The Chicken Coop

I give up.

I. Give. Up.

I cannot do this anymore.

I can’t keep the house, make dinner, author a blog, complain about the state of my fingernails and build a Frank Lloyd Wright worthy chicken coop all at the same time.

If this coop is ever going to get built I have to devote all of my time to it.  Which means … prepare yourselves … no more posts.

Kind of.

Until this chicken coop is done, I’m going to have something a little different for you.

I couldn’t leave you with nothing, so I have for you,

The Coop Cam!

From now until this coop is done, or at least done to the point that the thought of it isn’t giving me hives, I will have a live video camera in my backyard that you can watch at any time you want.

Honest to God.  You heard me right.

The Art of Doing Stuff is going live.

Yes.  You can watch me build a coop.  Watch me swear.  Watch me drink coffee.  Watch me look quizzically at a measuring tape, back at the coop, then back at the measuring tape all in real time video!

It’ll be just like that National Geographic Africa Cam where you can watch a big pond, waiting for lions and elephants to come and drink out of it.

Which  brings me to my next point …

Because this is a working atmosphere there may be times where you don’t see me.  You’ll be looking at an empty backyard.  It’s at those times that I’m either at the lumberyard getting more supplies or curled up in a ball where the camera can’t see me taking a nap.

I need naps now.  I’m getting burnt out.  So burnt out that I was careless yesterday and nearly cut my finger off on a piece of drip edge.  It was that occurrence that led me to finally make the decision to slow down, to stop trying to do everything and focus on getting these chickens in their coop.

That’s right.  Crazy Glue.  My boyfriend who has more experience with stitches than anyone I know glued me back up.  I couldn’t look at my cut because I knew it was bad.   I cut myself, clenchend my other hand around my finger, ran in the house and begged for help.  He was in the shower at the time.  He was as calm as could be.  Probably because it wasn’t his finger handing on by a thread.  He assessed the damage, made sure I could still move it and decided that at the hospital they’d just tape it closed anyway, so I might as well let him do it.

It was a Saturday afternoon when every other knob doing home improvement stuff would be filling up the ER, so I agreed to let him take care of it.  After a thorough (too thorough if you ask me) cleaning, he had me bend my finger as tightly as I could and then he stuck my skin together with Crazy Glue.  After the glue dried, he taped it together with stitch tape for good measure.

I should say I’ve only hurt myself doing home improvements twice and BOTH times it was from working with metal.  Very, VERY dangerous.

Back to the coop cam information!

I will be checking your comments and answering questions throughout the day.  You will see me at my messy best.  I might scratch my bum or itch my boob.  These things happen.

The chickens will also be starring in the video.  I let them roam around the backyard all day so you will definitely see the chickens.  You will also definitely see me shooing the chickens away from my hostas.  Chickens love a good hosta.

I should also probably mention that I have no idea what I’m doing with this live video business so there may be a few glitches.  I’ll do my best to keep things running smoothly and in order.

Since this is real reality television, as opposed to that fake reality television it’s sure to be boring.  Kind of like watching a fish tank.  If a fish tank could cause severe bodily damage to itself at any given moment.  And if a fish tank swore and ate hotdogs for lunch.

The Coop Cam will go live Monday morning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Standard time.   God help me.

I’ve found sometimes you need to refresh your screen for the live video to come up.  If you don’t see a video directly below here it’s because the coop is now built and the coop cam is now down.



  1. LeeAnne says:

    At least if you fall from your ladder/coop roof some one can phone your neighbour! Be careful, falling is incredibly easy to do and ultra humiliating. :-/
    When you tell people how you got hurt you just know they are thinking that they’d never be so foolish as to fall from a ladder.

  2. Marti says:


    LOVE IT. Really! FUN!

    But I will say, the only way I can tell that it is live is because I’m hearing a birdie chirp in the background. I wonder if it might be useful for you to find some sort of thing (child’s windup toy or battery driven [don’t go there] something) to have operating in the background.


    This is gonna be EPIC!!!

  3. Michele says:

    Love that the ad at the top right now is “saferwholesale” chicken coops

  4. Karen J says:

    I got all excited when I finally saw you! Excited like when your first dinner party guests arrive.
    But I’m afraid, with my attention span, I might need a fast forward button!?!

  5. Teshia says:

    Nice. I turned it up as you ran to the camera and said, “Stupid, stupid chickens”. My kids came running over saying, “Mommy, she said a bad word!” and then laughed hysterically.

  6. Sara says:

    You Rock, Karen! I LOVE that you do this and let us all in on it. “Stupid… stupid chickens.” bwahhaaahaha!

  7. Laurie says:

    I can’t believe I’m so excited at the prospect of chickens. Karen is up there on the roof and every time I hear a squeak that might be a chicken I have to stop reading comments and scroll quickly all the way up. Can’t wait to see the end product and also the overall garden layout with the coop placement because I can’t quite picture it. OMG Chickens!!!! they are there… so worthwhile, maybe they were just scared away by hungry like a wolf?

