It’s all about the chickens. That’s right, around here, if you are a chicken, you are automatically at the top of the pecking order. Yes, we love the donkeys, and horses and dogs. BUT the HENS, they’ve got it made!
Today I am so happy to be a guest for Heidi of Birds of a Feather’s Show Me Your Coop party !! I am here to show you both my coops today, my chickens, and talk about raising chickens. I definitely am on a mission to promote responsible chicken ownership as well, Please don’t go out and buy some chickens just so you can have a pretty coop!
Let’s get this party started!!
Welcome to my coop!
My Coop is 8×12 feet. I have 30 chickens, that are free ranged, and have over an acre to run around free. They come in the coop only to lay their eggs and at night to keep safe from predators. They have been trained to come in the coop on their own at night, and they all trail in one by one around dusk…..And who wouldn’t want to spend the night in this luxurious Boutique Chicken Hotel???
I raise mostly cochin chickens, but I also have silkies, frizzles, araucanas and easter eggers (these chickens lay pastel colored eggs!)
All of my chickens work for me, giving our family and friends eggs, but they are also my pets. They are all hand fed, and very friendly. They come when called, and will sit in your lap for hours eating berries and cracked corn. My favorite chicken is Liberty, my beautiful Bantam Cochin Rooster…..
See him there on the back of the chair?? He’s just a little guy, and he has the sweetest crow…..
Of course I love vintage, so when we built this coop, I knew that I would have fun decorating it. Now please keep in mind, while the coop is decorated and stays this way on a daily basis, it isn’t always this clean. Here’s the REAL DEAL……chickens are extremely messy and they poop a lot. To keep this coop looking like this, I clean it on a daily basis, with a thorough cleaning bi weekly. And my chickens are only in it overnight! If you had this many chickens in a coop all the time, and they could not be free ranged during the day, you would be hauling out wheelbarrows full of poop per day. This is why I want to really tell people the truth so everyone doesn’t run out and buy chickens thinking they will be a new thrill to own. They can be a lot of work, but the rewards of owning them are precious. Who doesn’t want to come out everyday to the coop and see this??
This big, fluffy white hen, is Narnia…..
here’s one of my silkies Emma, on her nest…..While this breed of chicken typically isn’t as friendly as others, their feathers actually feel like soft fluffy fur….it’s amazing to feel!!
Chickens need roost. This is in their nature, and they will be much happier if you provide this for them. They can fly up to the roost, or if you are like me, and clip your chickens wing, (sounds inhumane, but I will explain more in a minute) then you need to provide some way for them to get to the roost if it is up high if they cannot fly. I use a vintage ladder, which allows them to get to the roost, but also to use as a roost!
Wing clipping. I do it. It does not hurt, it is equivalent to you or me getting a haircut. I do it because I have dogs who like to eat chicken dinner and I don’t want my beloved chickens to fly over the fence. To clip a chicken’s wing, you only need trim one wing. This throws them off balance, thus not being able to fly. You pull out their wing straight and carefully cut only the last ¼ of the wing tip feathers. Clipping a chicken’s wing also makes it much more accessible to predators, therefore I recommend that they always have a safe place to be locked up, especially at night!
I used lots of vintage farm things I have collected over the years, and recently. I found this beautiful cow print and framed it in one of my vintage frames. Yes, I know it’s a chicken coop, but I figured as long as it had a “farm theme” I was safe, right?
And while I am at it, why not throw in a bunny? This is a door stopper to hold open the vintage screen door used to keep the chickens out of the feed area.
Everyone who has seen my coop in person, always asks me what the “6″ on the screen door means…..
It means I like cool, vintage numbers I find at flea markets, so I buy them. That’s what it means!
The chandelier on the other hand, has more meaning.
I have made myself a goal of having a chandelier in every room of my house, so I thought
“Why stop there? Let’s put one in the coop too!”
I think it works, what about you???
And truly, it does work…..
Here’s a fun and interesting chicken tip :
Not getting any eggs in the winter? Chickens need light to lay eggs. There are not enough daylight hours in winter, so put a light in the coop to extend the day and trick the chickens into thinking they need to lay!
So, the chandie is not only pretty, BUT FUNCTIONAL!!!
*LOVE* anything GALVANIZED……
Two of these are vintage, and the other is new. The are used for the chicken’s feed, and I found this amazing old trash trolley at a shop in Spokane. It works perfectly to hold the feed buckets!
So there you have it……let’s back out and close the door on this coop, and let me take you on over to the other side of the farm……….
I really need to show you my original chicken coop, for it is very, very special to me, and has a lovely story……..
I started out originally only having 3 chickens. They lived in the barn, and did not have a coop of their own. We were very busy building our house (for 5 long years, and still not done….but that’s another story…)
Spending almost every weekend working on building our house, left me with a lot of mommy guilt for sticking my children in front of the TV for hours on end on the weekends while we busted our butts doing construction….
One day I heard for the millionth time (hence the mommy guilt…)
“Mom, I’m Bored!!!!!!!!!!!!”
I told my then 12 year old daughter to go get on the internet and “google” cute chicken coops, and try to find something for me to buy for the chickens. I thought this would keep her busy for at least 20 minutes or so, relieving her boredom.
Approximately 3 hours passed, and I had not heard a peep out of her. I started to wonder if she had perhaps fallen asleep at the computer……
Just when my curiosity began to get the best of me, she appeared, hands full of papers, rulers and pencils.
In that 3 hour time period, she had researched coops, gotten graph paper, rulers and pencils, and had drawn a to scale version of her own architecturally designed coop. You see, my daughter is very “mathematically inclined” and says she wants to now be an architect when she grows up. What she had drawn was amazing, and she had even produced a materials list and theorized finishing materials. She had thought about where the chickens would eat, sleep and how they would get in and out of the coop. I was so amazed and impressed, we quit construction on the house, loaded up the kids and made our thousandth and one trip to Home Depot. This time, not for bathroom materials, but for the so lovingly designed coop. My daughter insisted on building it with her father for “Me”, and she helped every step of the way, using all the tools necessary, and even finishing it off with vintage materials she knew I would love. She even knew it would be important to me for it to match the house, and she even thought of that detail. So, you can see why this little coop is very, very important to me….
We still use this coop, even though it was a necessity to build a new one to house our ever growing chicken population.
This is now the special coop where we can lock up certain chickens to nest upon their eggs, or when new pullets come to the farm to grow up.
It resides in a place of honour, at the edge of the kitchen garden, a place we all love to come and enjoy….
Here is a few close ups of the doors she made on the nest boxes to be able to collect the eggs easily. Notice her use of vintage ceiling tiles and glass knobs……way to make her momma proud !
And there you have it….
The coop, the whole coop and nothing but the coop………
I hope you enjoyed the party!!
Post Script…….If you have any chicken questions, I would be more than happy to answer them! Be sure to leave a comment with your questions, and I will answer every one I know the answer to!