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One Acre Lott

How To Build A Good Chicken Coop: Part 8

Nathan LottHello and welcome to the final installment of our "How To Build A Good Chicken Coop" series! If you haven't already read the previous articles, feel free to check 'em out.

Part 1: Size
Part 2: Location
Part 3: Orientation
Part 4: Ventilation
Part 5: Fortification
Part 6: Maintenance
Part 7: Aesthetics

The final topic we'll be covering today is:

Price.

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My wife and I were walking through the local Walmart Supercenter a few months ago, and right in the middle of the center aisle, over by the dog food, was a chicken coop on display. Y'know, one of those cutesy little prefabricated ones?

Any guesses on the price?

They wanted 350 dollars for it!

I repeat: THREE-HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS!

Now, I didn't exactly keep track of how much we spent when we were building our coop. We used a lot of brand-new lumber and hardware on it, so, in all honesty, it was probably a little bit more than 350 dollars. But I built that thing to stand through a hurricane! (And it'll house four times as many chickens to boot!)

A year later, when we ended up building a more mobile "mini-coop" to house our rapidly-expanding flock, we used recycled lumber and (mostly) scrap hardware and it only cost us about 35 dollars.

What I'm really trying to say is — you can spend as much (or as little) as you want on a chicken coop. If you're looking to build a no-cost chicken coop, all ya gotta do is keep an eye out for used lumber and/or wooden pallets sticking out of dumpsters. Our calf shed was built entirely out of a dilapidated wooden fence. It can be done! You just need a little patience and ingenuity.


About the Author: Nathan and his family work and play and live on a 1.17 acre microfarm (a.k.a. "The One Acre Lott"), in a frigid Rocky Mountain valley, at the end of a long dirt road. He has been raising chickens for years, grows nearly all of his family's meat and produce, and loves every minute of it! For more of his exciting adventures, check out his personal website, www.oneacrelott.com.

How To Build A Good Chicken Coop: Part 7

Nathan LottWelcome! Thanks for joining us in our DIY Chicken Coop discussion! If you haven't seen any of the previous articles, you might want to check 'em out.

Part 1: Size
Part 2: Location
Part 3: Orientation
Part 4: Ventilation
Part 5: Fortification
Part 6: Maintenance

Today, we'll be talking about:

Aesthetics.

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So ... I'm a bit of a dreamer. Plain and simple. I spend a lot of time (too much time, probably) dreaming up my next big project, whether it's a chicken coop, a barn, a playhouse, whatever. I spend a lot of time just daydreaming about the details, and because of that, I've got a pretty vivid mental picture of how things should look on our little homestead.

Now, the purpose of a chicken coop is to keep the chickens safe and comfortable, and if it doesn't fulfill that purpose, it doesn't belong on my homestead. But at the same time, I also want the chicken coop to look nice. I mean, if I'm gonna be heading out there, day in and day out, I want to like what I see!

Some people might be fine putting a drab wooden box in their yard as long as it keeps their chooks safe. But if you're like me, you might want to spend a bit of time thinking about the aesthetics.

When we were building our coop several years ago, we already had a bucket of white paint just sitting around in our garage. But instead of doing the sensible thing and painting everything boring old white, I went out and bought a gallon of red paint, too. Then I used a bit of recycled fence wood to make some decorative white trim.

Does it serve a purpose?

No.

Did it take up a bit more of my already precious time?

Yes.

But it really didn't take that long, and it really didn't cost that much... Little froofies and frillies like that might not be for everyone, but I think it adds a nice touch — so why not? Like I said before, if you're gonna be looking at that old chicken coop day after day, you might as well like what you see, right?


About the Author: Nathan and his family work and play and live on a 1.17 acre microfarm (a.k.a. "The One Acre Lott"), in a frigid Rocky Mountain valley, at the end of a long dirt road. He has been raising chickens for years, grows nearly all of his family's meat and produce, and loves every minute of it! For more of his exciting adventures, check out his personal website, www.oneacrelott.com.