Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Chicken Coop Countdown - The Interior



The interior of the Prairie Farm Chicken Home for Unwed Mothers is finally complete. *whew* 

That's not to say that we're done yet. Oh, no. That would be too much to hope for. We had no idea, when we set out on this little adventure, just how much freaking work this would be! 

Before we begin our tour and you think I've gone completely off my nut, there is method behind my interior decorating madness.

We re-purposed as many materials as we could on this project, beginning with the structure itself. Originally a grain shed, we converted one half of it into a chicken coop. The other half will serve as storage for feed and tools, etc. 

To save on the mounting costs, we opted to use particle board to cover the insulation on the interior walls, instead of the more expensive plywood. Unfortunately, that meant that they would have to be sealed with paint. I also want to be able to give the coop a thorough scrubbing on a regular basis.



Since I was going to have to paint anyway, I thought I might as well have some fun with it, so I pulled out all the sample pots of paint I've accumulated in the past year and got busy. Besides, I have a feeling I'll be spending a lot of time in here, myself, so I may as well make it attractive. All the paints are acrylic and the coop has had ample time to air out. 



I'd originally intended to leave the vintage entrance door, as is, however, upon closer inspection, it was more scruffy than charming so I freshened it up with a coat of paint, as well.

There are actually four different shades of yellow and three shades of green in this room, although it's difficult to tell. 

As I mentioned, a lot of what was used to construct the coop consisted of found materials.  Some of the wood was pretty scrappy, necessitating a paint job to smooth down rough edges and make it harder for mites to hide.

The inside of the nesting boxes were given a coat of the same steel gray paint you see on the floor, as hens prefer cozy, dark places in which to lay their eggs and, again, to smooth off rough edges and fill in any little crevasses mites might find appealing. 



Several years ago, I tried my hand at quilting and eventually abandoned the project altogether. The quilting squares work beautifully as nesting box curtains and all the hard work I put into them has finally been put to good use. There is lots of information on the internet about why nest box curtains are useful, however Lisa at Fresh Eggs Daily summarizes it all very well here.


Happy hens need their beauty sleep so I used some of the leftover quilting fabric to fashion simple drapes for each of the two windows and block out as much illumination from our yard light, as possible. I'm sensitive to the fact that they might freak out if the drapes are flapping in the breeze like a predator bird, so I attached ribbons on the bottom corners so I can tie the fabric back, if necessary.



With diatomaceous earth strewn beneath a layer of fresh wheat straw on the floor and inside the nesting boxes, the installation of feed & water stations and a dust bath, the coop is ready for occupancy.

Still left to do: completion of the chicken run and the implementation of security measures.

Tick tock...tick tock...

15 comments:

Catherine said...

Oh my stars!! Honestly ~ what chicken could want for a more elegant home to live in?? Haha! Luckiest little chicks on earth to have this beautiful home to live in and have you for a mom. Yup. Love it!
xo Catherine

Grace said...

Chicks living in the lap of luxury! Oh my!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Seriously, I think you should change the name to the Ritz Carlton Chicken Home for Unwed Mothers. Swanky!

Sharon said...

Amazing! Each element has meaning and intention. I love the colors and textures. This is a labor of love, and I think the ladies will thrive in their new home.

Carolynn Anctil said...

Thanks everyone! I hope our girls are happy there.

Gillian Olson said...

Quite the swish little place, love the quilted covers!

Jen Vandervoort said...

Wow, that's some chickie palace, your babies will be warm and cosy and most importantly safe in there.

You have done a remarkable job,and it's sure to be appreciated by them laying many eggs.

Jen

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

I call that the "country chicken mansion" instead of a coop. These hens will be laying in style and Architectural Digest magazine needs to some do a spread on yours. What a great use of recycling even down to the curtains. SO when do you get the hens?

Carolynn Anctil said...

Thanks for all the kind comments. I'm enjoying it in its pristine state. I know my girls are a messy lot and it won't look so neat and tidy for long.

Tammy: our girls are here in a brooder box and we're hopeful that we can move them into the coop this weekend. They'll be three weeks old by then and in need of more personal space.

beth said...

what a beautiful home for some very lucky chickens!!

Lin said...

WOW! That is some coop! LOVE the quilt squares. I'm sad that they won't be a quilt--love the colors!

JaneK said...

oh my gosh! you make the duck palace on top of this historic Peabody Hotel in Memphis look like a dump! I think I might kick the chicks out and move in myself! I am glad you are having fun with it!!!

Deb~Paxton Valley Folk Art said...

I think you should submit your pictures to 'Better Coops and Gardens', that is the most elegant chicken coop I've ever seen! The girls are going to love it :O)

Caroline said...

So cool what you are doing! They are lucky ladies indeed! Can't wait to see more!!

S. Etole said...

What a fun little home for your chickens.

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