I am so excited to be sharing pictures of our chicken house today... mostly because it means we are finally in the final stages of completion. It seems like we have been working on it for months, and really, I guess we have been!
It all started back in January with an ugly shed that was on the property when we bought our house. Ugly it may have been, but it was the only outbuilding and we were thankful for the storage it provided. Justus sketched up a plan that included it as the main structure with a chicken house on one side and (eventually) another storage lean-to on the other side.
Justus located the perfect spot in our yard for the chickens... shade the majority of the day, a nice breeze and good drainage. That meant we had to move the shed, which took the two of us working together about five solid hours.
Once the shed had been moved, we then painted it white. I'll never forget that day... although I usually do the painting, Justus took pity on me since it was drizzling rain... we snuggled into hats, gloves and jackets and worked away. In February, construction on the chicken house began.
In March, the building was still coming along, although Justus was only able to work on it during the weekends and half the time it seemed like it rained. Still, it was exciting to see progress.
Justus used pine planks that were scraps from my parents' ceiling in the house they are building. The boards were warped and not in a condition they could use them, but just perfect for an exterior chicken house. The entire house itself is made out of these pine planks, and although we eventually painted the outside, we left the interior in this natural state.
The end of March, Justus built the door to the house, which is still my favorite feature. It is large, heavy and fits the aesthetic of the house perfectly.
This was the last before picture I have. About this time, I stopped taking pictures as then it was time for me to start painting and Justus began constructing the run that is attached to the house.
I took these pictures early this morning as the sun was rising. To say that we are excited this project is almost complete is an understatement. This is the view I have from our kitchen window, and I can't help but look out at it throughout the day.
This weekend we got to hang the sign I've been waiting to hang for a couple months now. My mom surprised me with this sign that she painted back in February and gave our chicken house the perfect name. I laughed when she gave it to me... it was just so fitting (smile).
This is the side view... as you can see, the house is on the right and the run takes up the rest of the space. We close the chicks in the house at night and open the little door to the run first thing in the morning. I think the most rewarding part is to see how much they love it. They come flying out with happy chirps. When they are a little older, I will let them out to roam around the yard, but for now it's a safe place for them and also a way for them to still be outside when we aren't home.
Justus poured concrete around the bottom of the run so that no predators can easily enter. I'd like to plant about eight boxwood around the side and even build a little bench to set here some day.
This weekend Justus used bricks from the original chimney of our home for a little landing in front of the screen door to the run. We also planted two tiny little boxwood with dreams of them being lush and full one day.
Justus also built this screen door for the run. We considered buying one, but cut costs by building it instead. (Justus probably won't be happy with me when he reads this, but I have to say that I am so amazed and proud of all that he builds and does around our place. He is such a hard worker and I am so thankful for him!)
We used 1x1 heavy gauge wire instead of chicken wire. I felt that it was more durable, but I will give fair warning... it does not stretch easily. Justus stretched it as much as he could and we just had to call it good.
We replaced the door hardware to the shed so it matched the barn hardware on the chicken house and installed a barn light. The biggest expense was purchasing green metal roofing that matched the roof of our house... we considered galvanized, but we both love the cohesive look it gives our property.
The chicks are growing by leaps and bounds and seem healthy and happy. We enjoy them so much already and I find myself going out to the chicken house several times during the day just to check on them and say hello.
Sometime this fall Justus will begin construction on the other side of the shed for his storage building. There's still some landscaping and little things to finish, but we're all so happy to be at this stage... enjoying spring days with our chicks. I'll share pictures of the interior in a future post!
I hope you are having a great week!