictures of our progress. He was so supportive of the whole project.

    Thanks for reading this. I have learned a bunch from looking at all of he many coops on this site. I don't post stuff very often, but I figured someone might see what we did and get some useful information from it. I didn't even mention the Armstrong linoleum floor I laid!

    If you have any questions, post them and I will try and answer them.
    My heart is heavy this week, but I am happy we finished. My friend would be proud.
  2. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Loved your story. I'm so sorry for your loss, though. Good friends are a treasure in this life. Love the coop-looks very much like mine, good solid simple design.
  4. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Poconos, PA
    :aww [​IMG]

    It looks terrific, you should be very proud. I'm sorry for your loss.
  5. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I am sorry for your loss. Your story is beautiful. That building is far more than a chicken coop. [​IMG]
  6. BJ

    BJ Songster

    Mar 20, 2007
    Very nice coop and touching story. Life is so fragile.
  7. lizardz

    lizardz Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    Grass Valley, CA
    I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. Your wonderful coop will always hold special memories for you - what a special gift. One of my dearest friends passed away two years ago of breast cancer - she was 39. Six months before her death, we went to Hawaii together - her favorite place. We had a great time and took lots of pics and I have lots of good memories. I still miss her and think of her often, as I know you will do with your friend.

    Sending a loving hug to you in your time of sadness. [​IMG]
  8. 2manyhats

    2manyhats Songster

    May 18, 2008
    Central NY
    You've built a memory while you built your coop. May you look on it and remember the good times with your friend. Sorry for your loss.
  9. mangled

    mangled Songster

    Your daughter is beautiful. The close-up of her with Edna would be a good wall-hanger, as Gramma would say.

    I'm sorry to hear of your loss. Your coop is awesome!
  10. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    If it were me, I'd keep the chicks in the coop for a few days... that way when it starts to get dark, they'll head for the coop.

    Sorry about the loss of your friend.

    The coop is beautiful.

    Wishing you lots of fresh eggs!

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