We did it! We built a coop, run and currently have little chicks running around in our backyard. While we are still months from being able to collect fresh eggs from these guys (yay!), we are still so excited about our six new additions to our family! Our kids helped us name our birds, so we have Bob, Rexy, Chicketen, Fern, Paddington and Joy.
We sorta decided on the chicken thing on a bit of a whim (honestly, how we decide on most things) but seriously we already love our birds. The lesson learned is life is much better when we take risks than always playing it safe. I’m so glad we pushed past our apprehension and went for it.
My husband is a researcher (I am not at all) but I love this about him because usually it means less work for me. So after he did lots of research, we realized the best way to have a quality and lower cost coop/run was to build it ourselves (with the help of family). We are thrilled with the end result! I feel confident that our chickens are really safe from predators. Their house is easy to access and clean. The run has enough space for the chickens to be comfortable and the structure we built is sturdy and kinda cute. The kids really loved helping work on the construction of the coop/run and consequently we all feel really invested in the well being of our birds.
Here is the final result:
We decided to grab some discounted paint to help protect the wood and this also gives it some character. We’ve added shingles to the roof of the nesting boxes to protect from water damage. My husband in his wonderful thoroughness, planned out all we needed before construction and this is the coop that inspired his plan.
We wanted to spend less that $300 on the project and probably came in to around $250 in total. Chicken wire and the roof materials definitely were the most pricy items to purchase. We did gather a free pallet and some scrap wood that helped bring the cost down a bit. The project took a little more time that I anticipated, we probably worked on it for at least 4 weekends in a row. Some of that time was spent troubleshooting and gathering materials. The chicken wire is no fun to handle, cutting it and securing it took the bulk of the time. All in all, it was worth the extra time and effort to build it from scratch.
My encouragement for you is, if there is something on your heart to do, go for it! For us, our step out in faith (at the moment) was adding these cute chicks to our family and the joy of seeing my kids tend to them is priceless. I’m sure next time our step of faith may feel a little more stretching than poultry raising but I think sometimes the simple things that push us out of our comfort zones help prepare us for the harder places we are called to go.