The Coop

Update:  It’s been YEARS now since I got these, my original chicks.  And I’ve added several new ones to the flock including some Marans, an Ameraucana and some F2 Olive Eggers!

It’s here.  The Coop.

4 months ago my boyfriend presented me with a cardboard box full of  baby chicks.

3 months ago I started to build a chicken coop for them.  2 weeks ago, I finished it.

I normally do a lot of talking and funny story telling at this point in my posts, but not today.  Today, I’m just going straight to the pictures.

Not ’cause I don’t have a lot of funny stories to tell.  I do.  Lots of em.

It’s just that I have the feeling you’re gonna skip past all of the writing and go straight to the pictures anyway.  So why waste the funny?   Funny is a horrible thing to waste.

It is my honour to introduce you to …


Coop Title

CoopFirst copy


Coop 2
Coop 3
Coop 4


Coop 5
The box attached to the left side of the coop houses the exterior nesting box on top (which the chickens have access to from inside the coop) as well as storage in the larger door below.

Coop 6
Both of the doors have double security features.  You can’t be too cautious with a neighbourhood full of cats, hawks, raccoons, skunks, neighbours and other egg loving monsters.  Each door has a series of small Rare Earth Magnets, PLUS  strips of wood that pivot and lock the door in place.  That was the fella’s idea.  It’s completely functional and brilliant.

The lower storage compartment holds feed, treats, the egg basket and pine shavings.

Coop 7
The nesting box holds … well … eggs eventually.  I hope.  Oh my God, what if they never lay an egg?

Coop 8
I built a sliding piece of wood into the nesting box to make sure no eggs accidentally roll out.  Plus I can slide it up for easy cleaning of the box.

Coop 9



I know what you’re going to be  thinking when you see this next picture.  You’re gonna be  thinking …  there’s EGGS!  No.  There are no eggs.  Those are fake eggs which we put in the nesting box to encourage the chickens to lay their eggs in there, as opposed to some random spot in the coop or run.

Coop 10

This is the door going into the nesting box as seen from inside the coop.

Coop 11
Like my gates, all the coop doors close with Rare Earth Magnets.   Definitely predator proof.

Coop 12
Coop 13



To help the coop air out and to give us a better view of all the girls during the day I made pull out screens for both the upper and lower doors.  The coop is directly across from my dining room window, so when we’re sitting down to dinner we can watch the girls  put themselves to bed at 7:30 every night.  I love the screens.  They’re one of those things I didn’t intend to make, but ended up whipping up right at the end of the project.

Coop 14
I cannot tell you what the coop cost to build, because I have no idea.  Like so many other coop builders before us, we stopped counting when it got scary.  Of course,  I saved when I could.



Guess you’re  curious about the ring.  It’s my pride and joy.

Coop 15
It leads to a little door inside the coop.

Coop 16
The rope runs through a configuration of pulleys and eye hooks.

Coop 17
So to open up the door to the run all we have to do is pull the ring and the door slides open effortlessly.  The ring then slides onto the hook below to keep it open.  To close it we just remove the ring from the hook and the screen door spring at the top of the door, pulls the door shut automatically. Thanks to Heather Bullard and her coop for inspiring this particular aspect of my henhouse.

Coop 18
Coop 19
Coop20 copy
Coop 21
The galvanized tub is filled with dirt.  The hens LOVE to jump in it and give themselves dust baths.   The tub is from my mother’s house.  When I was teeny tiny she used to use it as a pool for me.

Coop 22
In honour of little Lucky who died early on.  Thanks to LeeAnne Bloye who kindly made the little gravemarker and sent it to me.

Coop 23



Looking down into the run from the door inside the coop.

Coop 24
I spent an hour or two at the cottage earlier this year searching for the perfect piece of driftwood to act as a perch in the run.  This was the piece I deemed perfect.

Coop 25
Every morning all 4 chickens relax in the sun on the perch.

Coop 26
A skylight.  Yes.  I installed a skylight made from a sturdy piece of Plexiglass to allow more light into the coop.  My house does not have a skylight.