  8. Kasia says:

    huh. I think you’re on the roof, is that red thing a leg??
    Love the streaming video idea!! I spent all spring watching baby eagles in Iowa grow up. Now I can watch your chicks grow up (and you curse!) lol :)

  9. BTLover2 says:

    …now Duran Duran… is that a radio station? Okay, enough of my musical play by play. I’m going to be torn between the Casey Anthony case and you building the coop. Whatever will I do?

  10. Theresa says:

    watching and listening now – brillant solution!like the musical selection – sounds like the chickens are chirping along!
    hope the finger mends quickly.
    May I suggest that you watch Chicken Run after you’ve completed the ultimate coop.
    rock on !

  11. BTLover2 says:

    And do I hear Depeche Mode playing? Even better! Now be careful up there!

  12. Kelli says:

    Okay, it was nice to see you, but when the chickens walked by the camera, that was really when the show started!

    The chicken coop livestream is wonderful. I’ve tweeted it. Good luck to you, looks like a great coop!

  13. BTLover2 says:

    I freaking love this!!! I love watching you do your thang and the chickens peeping or clucking away! Awesome I tell you!!

  14. Kate S. says:

    Look a chicken! I like the white one, shes purdy.
    This is a cool idea, excited to see how it goes along :)

  15. gr8skott says:

    Joy Division? Yeah, we should hang out sometime.

  16. Robin says:

    Glad to see you’re getting something done.
    I’m not – too busy watching the live Coop Cam.

  17. Robbin says:


    I am rooting for you! Love this idea BTW.

  18. Benjamin says:

    ACK! CHICKENS! LOL.. turn on the camera and all I see is a bunch of tail feathers! Its adorable! Oh, and if those are the same Easter chicks, MY they have gotten big…

    Don’t forget Karen, measure twice, cut once.

  19. Carol-Anne says:

    Karen, I would just like to say – You are Awesome!

    I feel your pain. I sliced my knuckle open while cutting the mesh screening for Personal Fire Pit project this weekend!

  20. Jane says:

    Your chickens live to be in front of the camera. May be they will host TV shows too!!!

  21. liz says:

    Oh Kareeennnnnn, where are yooouuuuuu?

    • Karen says:

      I’m here. I won’t be in the shot allll the time. I’m currently making a coffee. Can you see the video at all?

      • liz says:

        Yes, i can see the video. But you weren’t in it. Just a chicken struttin.

        So i got a bit bored and wandered off. I’m about to get back on it. If you’re not there, i’ll cry.

      • liz says:

        I see you! You currently look like you’re doing yoga on a step ladder. Go Karen, Go!

  22. Liz S. says:

    Not cool! I can’t watch the video at work.

    I feel your pain on the cut finger. I cut my finger last weekend making sweet potato fries. Never have possession of a very sharp knife with a wild toddler running around the kitchen. I laid my left pointer finger open. I’m still having to keep a bandage on it!

  23. Teshia says:

    I’m new to your blog (as I’ve mentioned numerous times, which is getting old I’m sure) so I’m glad I have a gazillion other posts I can catch up on. Phew!

    On another note, I have to ask, were you the least bit wishing it could have at least happened to your middle finger? I was hoping, anyway. A cut on the middle would have been classic… certainly seems like it would have fit your personality.

    Hope it heals quickly! A paper cut would have landed me in the ER. Hmm… but then the bill would have had me running. Prob in to traffic. Which would defeat the purpose entirely. Oh well.

    Have a great day!

  24. Karen says:

    Hmmm… reality TV! I am very excited! I have a sneaking suspicion that you might be every bit as good a cusser as I am. Can’t wait to find out! Look out Mike Holmes and Dr. Oz, there is a new show in town!

  25. Lydia says:

    I can’t wait to see this coop! Sounds like it’s going to be pretty impressive.
    My Dad is a home-improvement superstar, and has cut himself pretty badly a few times, and we always do the super glue treatment. Didn’t work so well last year when my husband was trying to open a jar with a razor-sharp knife (duh) and sliced downwards threw his thumb, to the base of his nail.
    Hope the finger heals quick!

  26. amy walters, aDESIGNdock says:

    Hehe…you sure took a beating building this thing ;)

  27. Can’t wait Karen!! You go girl….glad you are slowing down, you need your limbs!


  28. mary c says:

    Oy. We just put our chickens out in the new coop last night. Could barely contain them on front porch. Now I see why they say to have the coop half built by the time the chicks arrive. Good luck to our new fellow chicken farmer.

    • Karen says:

      Mary c – Congratulations on getting your chicks in their coop! Must feel great. I know I’d feel great about it! ~ karen

  29. brie says:

    oh my word. genius! so impressed with your dedication to both the blog (a la live streaming) and the chicken coop…amazing.

  30. petra says:

    Oh that cut looks *so bad*..Hope you make it Karen.. now for the video..I am afraid to click on it cause knowing you,you have a plan..but one day my curiosity will get the better of me…till then.Hope you heal fast so you get those little babies in their house before the coyotes get them;)

  31. Amy Schmucker says:

    I hope a neighbor brings over a nice coffee cake to welcome the new chicks to the neighborhood.

