Friday, May 29, 2009

The Chicken Coop

This is the original chicken coop that is in our backyard. Our house was built around 1874-1876 with an addition around 1910. We figure the coop is at least that old. (We also have a smokehouse, a barn and a railroad track back there.)

The left side of the chicken coop is the side we believe housed the chickens. There is a small chicken door on the front and there are several small windows around the top that have screens. When we first bought the house, we even found a couple of completely intact, flattened, mummified chicken carcasses. They were under some old bags of cement that were in there. (It was nasty.)

We didn't want to use this section of the coop because it is closer to our house. And our pool is usually right next to the coop.

So Joe suggested we use the backside of the coop, which only had three walls.

It was the home of our bicycles and the bricks from one of the fireplaces in our basement that collapsed when they were digging out the dirt floor to pour concrete.

We added the third wall, a door, and some chicken wire for ventilation (and some Plexiglas inserts for winter).

The cinder block is so Spenser and Sawyer can look in the window. I bricked a little landing outside the door.

And then we added the chicken run. We wanted it to be six feet tall, but after we got all the stakes in the ground, it ended up being about 5 1/2. We added strawberry netting around the top to keep chickens in and, hopefully, other creatures out.

We had to add the blue tarp because the neighbors' dogs are going wild over our chickens. Like, trying-to-dig-under-the-fence, climb-over-the-fence, I'm-going-to-eat-you wild. It has not been pretty. The tarp is not helping. They can still smell them.

The chickens are quite happy to have their new little home outside. They are still pretty tiny, so their roosting bars are just branches that are still close to the ground. We will raise them as they grow.

And I think this is Popcorn (popcorn chicken, ha ha). She's one of the friendliest girls we have. We think it's because she needed extra TLC when she was injured.

And here's my chicken horror story of the week:

I think it was late Wednesday morning I went outside to check on the chickens. Joe was at work, the boys were in school, Spenser and Sawyer were awaiting their lunch (at 10:30 a.m.) in the kitchen.

When I opened the door to the coop, a few chickens got the brilliant idea to run towards me and the open door. In a panic, I pulled the door shut behind me. As I opened their chicken door, checked their food, and turned around to change their water, I realized I was locked inside. When I shut the door with sudden force, the wood turned and locked me in.

I looked out the window to see if my neighbor was out. He wasn't. (Plus, the Plexiglas was still covering the window because it was cold and rainy.) I looked at the top opening around the roof, but it was too high up and Joe stapled the chicken wire down pretty good to keep out predators. I looked at the chicken door, unsure that my shoulders and/or hips would fit through. And then I saw all the poop on the ramp and decided to look for an alternate escape plan.

I tried to bang on the door with my hip, but it didn't help. So, I kicked it a few times. Thankfully the jolt of my kick turned the wood and the door opened.

In reality I was only in there for a few minutes, but it felt like forever.


amandajean said...

i love the step so the little ones can see into the coop. such a great idea. :)

amandajean said...

oh, and LOL about popcorn chicken. :)

Anonymous said...

ok, i am still laughing!!

Gail :) said...

I am sorry, but the thought of you being suddely "trapped" in the coop made me LOL! I am glad you made it out! And Popcorn is a great name for a Chicken ;)

hooli said...

Oh I'm so glad you got out. Because how horrifyingly embarrassing would that 9-1-1 call have been. And the headlines after...
City Council Woman Locked Inside Historic Chicken Coop

A little bit of crazy.... said...

Oooooh. Yeah. Not fun. I fell through the roof of our chicken coop when I was about four and was trapped inside. I HAD to get out and so I broke the door. All I could think of at the time was how mad my dad was going to be but I've had dreams about chickens periodically all my life and it just HAS to be because of that.

happy dreaming!:) Hooli's comment was so funny!

babybug said...

i remember reading your update about this on facebook a few days ago. glad you survived :)

LK said...

Ha ha! Chicken coop looks good. I'm envious of your historical home!

dig this chick said...

Love it! Thanks for posting pictures. So cool the history of your home.

When we first bought the house, we even found a couple of completely intact, flattened, mummified chicken carcasses. They were under some old bags of cement that were in there.

shut up! I cannot believe it. wild.

So glad you made it out of your coop safely! ha. good story.

FinnyKnits said...


Good for you getting out of there alive and not covered in poops.

Plus, SCORE on the chicken mummies. Creepy.

Philigry said...

oh, my lord! i would have freaked. thank god you made it out after only a few minutes! they are so fun aren't they? I hope you are feeling better.