Coop 27

At 7:30 every night like clockwork, the girls head themselves up the ladder to the coop and jump up on their perch to roost for the night.

Coop 28




Coop 29
And to all a good night.

Coop Night Final 2


That’s it for now.  If you’re interested, here’s another post with a few more details about the coop experience including shots of me  building.

And I’m sorry, but I do not have any building plans for the coop.  I made it up as a I went with inspiration from both Heather Bullard’s Chez Poulet and Mitchell Snyder’s Modern Coop which was featured in Dwell online.

3 months, 2 major injuries and a huge learning curve later the coop is complete.  And I couldn’t be happier with it.




  1. Amber says:

    I love everything about this coop and it’s the inspiration I keep shoving in my husband’s face as he builds ours. I must ask, what colour is this beautiful coop?

  2. Monica Houston says:

    Sigh…. this is the most beautiful coop I have ever seen!
    I already have a coop (mine is based on Anna White’s free plans here
    I almost wish I didn’t just so I could start over and make this one. I LOVE it!
    I especially love the little cupboards for chicken feed. What a fantastic idea. Also rare earth magnets. That is brilliant.

  3. Leslie Russell says:

    Sooooo how does it look on the inside lo these many years later? Mine is a shit-show… literally. Thinking of painting but not sure it would matter?

    • Karen says:

      I have actually pressure washed the inside on occasion, which does a great job of cleaning but can be a bit … disgusting, lol. I also repaint inside every few years. ~ karen!

  4. Marjo says:

    This is such a nifty design! However, there do seem to be an awful lot of nooks and crannies – have you never had issues with chicken mites? (I may or may not be paranoid about the little troublemakers…)

    • Karen says:

      Nooks and crannies? Sorry Marjo, I’m not sure what you mean. In the 9 or so years I’ve had my chickens I’ve had mites once, which they probably got from the local birds land in their run to eat their chicken scratch remnants. But it had nothing to do with having corners inside the chicken coop. :) ~ karen!

      • Marjo says:

        It might just be my wording (English isn’t my first language I’m afraid). ;)

        But yeah, I meant that with the pullout screens and the sliding pieces (which I both LOVE btw), there might be quite a few hiding spots for the little pests to hide in. Where I live, it’s usually not a matter of “if” but “when” you’re faced with a mite infestation, and most local chicken owners advise to make the coop as “mite proof” as possible to get rid of infestations asap.

      • Karen says:

        Ohhhh I see. :) Well I can tell you that as I said, I did have them once, but was able to get rid of them in this coop. At this point I don’t ever use the sliding door so you definitely don’t need that. I put it in the coop as an extra precaution against predators but I’ve found that I don’t need it because the bottom of the coop is so secure. And the pull out screens only go in on very hot summer nights when the chickens need extra breeze and ventilation. :) ~ karen!

  5. Rachel Aberle says:

    Such a beautiful coop. I have pullets on order and have a month to complete ours. Husband thinks I’m crazy for adding one more thing to our busy life but I have the tools and will build. So much information out there and I spend days when not putting walls together on the look of it. I’m doing a gable roof design and was initially going with the white painted look but since I’ve stained our decks that dark walnut look and in seeing yours, love that look to. If staining may need to do the fence boards siding versus T1-11…ah so much to think of. Love your site.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Rachel! The one thing you should be aware of is if you live in an area that’s very hot or if the coop gets sun all day long that it will get very hot in the coop. My coop is in shade for a large portion of the day so it’s manageable. Good luck! ~ karen!

  6. Amanda Szymanski says:

    Good morning! Where did you find your lanterns? Are they solar or battery operated? Thank you so much! Amanda

  7. Michelle Mitchell says:

    this so gorgeous I want to live in it. I’m gonna trey and make this …I am gonna have my boyfriend really lol.. do you have a link to the handles and what grade is the wiring for the screen?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Michelle – Thanks! The handles were from Ikea but they don’t carry them anymore. The wire is standard 1/2″ hardware cloth. ~ karen!

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