    That, and I hope someone makes coffee for you. Its nice to have someone make coffee for you. Unless you don’t drink coffee, then it sucks.

    have a better day tomorrow.

    Hope you finger heals soon.

    Amy in Florida

  32. Billie says:

    Do you have drawn plans for the coop? I’ve been wanting to raise chickens for three years now and keep putting it off. I would like one of the chicken tractor things so that I can move it across the yard and protect the chickens from coyotes and racoons and other beasties. Am looking forward to watching your progress. Will the videos be archived in any way so that they can be watched after the fact?
    I know — to many questions. Good luck.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Billie – No, I don’t have any plans for my coop. I’m doing it from scratch. However, if you want a chicken tractor there are all kinds of free plans for that on the Internet! ~ karen

  33. LeeAnne says:

    Theory: When screwing up work they’ve not done before, people spontaneously start using a whole new swear word vocabulary, words that they’ve heard but never used before. For me, when finishing off my studio, it was old fashioned Victorian swears. Can’t wait to hear your swears. Not that I’m expecting screw ups or other annoyances. You probably will have much more skill and thus better swears.

  34. Karen J says:

    Great! A new distraction to pull me away from my work. You had me at scratching bums and itching boobs!
    I’ll be watching. Like the creepy neighbour that peeks through their curtains thinking that no one sees them watching – but I’m not creepy.

  35. Annika says:

    Can’t wait for the chickens to go live! Hope your finger heals quickly. I’m bad with stuff like that, can’t even look at it plastered up. It makes me imagine all the blood that was involved. Shudder!

  36. allison says:

    this is bound to be pretty hilarious!!! And i’m super excited to see the coop:) My boyfriend wants to get chickens so he can have fresh eggs every morning lol so i told him if he builds a coop and figures out what they eat then to go for it!

  37. mimi says:

    I’m relieved to see this post, cos I couldn’t understand how you got everything done.
    Will click on the livecam, for sure.
    And now instead of being in awe of your (extreme)multitasking, Im in awe of your IT skills!

  38. Cindy S. says:

    I am so sorry you hurt yourself—ouch! I hope it heals quickly.

    The webcam idea is so cool! Can’t wait to watch.

  39. SK Farm Girl says:

    Oh! This is going to be super good! Can hardly wait to see it! Anyone want to start a “pool” on the first “F” bomb dropped, the first blood drawn on the air and which “peckerhead” gets in the coop first. Karen, just to let you know, I have started my own flock of chickens – they are gay chickens – all roosters – LOL! Please don’t anyone be offended by this, my gay-guy-friend came up the gay chicken idea! Oh, and none are real, all rooster ornaments – wooden, tin and cast – and all found @ yard sales on the weekend! Luv them all – cockadoodledoooooo!

  40. Julie shinnick says:

    ooooo am very excited about live chook-cam!

    Have checked the iphone to let me know how long I have to wait re the time difference and at least i will have something to watch if i’m awake in the wee small hours!

    Hope your finger heals up nicely and well done for not fainting!
    Tough chickkie!

  41. rebecca gostin says:

    Good luck Karen!!! My aunt (who has chickens free ranging in her back yard) just told me that she moved her hosta to the front yard and moved the ferns from the front yard to the back, the chickens don’t like the ferns. Maybe that’s a project for next year :)

  42. Angela says:

    I feel very left out. Since we’re on the other side of the world, all of your work will be going on during the nighttime. Which means that I will either miss out on all the fun or I will have to turn into a vampire in order to watch you scratch your bum and itch your boob.

  43. Maureen says:

    Knock ’em dead kiddo – we’ll miss you but I’m sure the “Coop Cam” will keep us entertained in your absence.

  44. bluephatmom says:

    this is gonna be good.

    • BCBev says:

      SO good! Damn chickens had better appreciate what all went into making their damned coop, is all I’m saying. In semi-Deliverance speak.

  45. Laura says:

    oh – and sorry you cut yourself so badly!

  46. Laura says:

    I can’t wait! Scratch away!

  47. Mary says:

    Oh my god, I knew our boyfriends were alike. Mine fixes everything with Crazy Glue. I cut a huge gash in my hand from a box cutter and he fixed it with Crazy Glue. Awesome. Glad to know we aren’t the only ones. Also, I’m super excited to see the coop worked on/finished! Good luck!

  48. Adrienne Audrey says:

    Awesome idea! Can’t wait to start watching!

  49. Grace Rodich says:

    Awesome! I’m uber excited.

  50. Ellynn says:

    I will miss your posts but I definitely understand the pain of taking on too many things at once and having to readjust a few things. Plus your little chickies really need their home! I will definitely be checking in on your video when I have time, as I plan to tackle this project myself someday. Best of luck to you, take care of that finger!

    • Karen says:

      Ellynn – I’ll still be posting every day. Just quicker posts, coop related for the most part in addition to the live streaming video for the next few days. I just need a few days to get stuff under control. It’s not like I’m disappearing. I just won’t be teaching you what I’m doing with my rope or my delicious chicken and goat’s cheese recipe yet! Those kind of posts just take too much time. So … I’ll still post, just a little differently than normal and just for a few days.

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