How to Update a Chicken Coop

Learn how to update a chicken coop on the homestead by adding a run and a few other perks.

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Fixed Up Chicken Coop

For years I’ve written about the benefits of mobile chicken coops and I still love them.  They worked great on the farm but when we moved to Quail Grove my instincts were saying things would be different here.

We’re further out in the country and the idea of moving a chicken coop at fifty on clay didn’t sound like fun anymore.

So, over the summer we took the mobile coop we brought from the farm and turned it into a stationary chicken coop.

Then I recently decided it was time to update with paint and incorporate a small run for days when the weather isn’t great for free ranging.

Adding the Chicken Run

Updating with a Chicken Run

When the transfer went from mobile to stationary, I didn’t think about adding a chicken run.

This project was a real afterthought so figuring out how to connect the house and run wasn’t an easy task because the ground was still very wet and pretty uneven in areas.

The coop was positioned on legs and cross boards so moving it wasn’t going to happen either.

To incorporate a run another door was necessary, two actually and I ended up building a smaller run than originally planned.  This addition was attached to the house with screws and any gaps were fitted with wood pieces.

The frame was built using 2 x 4’s measuring 8 ft. x 3 ft. which is sufficient for a small flock that spends the majority of their day free ranging.

Before and After Chicken Coop

Improving with Paint

I guess you could say this chicken coop got a major make over.  It had a rustic appeal leftover from the farm until I decided to paint using the same colors as our Tiny House.

After being introduced to Sherman Williams paint and amazed at the finish well you could say I’ve been painting all sorts of things on the homestead.

Almost everything is getting an update and this paint really improved the look of our chicken coop.

Happy Chickens

What about those Chickens?

The chickens are almost full grown; they were pleased with the new run; I’m thinking I may add a couple more hens in February.  It’s been nice having them deplete the bug population and eat away at the weeds.

The least exciting phase of this project was adding the wire and while that was going on the chickens scattered.

I can’t express how much I dislike working with chicken wire. I found if you break the project into smaller steps and don’t hurry through it’s less frustrating.

I think these are things you learn as you get older because you have fewer things on your plate to manage.  It took me a couple afternoons in 2-hour intervals to add wire and make the door.

Another helpful tip is to paint the frame before the wire is applied.

Finished Chicken Coop

Here it is, our updated chicken coop that’s also easy to maintain.  Their droppings fall through the wire floor and I gather with a shovel to fertilize the garden.

The chickens come and go as they please and if we have to leave, we can lock them up for safety.

A chicken coop doesn’t need to be elaborate to be functional and I found when you keep things simple it makes maintaining a lot less difficult.  This is important when you have a lot of other things going on.

The final step will include dressing the coop with some cute signs, a few potted plants and rocks around the base of the run.

What’s your chicken coop look like?

NOTE:  A few months later I decided to add a walk path to the chicken coop and extend the chicken run by 8 ft.  Now on days when I don’t feel like free ranging chickens I can leave them locked up.


Chicken Coop project finished

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  1. Deborah Snyder says:

    I love your gardening blog! Your chicken coop makes me sad though. It’s way too small for that number of chickens. Also, made with chicken wire, they will be “sitting ducks” for predators! Please consider making it larger and using hardware cloth.
    2 excellent blogs for chickens:
    PS – I loved your article on amending clay soil, inspired me to start today!

    1. Carole says:

      So glad you enjoyed amending clay soil, it’s one of my favorite activities.

      As for my chickens they actually free range all day in a fenced property and I’ve never had any issues using chicken wire. But I’ve heard others who have and I often wonder if their property is fenced.

      Our place is fenced with welded wire and when we lived on our farm I didn’t even use runs for our chickens, they came and went as they pleased in a mobile coop. Our llama and emus guarded which I know is something most folks would never think of doing. But it worked fantastic!

      I only added this run so I could sleep in once and a while, especially when it’s raining. I guess it’s safe to say, I’m not much of a morning person.
      Thanks for sharing those blogs – I’m familiar with both, we have more of a hands off approach, they’re not pets we’re homesteaders.

  2. Bob Egert says:

    Carole, you have seen my chicken house. It is in need of renovation. The crew is coming next week to put on new siding and roof. I am going to repurpose the chicken house into a firewood storage shed. I will cut fresh firewood this season and put it aside for a year in the shed to dry. Then I will rotate that out and into the shop for present use. I really regret giving up my chicken and garden operation but nature calls me to do other things.

    1. Carole says:

      That sounds like a good use for that chicken house. I like it! You know there are things that I really miss from our farm, like the animals but sometimes like you said nature calls us in a different direction.

  3. Patti says:

    You coop update turned out great and I really like the way it looks on your property. Functional and good looking is a bonus.
    I’ve never kept chickens but it sounds like you have some great tips for this ever growing popular hobby.

    1. Carole says:

      Thank you this is so different than how we did things on the farm. However I find that actual farming and homesteading is pretty different. So this time around yes I’m going with a little more “Looking Good” making sure everything is cohesive. The chicken hobby is interesting isn’t it… I don’t baby my birds though -I let them live as natural as possible.

  4. Carol says:

    Wondering where you are located. I’m in central Illinois and it gets really old here. You wrote that you have a wire fence for a floor in the coop. I thought, here I would need an enclosed coop area with possible heat in winter. Am I wrong? I love your updates and what you are plannng.

    1. Carole says:

      I’m in North Texas, about an hour and a half east of Dallas. For your area you may want a solid wood floor, or do half and half. It does get cold here but it doesn’t last long, our temperatures are always anywhere from a low of 20 to as high as 70 and they fluctuate. Example last night it was 30 and the night before it was in the 50’s. If we get a long cold spell (week or two) I cover the floor with hay to keep drafts out and sometimes even go around the bottom (on the ground) with hay bales as they work like insulation.

      Evaluate your weather, how long the cold lingers and plan for that. Chickens are warm blooded and mine snuggle up on their roosting bars at night and then I also keep their nesting boxes inside the house too.

  5. daisy says:

    Adorable! How many chickens do y’all have?

    1. Carole says:

      Well it’s been interesting since we lost Dixie – we started with five and I have no idea what happened to the one that turned out to be another rooster. It’s like he left…. Then last week I lost a hen to a predator during the day so it appears I’ll need to be getting another dog before I can get replacement chickens.

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