How did this happen?
The first coop I built, as I recall, was pretty darn perfect. It kept the young ladies safe and comfortable, and it looked rather adorable in the backyard.
When Lucy's feet were damaged by disease, of course I had to build the Special Needs coop for her. It, too, looked good and served its purpose.
With no reason to build another coop, I started sketching and building chicken-tractors and play-structures and cage-things...
But when my little barred rock, Pigeon, came along, she and I needed a project. Pigeon inspired me to build just one more coop.
Pigeon was a good little helper.
Here's Coop #3.
Pigeon never lived in this one. Nobody ever lived in this one. Though my heavenly blue morning glories lived ON it.... and it did serve as a handy jailhouse for Lil'White on the many occasions that she deserved incarceration.
The flock grew, as flocks do, and I decided that my precious ladies needed a more glamorous, palatial space. I found myself sketching again....
and I found myself sawing and drilling and wrestling hardware cloth again.
Coop #4 was bright and spacious,
with a 12' x 5' covered run and a big picture window. A few months later, I added an 8'X8' back room. This was it. This was perfect. I was done. Ta-da!
But still, coops kept on happening.
I don't even know why I built this little thing.
Lucy does love to get herself wedged into the front porch, though, and Daisy once laid an egg inside.
. . . . . . . . . .
Two years ago, when that freak October snowstorm hit New England, an oak tree crushed the little red coop I had built with Pigeon.
No chickens were harmed, as it was still vacant. But my confidence was absolutely crushed. From that night on, I lay awake wondering if my ladies were safe, or if they'd be the next victims of a plummeting tree limb.
I wished I'd built my coops out of two by fours instead of toothpicks.
This spring I took the plunge and sprang for a solid prefab structure.
It was a rather ugly 6X8 shed made of two by fours and pine planks -- but it was a structure that could stand up to the perils of an oak forest.
As soon as it was plunked down into the yard, I revved up the ol' saber saw and extracted that tiny front window. No tiny windows for my gals. They like lots of light and air and a good view. I cut three more huge windows on the south and west sides, too.
I added a nest box, then built the ladies a 16' X 6' covered run, filled with roosts and logs and feeding stations.
Meet Coop #5!
Now there was room for the three older gals as well as my four new nuggets.
....and of course I can always add on.
The new coop was complete. The ladies were thrilled. I was done.
. . . . . . . . . .
But the nuggets, having moved from my living room into a cage on the back porch, were homeless. They needed a bigger space, but they also needed another month or two to grow - in size and in smarts - before I tossed them into the big coop with those scary old ladies.
I fought the urge to drag out the tools, but then I met a neighbor who had some nice windows to sell for $5 each.
They were really nice windows.
I bought one.
I designed a little coop around it,
made with scraps from coops gone by.
Introducing Coop #6!
I put the little ladies inside, showed them where to roost, and locked them up for the night.
The four little pullets slept in a piggie-pile in the corner.
The next night:
They still didn't figure it out.
they discovered the roost.
Well done, little ladies!
Was I done?
I turned their little coop into a chicken-tractor with a sidecar.
Am I done now?
...til my power tools recharge.