The end of an era
April 21, 2012, 7:20 pm
Filed under: April 2012

Our old chicken coop

                                                    April 21, 2012

      Our old chicken coop started it’s life as a corn crib. It is a very old building that I got from a guy across town. He had made it into a clubhouse for his children. They out grew it so I brought it to my farm and turned it back into a corn crib. That was about twenty years ago.

      This little structure was probably first built, in the late 1930’s. It was well made even though it would only hold ear corn. I felt good about using it for its original purpose….that is until I built a bigger one. 

     I hated to get rid of the little crib, so I turned it into a small pig barn. I worked okay for weaned pigs until they got too big for it. I used it that way for only a little while, because it was a hassle once the piglets reached a hundred pounds or so.

      I decided to keep chickens in it. It worked alright ,as long as, the hens could free range. It was too dark inside to keep the hens healthy or happy when they were confined. I knew that I had to make some changes.

      When we moved to this location on our farm and sold the old farmhouse and a few acres, I brought the old shed with us. I completely refurbished it. We put windows in, resided her and have her a new roof. I placed it on a pole foundation and gave it a coat of stain. That was eleven years ago now.

      The little coop is too small for our flock, but the real problem is that she is just plain worn out. The siding is what is mostly holding up the roof. The windows are in need of repair or replacement and the floor is starting to rot.

      It has been a good little structure these last twenty years. I am sure that not many folks would have squeezed these last years out of it. The time has come for major repair or replacement. We have decided upon replacing it. It is the end of an era for the old crib, but what a life it has had! 


     I have designed a “monitor” roof styled mini barn to become our next chicken coop. I have counted my pennies and realize that in this instance, I can have it built for what I can build it for myself. I will hire it done to save precious time. I will only be out the cost of the labor.

      My friend builds lawn structures for a living. He builds all sorts of designs in the warm, dry workshop, on his small farm. He is a good carpenter. The buildings he builds are stylish, neat and serviceable.

      I will haul the chicken coop home when it is done, set it on railroad ties, leveled on a gravel base. The coop will be located where the hens can free range one of our pastures, yet still make chores and gathering eggs easy.

      The new building will be larger that our current coop. It will have windows that open and close, letting in plenty of light and helping with ventilation on hot, sticky summer days. The “monitor” style roof will allow for heat to exhaust through vents and let in lots of light through fiberglass skylights in its side walls.

      The color of the building will match the horse barn. The little coop will look almost cute while providing our laying flock with a safe, secure, well lit home. It will be easy to clean with roosts that fold up out of the way. The nest box will even have a lid so eggs can be gathered without even having to enter the coop 😮

      So it is with mixed emotion that I say good-bye to the old coop. It has been like an old friend for the past two decades, but I won’t miss cleaning the rough sawn shed out. It is too narrow to swing a shovel. It is hotter than blazes during the dog days of summer despite my best efforts. I am sure the hens will thank me when they get moved into their new home …. I think they know “eggs-actly” how to show me!



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