Saturday, September 11, 2010

Our Heritage Home - Coop Sweet Coop!

A couple years back, when hubby encouraged me to replace my pet hen that crossed 'the rainbow bridge' (and I came home with 6 pullets!!) he was kind of persuaded to come up with a hen house for my girls.  I set up a brooder, as described HERE, and when they got a little larger, I made them a home in a barn-shaped plastic dog house for a few more months.
3 of my Pullets - Lizzy (front), Marilyn (right), and Cleo (rear)
They would huddle together at night, snug as bugs in a rug!  But as they grew even LaRgEr, they needed something a little more substantial.  Something for Pullets that would soon be ready to lay.  Something more DIGNIFIED!  He did some figuring and measuring, and talking to me to see what I thought about sizes, clean-ability, and what would be necessary and essential to the girls' needs.  Since he was a contractor, building houses was nothing new to him - but HEN houses - well....that required a little different thinking and planning for. 
Our "Prototype"
Above you can see the first hen house he built for the girls...I had 5 names on the house and was in process of making the 6th one at the time this picture was taken.  I was enthralled with this little house!  I began to list them as Heritage Hen Houses - and once people saw the photos, they would come out to see it, and the orders started coming in.  
After using that little house for nearly a year, I came up with suggestions to upgrade the girls living standards - improvements for ease of egg collection, ease of cleaning, ways to protect against frost bitten toes, better ventilation, and even an easier way to move it around the yard.  Hubby went ahead and sold the prototype, and the girls' housing was down graded to mere dog kennels for a week while he designed them their new Chook Castle -
Finished house ready for transport
Advertising Brochure for our Heritage Hen House
Back door for cleaning
Front entry way for the Working Girls
I loved the NEW house, and so did the girls!  An instant hit!  This year we've sold many of these gems, and Hubbs had so many orders this past spring that he didn't know if he was coming or going!  Everyone that came out to see the house in person was charmed by them, and they basically sold themselves.  Hubby finally got caught up on the orders, and even squeezed in time to deliver 2 houses to a couple that were starting their certified organic farm.
Heritage Hen House goes to the Fair!
One day we were contacted by the Fair Board - they offered us an opportunity for free advertising in exchange for displaying our hen house near the Poultry barns during Fair Week.  What could be nicer?! 

Currently I'm writing and drawing up plans to sell, so folks can build a coop like this for themselves.  The dimensions and drawings are intended to be do-able for someone with a little experience working with wood, but that person would not have to be a master builder!  Hubbs has recorded sizes, angles, dimensions, and tips on easy ways to put it all together, and it's up to me to write it down in a form that is easily understood.  This hen house has been the perfect design - so quick and easy to clean, and makes fast work of egg collection!  The roosts are designed so there's enough space for all the hens at day's end, and can be closed up during FOWL (foul?) weather, too.  I think everyone should have something that's so simple to service every day - it takes less than 10 minutes to "change the sheets"!  Hopefully soon I'll have the plans available for folks that live outside of our delivery area, and for the Do-It-Yourself-ers that enjoy a fun family project!

Happy Trails!
the Chicken Wrangler


Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Oh Sweetie...
You have a wonderful Mt. Chicken Wrangler, and he is SO darn smart. Just look at the castle he designed for the girls. I so enjoy the little sunflowers on the front of the house and how wonderful is the box to open and gather the eggs.

I remember seeing one on Kate plus Eight when they decided to get some chickens, and I loved watching the girls open the box to gather the eggs, alot easier than reaching under the hens like we did way back when. And the ease of cleaning out the mess with a hose? How nice. Hubby has a wonderful design going on for anyone's girls. I love it. Just no hens here at Country Wings in Phoenix. TOO HOT!!!

Oh and I have to ask, are those corregated metal roofs? How delightful they look. Makes a gal want to be a hen. So cozy. Now if he could only make you a craft room somewhat similar to this hen house, wouldn't that be dandy?

Have a beautiful day sweetie. Many hugs and SO much love, Sherry

^..^Corgidogmama said...

Monica, I two were meant to join forces! You're the perfect couple with your brains and talent. I'd LOVE to have a few hens and this darling chickie clubhouse in my backyard!!!!
Oh Lordy, they are darling. You two have something seriously wonderful here, and I hope that you make a millon bucks!!!

kim said...

I love your hen houses they are so nice I like how you put their names and the walkway and to get the eggs out. That is super. I will have to show these to my hubby. I know the girls love their home!

Angela said...

What a beautiful chicken palace that your girls get to live in! Your husband and you together sure do make a great team! I'm sure with your great way of writing you'll write up how to make the houses in such an easy way that a person who hasn't even held a hammer in their hand would be able to make one!

I hope you sell lots of them!


Homemade Quilts by Granny said...

He didn't know he was going to get a part time job out of it when he told you to replace your hen....worked out good for all. Trish

varunner said...

Wow, I am so impressed with those hen houses. They're gorgeous. Who would've thought a hen house could look so nice? :-)

Burnt Woods Creator said...

WOW!!!! What an awesome huge Chicken house, coupe. It makes me want to have chickens just so I can put one of those in my back yard to watch them all having a great time in Chicken land. Way too sweet.
Thanks for sharing that

Debbie said...

Hello! so glad you stopped over so I could return the visit. Before moving north, we had a small farm, and raised meat hens, and laying hens. I named the layers, cause I knew they wouldn't be roasting in an oven sooner or later.
Your coops are awesome!!!

Chatty Crone said...

Monica I agree with every post here. You and hubby have a great blend of talent there.

I would think that anyone with hens would want one of these. Your hen house is like a penthouse.


A Hopeful Heart said...

Your hen houses are beautiful!!! If I had hens (which I don't), I would want them to live in a beautiful house like yours.

I would imagine they lay some pretty fabulous eggs. After all, their beautiful house ought to inspire them to give back to you!!

Have a lovely day,

Carol............. said...

I totally adore the chicken MANSIONS! Lucky girls!
Re: your last post about bad eggs....yes, common sense is gone..especially when it has to do with "government involvement"!

My girls have slowed way down in egg production maybe they're on strike because they expect a better "house"! LOL

Denise said...

I love your hen house! How neat that you are doing what you love and caring for your animals in a natural environment. I would love to have egg layers, but so far we don't have the approval from the city to do that. (and with our limited back yard space, I don't know where we could anyway!)
Thank you so much for always taking the time to visit me and leave a sweet comment, you make my day!
Give those hens a little love from Oregon!

Becky K. said...

Love it! The creativity and ease of access!!! I love that you have quite a business going here too.

Becky K.

Chook said...

What absolutely adorable looking chook houses those are.They are more like a penthouse for chooks really.Great work there...:)
Nice looking chookies you have there too.

Vickie said...

That is an awesome chicken coop! I'll be watching for the plans when they come out! I'm gathering ideas for my coop for next spring!