Yesterday’s view of the garden and pond…
Are you thinking about raising chickens? It’s that “brand new flock” time of year again! I thought I’d share this post that I wrote last year about the building and design process of our coop just in case you’re doing some research. Please be sure to leave your questions in the comments section and use the search box at the bottom of the page to find more chicken raising related posts! We’re happy to help as much as we can. Michele
Good almost spring morning!
I seem to be encountering lots of people who are planning to build or buy a chicken coop these days so I thought I’d share an overview of ours as it was constructed.
We didn’t exactly plan the coop before our first batch of chicks arrived in 2007 so our pullets (young chickens) lived in our basement for several months during construction. I don’t recommend that at all. You will save yourself a huge amount of anxiety by building or buying a coop before your chicks arrive. We kind of go with the flow around here but those few months were quite difficult. Fortunately we were totally in love with our brand new chickens so we all got through it together.
The very beginning… The corner posts were placed into holes dug approximately two feet into the ground. Michael hit a lot of rock but says he put them in as far down as he could go. The floor is plywood, the main posts are 4×4, the floor and ceiling were constructed with 2×6 boards and the walls with 2x4s.
The roof pitch echoes our house’s roofline. It doesn’t match but it coordinates nicely.
The walls are plywood attached to the frame with roofing paper applied over it to seal. The windows were mostly salvaged with the exception of the front window that my son is standing in. I think that one came from a building supply warehouse nearby (on the clearance rack I’m sure).
Looking at the front; long windows for lots of light, a nice wide front door for easy access and the little chicken door on the bottom right.
Here’s the back side. That overhang provides handy shelter for things like garden tools and wheelbarrows.You just have to watch that you don’t hit your head on the corner.
Looking down at a habitable coop without siding. It took another year or two for siding to be added.
But then it was, and primer was applied to preserve the clapboard.
Painted and decorated, with flowers growing, of course.
It is a pretty little coop!
Here’s the front door and porch area. The porch is great because it gives the chickens a dry place to spend time and there’s space under it so they can hide if needed. It also saves us from having to step into mud pits…
… like this one. Unless your a blogger who wants to take a picture of the front door of the chicken coop during mud season.
But who do you know who would do that? ;)
I realize that this is kind of a quick overview of our process and there’s lots of details missing. I took these photos as we went along but never with the idea that they would someday be used on my blog. So, I apologize for the gaps but hope it gives you an idea of what our coop exterior looks like and what our construction journey entailed. I’m going to do an inside tour in the next week or so. I think I’ll include the head chicken keeper’s direct input as I write it to insure accuracy and probably some entertainment.
Leave me questions! Michael and I will be happy to answer them!
Happy Coop Building!
Yes we are!
It’s finally here….
The very first crocus of the year!
There will be more crocus on the way as soon as it melts.
… and there’s more good news!
I planted these last Sunday. Yesterday I checked them first thing in the morning and there was no change at all, just little cells full of seed starting mix.
Yesterday afternoon I saw Ed, one of my onion planting mentors, and he said that once they got going they’d just take off. I held onto that thought amid my worries about too much moisture, not enough moisture, too much heat, not enough heat and maybe I should I have used a different seed starting mix.
I went back last night and voila… there were several little sprouts.
I am feeling encouraged, uplifted, excited, happy and most of all
Spring has officially reached Salem, Massachusetts my friends! Woo hooo!!
How’s your garden growing? Has spring sprung? I hope so!
We don’t get out on dates often, let alone for a whole day, so our day at the flower show was as romantic, relaxing and enjoyable as going to a spa.
It was all about spring. After our long, cold, difficult winter this little bit of spring felt absolutely decadent!
As we walked in to the Seaport World Trade Center the first thing we saw was this beautiful pop of spring color.
I tend to like the whimsey…
I loved these mushrooms. We saw them in the Marketplace at the show but Michael reminded that we have many children, many soccer balls and many pets in our garden so they would last for fifteen minutes, tops.On to bigger things… a sand sculpture..
I was very impressed with the hands on opportunities available at the show. It was much more interactive than I expected.
Here’s another interactive exhibit that was created by a group called PlantSomethingma.org. Plant Something’s goal is to encourage people to enjoy the benefits of growing things. Everyone who passed through their custom built greenhouse had the chance to plant a mystery seed to take home. The type of seed is revealed by color after visiting their web site. It’s a pretty creative way to draw people in.
It was a great way to spend the day. I agreed with Michael that we would have enjoyed seeing more garden vendors in the Market area, but those that were there had a nice selection of plants, tools and accessories. The quality of the lectures and exhibits was outstanding. I enjoyed talks by authors Neal Sanders, who blogs at The Principal Undergardener and Betsy-Ann Golon who spoke about herb garden design. They were both engaging and full of ideas and information. While the food selection was a little bit limited, the huge turkey sandwich that we shared for lunch was delicious.
All in all, it was a wonderful, inspiring, colorful spring-like day.
We couldn’t have asked for a better date than that!
Get to the flower show! It’s there through Sunday!
Take the kids, take your mom or your sweetie… there’s really something for everyone.
Happy almost spring!
There are so may fun things to look forward to in this envelope.
I can’t even list them all. There’s herbs and vegetables and flowers… lots of everything that I love to grow.
Among the early starts that I need to plant asap are onions… I chose Alisa Craig Exhibition and Southport Red Globe.
I also ordered Green Magic Broccoli which can be started outdoors in early spring, or indoors now. I’m torn about that because my indoor space is tight. Is anyone else direct seeding broccoli here on the coast of New England?
I have a few varieties of peppers to get going this week along with impatiens and pansies. We grew both successfully at Bass River last year so I’m looking forward to trying it at home.
Not far behind are the ten varieties of tomato, the cucumbers, the basils, the beans… the list goes on!
One of the things that I like about Pinetree Seeds is that you can order a smaller quantity of seed at a much lower price than most other companies. This is great for the home gardener like me who only needs twenty plants per variety at most. I can try lots of fun creative things and still stay well within budget. The cute packaging and unexpected free gift of velcro garden ties were an added bonus. Let’s just hope these seeds germinate and thrive!
My goal is to grow almost, if not all, of our garden from seed this year. I had such a good time with my seed starting adventure last year that I’m feeling pretty optimistic about the season that’s about to begin.
Yes, the season is beginning!
The garden may look like this, but spring is coming!
Did you place your order yet? What are you thinking about growing this year?
Are you as excited as I am?
We’ve received 87 inches of snow in Salem Massachusetts since January 23rd.
The flowering plum tree is in danger of being completely covered.
It’s still Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day, even with 87 inches of snow!
Different backgrounds, different camera settings…
Spring will be here before we know it!
Be sure to visit May Dreams Gardens to see blooms in gardens all over the world.
Those wonderful posts will fast forward you straight to springtime!
Stay warm and well,
Here’s a fun Valentine’s Day activity that we did at Bass River yesterday. If you haven’t made valentines yet you can dig out your old seed packets and get to work! Happy Valentine’s Day from Bass River Gardens and The Salem Garden! xo Michele